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Love Your Body: On Campus, In Community
Take actions in your community, school or on your campus!
Move your body! Host an exercise class, such as yoga or kickboxing; plan a fun, team-building game like soccer or Frisbee; or find someone to teach a self-defense class. You could also organize a walk-a-thon in your community to raise awareness about positive body image. Hang posters or pass out pamphlets reminding participants that exercising is an excellent way to feel good in your body and recognize the wonderful things it allows you to do.
Hold a panel discussion on body image. Enlist professors, community leaders, feminist activists and/or students to speak on various important topics, such as issues women of color face with body image, women with disabilities and body image, or eating disorders. Be sure to involve different groups to co-sponsor or speak on a panel, such as cultural clubs or the women's resource center, so different voices can help widen your audience.
Perform or host a reading of a play with a positive message about real women's bodies. You can get a diverse group of students involved in the project. Some suggestions are "The Good Body" and "The Vagina Monologues." Feel free to take it a step further by having a discussion or panel afterward. Make sure to include a mix of professors, students and community leaders.
Host a campus screening of a movie depicting women who are comfortable in their own bodies. Make sure to serve up some yummy treats. After the showing, hold a panel discussion on the themes the movie raises. Some suggestions include Real Women have Curves, Hairspray, and Spanglish. More ideas
Host an art show! Ask for submissions of artwork about body image and display the pieces in a public space on campus. Tell everyone to create photos, paintings, cartoons, collages, sculptures -- all forms of expression are good. You could even organize a spoken word night for students to present writings about body issues, and put the art on display at the site.
Make a campus-wide art project. Set up a table, and ask students passing by to take a photo or draw a picture of a part of their body that they like. Make sure to have a petition or pledge for students to sign. It can be as simple as: "I pledge to love my body all day and not to buy products that promote unrealistic body images in their advertising." Display the pictures or photos in a well-trafficked area on campus. You can even hand out tasty treats to those who contribute.
Organize a dance showcase of performances about body image or try to recruit campus cultural groups to present traditional dances. Or, get everyone moving and host a dance-a-thon!
Sick of the media encouraging women to feel guilty about eating what they want? Hand out foods you want to eat without shame -- cookies, chocolate, etc. At the same time, try to hand out some educational flyers on Love Your Body Day and why it is so important to stop the unfair portrayal of women in the media.
Make a movie. Include your friends participate and/or other students or professors you recruit. Ask everyone one simple question, such as why they love their body or why Love Your Body Day is so important. Then take the best answers and make a short movie, no more than about two-three minutes, and broadcast it everywhere. Facebook and Tweet it. You can also submit it to NOW Foundation's Let's Talk About It project. Important: Make sure everyone who appears in your video signs a release form. Google "video subject release form" for examples.
Hold a LYBD fashion show! Get local shops and stores involved or have students design original pieces. Whether you're featuring cultural dress, after-five attire or weekend garb, embrace the lovely shapes and shades women come in. Include healthy body information in the program book, and have the moderator of the show offer good health tips and body image campaign ideas in between models.
Create T-shirts with messages on them that uplift your self esteem. Find a local T-shirt vendor who sells shirts made in the USA. Some ideas for some sayings are: "I Heart My Body," "Real Women have Curves," and of course "Love Your Body." Hand out flyers about the Love Your Body campaign to people who ask questions about the T-shirt message.
Host a forum on women's health issues with student health physicians or local doctors in your community. Invite them to your campus to talk about what good health means for women's bodies. Check out the health issue fact sheets on the NOW Foundation website. Or, give a presentation using NOW Foundation's Sex, Stereotypes and Beauty slideshow. Encourage your women studies or sociology professors to show the slideshow and have a class discussion on what these stereotypes mean for women and men.
Submit an op-ed to the campus newspaper. Does your campus have an obsession with diet and exercise? Do designer brands dominate over sweats? Do you feel like women have to submit to a certain "dress code"? Talk about how the Love Your Body Campaign can help women feel good as they are.
Organize a rally to create awareness of body image issues. Have a festival -- good music, good food, free services and information! Ask local businesses to donate bags and balloons imprinted with the Love Your Body logo or slogan (Every day is Love Your Body Day!), play games, dance, do yoga, celebrate!
Display Love Your Body posters everywhere!
Remember to take a sign-up sheet to any events that you plan to host. You never know how many supporters you can get by standing in the student union with cookies all day!
Send us your ideas for other things to do at your college campus!
©2000 - 2011 National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation's Love Your Body Campaign