Promoting A Healthy Body Image At BC

The Women’s Center’s (WC) annual Love Your Body Week (LYBW) begins today, kicking off a host of events focused on Boston College students’ body image and self-esteem. This year’s schedule mirrors the positive attributes of last year’s, in that the campaign is highly collaborative—each event is co-sponsored by at least one other BC organization—which helps the message reach a broader range of students. The diversity of groups involved is heartening, as collaboration is necessary to promote a healthy body image.

Last year’s LYBW was effective, not only in arranging appealing and diverse events, but also in branding the week so that it was visible to the student body. This year’s campaign promises to repeat previous successes, while adjusting in order to remain relevant and engaging.

Encouraging male attendees to show up to these events has been difficult in years past, and the WC has made a concerted effort to address that. In particular, an event on Tuesday, “Check Yourself … Before You Wreck Yourself!: How dominant male culture prevents us from becoming ‘Real Men’” is more clearly geared toward male students, and is co-sponsored by a plethora of male leadership groups that will hopefully be able to encourage their members to attend: the SANKOFA Leadership Program, ManUP, Freshman League, DIOP, and Sexual Chocolate

Additionally, LYBW places a noticeable and welcome emphasis on racial diversity as it relates to body image. Two events—“Bodies That Matter: Black Women and Self/Representation Across Nations and Time,” on Monday, and “Emb[race] Your Body: Challenging Standards of Beauty at BC and Beyond,” on Thursday—both promise to spark thoughtful conversations of the sort that are often avoided at BC.

As in the past, LYBW serves the important purpose of shaping campus discussion. To a great extent, the problem of negative body image is rooted in BC’s culture, as are the attendant issues of low self-esteem, health, and competition, and a shift in these attitudes cannot be achieved overnight. The fact that the WC has continued this campaign each year reveals an understanding of that fact—but for its efforts to have any tangible and lasting effect, students must attend the week’s events and be willing to discuss the issues that are raised.

Featured Image by Jordan Pentaleri / Heights Editor

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