Last week, the University of Virginia pursued a full week of events dedicated to promoting a positive body image. “Celebrate Every Body Week” spanned from February 19th to the 23rd, and championed an approach to healthy living for people of every shape and size that doesn’t require a scale.
The health initiative runs annually and is sponsored by the UVa Coalition on Eating Disorders and Exercise Concerns. This organization of students and university staff works to prevent and treat both eating disorders and exercise abuse throughout the UVa community.
“The Jeans Exchange” was a large party of the week-long celebration. Students donated old jeans and other articles of clothing in good condition. In return, donors received a “Celebrate Every Body” t-shirt, water bottle, or beanie. Clothing donations supported the Shelter for Help in Emergency, which works to end domestic violence.
The motive for “The Jeans Exchange” was to encourage body acceptance and self-love for people who may worry about their clothes not fitting anymore. Third years Beth Cashin and Yasaman Vahdat are Peer Health Educators who helped run the exchange, which was held right outside the dining hall at Newcomb Hall.
“[It’s about] spreading a positive message of celebrating your body. We shouldn’t be concerned about how we look,” said Vahdat. “Size is just a number [and] by donating, you get to help a better cause” said Vahdat.
“It is positive and empowering, you’re helping yourself and others,” added Cashin.
For more information about the UVa Coalition on Eating Disorders and Exercise Concerns, contact the Office of Health Promotion at (434) 924-1509.