The Chew on Eating Disorders

I am enoughBy: Abbey Bowen

Eating disorders…two words we hear in passing on a constant basis. “He’s anorexic,” or “So and so used to have bulimia when she was in college.”

Even though we constantly hear about our colleagues and friends who may suffer from eating disorders, do we actually process the profound affect such behavior has on an individual and our society as a whole?

With the slogan, “I Had No Idea,” NationalEatingDisorders.org is raising awareness for eating disorders from Feb. 23 to March 1. UW-Whitewater’s campus has been and will continue to participate in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week with full force. University Health & Counseling Services has set up several events including the “I AM Enough” selfie campgain, workshops on Art & Media and Media & Body Image and a presentation by UHCS’ own Gwen Hering.

I AM Enough” Selfie Campaign
UHCS challenged students and staff members to take selfies holding a message that reads why and how they are “enough”. These images were then uploaded directly to the UHCS Facebook page. Examples of messages include “I am strong enough,” “I am pretty enough,” etc. Booths were also set up in the University Center on Feb. 17 and 18 for students to drop by and have their pictures taken. All selfies will be displayed on the “I AM Enough” wall throughout NEDAW.

Media & Body Image
This workshop aims to “train the trainer” of young girls. It will take place at noon on Feb. 25 on the Fern Young Terrace. Artist, activist and co-founder of Project Girl, Kelly Parks Snider will lead participants through a cultural landscape that investigates how advertisements and media affect young girls today. The goal of the workshop is to learn how to proactively engage young girls in conversation and teach them how to employ media literacy skills.

Then & Now: I Had No Idea
Gwen Hering, a counselor for UHCS, will speak about her own journey of recovery from an eating disorder at 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 in Hyland Hall 2101. The presentation will be followed by a “Q & A” with a panel of experts from UHCS.

Art & Media: A Hands-on Workshop
At 6 p.m. on Feb. 26 on the Fern Young Terrace, UHCS will sponsor a workshop that targets students interested in creating “a symbolic piece of art” while learning about the impact media has on peoples’ self esteem. The workshop will also be led by Snider. Students who participate will create a piece of artwork using images from popular magazines.

Visit this link for more information about NEDAW and the events UHCS is holding. Heading into this week of awareness, please remember the struggles people go through every day and keep reminding yourself that you ARE ENOUGH!

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]