Una celebrates confidence in self-image

Students gathered near the clock tower on Sept. 30 to promote positive self-image during “Love Your Body Day.”  Curtis Wang / Multimedia Director

Students gathered near the clock tower on Sept. 30 to promote positive self-image during “Love Your Body Day.” Curtis Wang / Multimedia Director

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






‘Love Your Body Day’ fights against negative stereotypes

Saint Louis University recently celebrated a day to help students, especially women, appreciate their bodies in a healthy way.  On Sept. 30, Una, the feminist voice of SLU, sponsored Love Your Body Day, a national event that focuses on fighting back against the unhealthy stereotypes of a woman’s body image.

Students gathered near the clock tower on Sept. 30 to promote positive self-image during “Love Your Body Day.” Curtis Wang / Multimedia Director

“Women are taught to be critical of their bodies from a young age,” Penny Weiss, director of women’s studies at the University and faculty advisor for Una, said.

“It can have dramatic damaging effects on lifestyle and relationships.”

According to a 2009 poll by Glamour magazine, a lifestyle publication geared predominantly toward women, out of 16,000 women, 40 percent were unhappy about their bodies.

The same poll was taken by the magazine in 1984 and 75 percent of women polled said that they thought they were too fat. Although the trend is shifting, according to Una, there is still work to be done.

“Women need to stop comparing their bodies to unrealistic, unconstructive expectations that are perpetuated by media,” Weiss said.  “You can make the comparison to the campaign for Black is Beautiful, taking a subordinated group and reclaiming it in a positive way.”

In addition to polls about unhappiness about female body image, Glamour also asked women about what makes them feel better about their bodies. Specifically one statistic may standout to many SLU women: 75 percent of women said that professional achievements make them feel better about their bodies. Women that participated in the poll also said that regular exercise, eating well and receiving compliments from other women contributed to a better image of oneself.

“The idea of [Love Your Body Day] was very cool,” Weiss said.  “It’s nice to think of someone stopping by for part of their day to imagine beauty within themselves, guy or girl.”

Body painting, Love Your Body Day pins and written personal messages about what people enjoy about their bodies were just some of the activities of the day.

“I thought it was a great celebration and a chance to feel good about ourselves,” senior Caitlin Bancroft said. “It was a lot of fun and a great event.”

Love Your Body day is held twice annually, including once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester. Una holds a variety of different events, as well Domestic Violence Month, The Vagina Monologues and Women in the Arts night.

“Our goal was to celebrate our bodies and to bring women and men more confidence in how they think about their individual image,” Tasha Massman, Una core team member, said.

“Una took this day as a responsibility. We need to be equal and it’s not just women – everyone should feel confident about who they are and that ties in with the entire feminist movement.”