Students smashed scales and stereotypes last week for the Women’s Center annual Love Your Body Week, intended to promote positive body image among women at UC Santa Barbara.
“For me, I feel like especially as a woman, whatever you identify as, society pressures you to fit into one certain type, a mold. We want to break those stereotypes that are perpetuated and just be yourself and love yourself, mind, body and soul,” said Thao Nguyen, a third-year feminist studies major and student programmer at the Women’s Center.
Students and faculty members came together Wednesday for a talk on body positivity, touching on the mainstream idealization of Eurocentric beauty which emphasizes European and Caucasian appearances as an unrepresentative standard for all cultures.
Thursday was about healthy eating and pumpkin carving. Representatives from CalFresh, the A.S. Food Bank, the I.V. Food Co-op and UCSB Health & Wellness all spoke about their produce and other ways for students to obtain healthy food on campus.
“I think this event is important because everyone is really self-conscious about themselves and this is a way of showing that everyone is beautiful,” said Gabby Felder, a third-year biology and anthropology double major. Felder also works at the Women’s Center as a student programmer and was the other coordinator of the event.
The Women’s Center’s Love Your Body Week came to a smashing end last Friday as students came together to break scales and enjoy free henna and flash tattoos.
Students donned hard hats and wielded mallets as they smashed scales to promote body positivity. Tables were spread all over the lawn in front of Lot 22, with henna provided by the Indus Club, as well as free pins supplied by Campus Advocacy Resources & Education (C.A.R.E.).
Nadia Raymundo, a third-year psychology major and C.A.R.E. employee, was also tabling in front of Lot 22 on Friday.
“Back home no one really told you to love your body and to not be self-conscious, not as much as I’ve learned from the Women’s Center,” said Raymundo. She offered free pins to students that aimed to destigmatize rape culture and support survivors.
Members from Health & Wellness stood near the bike paths in front of Pardall Tunnel with signs reading “You Are Beautiful.”
“A lot of our mission statement is connecting with people, showing them how to thrive and grow and telling them just to love themselves,” said Alexis Reichman, a second-year communication major. “A huge part of all our different sectors for health and what it means to be well really comes down to practicing self-care and self-love. We were thrilled to show people that they’re beautiful.”