An Open Discussion About Body Awareness


By: Charlotte Joiner

February is Body Awareness Month. In effort to raise awareness, the Women’s Center
encourages students to have an open discussion about body positivity and awareness.

“To love your body means to be comfortable in your own skin, fully being yourself, and not
changing for anyone,” said an anonymous student. “It also means being thankful for your body,
looking down at your legs/feet realizing how far they’ve carried you and your hands, knowing
they’ve helped so many people. It’s listening to your body and practicing self-care.”

The healthy image we try to pursue for our bodies can be met with the struggles of social media,
our culture and our society. These forces can push us to believe we are not up to standard. By
having an open discussion about body awareness, students can come together to promote body
positivity and know that their body is good enough.

“I think that working towards having a positive body image means you have to understand that
you’ll always have insecurities; because of the way our culture and media portrays what we are
‘supposed’ to look like,” said Anna Bryne, a graduate assistant for the Women’s Center “Because
of this, we have to further affirm ourselves in our own bodies and develop a sense of security in
those insecurities.”

Bryne added that to combat her insecurities, she practices positive affirmations. Positive
affirmations are positive statements that can help individuals to challenge or overcome
self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. These can include anything from standing in front of the
mirror and smiling, to giving yourself a compliment that day. Bryne continued, saying that we
have to make a constant effort to lift ourselves up.

“To me, body awareness means body positivity for everyone. Not only does it mean breaking the
stigma of ‘every girl needs to be a size two’ and ‘every boy needs to have a six pack’, but also
promoting confidence and being comfortable in your own skin,” said an anonymous
student.“Looking into the mirror and being able to love what you see and walking with your
head high.”

“To combat my securities, I take control of my emotions and remember that no one’s negative
opinions can affect me unless I let them. Having gained confidence and assurance in the person
that I am has improved my mental health in so many small ways,” said an anonymous student.
“Always remember that you are in total control of how you perceive yourself. No one is in
control except you.”

The anonymous student shared their experience building confidence by saying that they’ve
expressed themselves through their clothes. They explained that if they’re uncomfortable in an
outfit, they continue to wear it. This allows them to become more confident in their choices and
all around body awareness.

By celebrating body awareness, students can come together to have an open discussion about
how to take back their confidence. The Women’s Center is always available to empower every
gender and sexual identity, through education, support and leadership development. Their
mission is to support every student through inclusivity and diversity, utilizing intersectional and
feminist views.