EveryBody Week raises students’ awareness

Photo by Brenda Lin

Since 2007, the Georgia Tech Body Image Committee has sponsored the Campaign for EveryBody Week in conjunction with the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Eating disorders and dissatisfaction with one’s own body are issues that are considered by many to plague our society and ultimately, our generation.

Tech’s Body Image Committee seeks to promote students engaging in activities that facilitate a positive body image and challenge students to question and analyze how the media affects body image perceptions.

It also hopes to encourage students to be mindful of and evaluate messages they send to and receive from both family and friends.

“During this week [GT Campaign for EveryBody Week], the Georgia Tech community of all genders will have the opportunity to examine their perceptions of body image and participate in discussions about body image issues on campus,” said Colleen Riggle, the Director of the Women’s Resource Center and a co-chair of the Body Image Committee.

This week is not just about lectures and seminars, however—it includes free G.I.T. FIT classes at the CRC and a Global Chef Event, where Chef Graeme Parnham cooks authentic Australian cuisine in North Avenue Dining Hall. There will also be a Women’s Day of Service on March 1, and the week will wind up with a Tech Chef Cooking Competition, a nutritional cooking contest among Tech students, on March 8.

Seven years ago, this event began as the Love Your Body Week, and has had several different names throughout the years, but the same mission—to promote positive body image messages from friends to friends, peers to peers and throughout this entire community.

“I think this week is important because it encourages all students—not just women—to evaluate their own self-esteem about their bodies. Guys have body image issues too, and I’m glad that this week can reach out to them as well,” said Laura Corpe, second-year BA student.

Previously, the Body Image Committee has joined forces with international students, the Greek Community and other student groups in an effort to improve student involvement. The committee is made up of faculty and staff, and is constantly striving to attract more students to pour into this cause.

“Students can support this cause by coming to events, joining the committee or simply promoting healthy body images among their peers day-to-day. A positive mindset can be contagious,” Riggle said. “We are really wanting more students to be involved in planning events and taking charge.”

The events are anything but boring and monotonous. At the kickoff event table, there were friendly faces, free sharpies, temporary tattoos that say, “I am enough” and other freebies.

There was also a scale, but not just any scale, one with so many sparkles no passer-by could ignore it.

This sparkly, inviting scale stared back at those who stood on it, but instead of harsh, black numbers or needles pointing to a specific weight, compliments such as “hot” and “attractive” showed up. Those who stepped on could not stop laughing and walked away happily with a newfound, better body image and a spring in their step.

The positive mentality of EveryBody Week’s kickoff was truly contagious.