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Weeklong program to promote healthy body image

by UofL Today last modified Feb 17, 2010 11:23 AM

Beauty, healthy eating and good health are among the subjects that a weeklong Campus Health Services (CHS) program will explore Feb. 22-26.

Body Awarness/Body Appreciation (BABA) Week activities are designed to promote and celebrate healthy body images and to challenge media portrayals of beauty. The program will feature events, films, exhibits and discussions. Elizabeth Somer, a frequent guest on NBC's "Today Show" and author of "Eat Your Way to Happiness," will be among the week's guest speakers. She will talk about how dietary changes can improve mood and energy levels.

BABA week is all about getting people to rethink attitudes toward beauty, learn to be "comfortable in their own skin" and care for their bodies, said Karen Newton, director of Health Promotion and Education for CHS.

"Every day we get a flood of media messages that tell us how we are supposed to look, act and feel. Yet these messages typically portray people in a plastic, air-brushed world of perfection that simply doesn't exist," she said.

Constant exposure to unrealistic body images contributes to such unhealthy behaviors as eating disorders and extreme dieting, Newton said.

BABA Week highlights include:     

  • Jump Rope for Heart: Campus teams will compete in a competition and fitness program. Red Barn, Feb. 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • "America the Beautiful": A film about America's obsession with physical perfection. Multipurpose Room, Student Activities Center (SAC), Feb. 22, 7 p.m.
  • Health Fair: Multipurpose Room, SAC, and Red Barn, Feb. 23, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • "Do I Look Fat": A film that focuses on seven gay men who struggle with eating disorders and body image. Multipurpose Room, SAC, Feb 23, 7 p.m.
  • International Tea: A discussion about cultural perspectives on beauty. Cultural Center, Feb. 24, noon-1 p.m.
  • "The Century Project": A traveling exhibit of highly personal statements and nude photos of "real women" that serves as a platform to address healthy body images and beauty. Multipurpose Room, SAC, Feb. 22-26, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Conversation about "The Century Project": Photographer Frank Cordell will discuss the exhibit. Multipurpose Room, SAC, 6 p.m., Feb. 24.
  • Panel discussion about "The Century Project": Louisville's WAVE 3 personality Dawne Gee will lead a discussion with some of the women Cordell photographed for "The Century Project." Multipurpose Room, SAC, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
  • "Eat Your Way to Happiness": Author Elizabeth Somer will talk about how dietary changes can help improve mood and energy levels. Feb. 25, two locations. Kornhauser Library, Health Sciences Campus, noon-1 p.m.; Room 101, Strickler Hall, Belknap Campus, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. 
  • Your Sexual Body Health Workshop: A Discussion of issues pertaining to sexuality. Room 254, Ekstrom Library, noon-2 p.m.
  • Feel Good in Your Jeans/Genes: Donate gently used jeans to The Healing Place all week. Collection boxes in some residence halls, SAC, Crawford Gym and Human Resources.

This is the third year CHS has put on BABA Week. CHS, its partners and sponsors launched the program in recognition of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Learn more about BABA Week or register for events 

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