Body Acceptance Week Returns to Campus

The world is overcrowded with negative media telling people to look and dress a certain way. Every day, folks are encouraged to alter their appearance to conform to societal standards. This February, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is back with Chicago artist Matthew Hoffman to remind us all that WE are ALL beautiful.

In a collaboration with Northwestern University Health Service (NUHS), the Women’s Center, Northwestern University Department of Recreation & Athletics and Northwestern Dining, Body Acceptance Week is returning February 15–19. Although it is nationally known as Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Northwestern’s re-named Body Acceptance Week is not only meant to promote awareness about eating disorders, but also to promote healthier lifestyles and positive body image.

“We changed the name to be more inclusive and create programs to support people whether they are struggling with an eating disorder or were struggling with how they saw their body,” Dr. Eileen Biagi, CAPS staff psychologist planning the event said.

Look out for the Body Affirmation Stations in the Pritzker School of Law Atrium in Chicago, Sargent Dining Hall, and Henry Crown Sports Pavilion throughout the week, and Nourish Your Beautiful Self on Monday, February 15t, 5:00–6:00 p.m., in Norris Center’s Wildcat Room to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle from the campus dietician. The You Are Beautiful arch installation by Matthew Hoffman will also be on display at the Law School Atrium and You Are Beautiful stickers will be distributed throughout both the Chicago and Evanston campuses all week long.

“In some ways this program is talking about changing a culture. Shifting a culture from being focused on certain beauty ideals and expanding people’s minds to a more diverse definition of what beauty is,” Dr. Biagi said. “I hope we keep finding new ways for us to do that, and to challenge people to actively reflect on how they define beauty instead of automatically accepting the messages we hear from the media.”

Northwestern is filled with intelligent and beautiful students that are changing the world every day, and it is vital that we remind ourselves and each other that we are all important. Operation Beautiful, a Post-it campaign for students to write uplifting notes to one another, will be coming soon to a residential hall or sorority/fraternity bathroom near you and is a great opportunity to spread that message.

Reinvigorate your body confidence this February. And always remember…

You are beautiful.