Students learn to love their bodies

Thursday saw the closing of Love Your Body Week at CSUN, a four-day event promoting self acceptance and debunking unattainable body standards enforced by today’s media and society.

Beginning Oct. 22, Love Your Body Week, or LBYW, launched with the University Counseling Services peer groups tabling on Matador Walkway. Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating (J.A.D.E.), Blues Project and Project D.A.T.E. (Discovering Alternatives for Today’s Encounters) provided visitors with pamphlets discussing disorders and issues in university students.

Peer nutrition counselors were available at the event, offering visitors the chance to find out their daily calorie intake and other nutrition resources offered by the Klotz Student Health Center, Student Recreational Center and the Living Well Lounge.

In line with the theme “Makeup-Less Monday,” a table was set up to offer students three all-natural recipes like milk and honey face wash, sugar lip scrub and lavender sea salt scrub. Visitors were able to make their recipes at the booth, free of charge.

Those looking for a more proactive approach to fitness were greeted at special edition  workouts at the SRC throughout the week, culminating in an intense Yoga session with instructor Margaux at the Multi-purpose Room on Thursday evening.

Melanie Klein, sociologist and CSUN professor, was the guest speaker at the Thousand Oaks Room. Titled “How Yoga Makes You Pretty: Media, Body Image and Yoga,” Klein discussed her gradual transition from a directionless 22-year-old struggling with body issues into a self-assured individual, thanks to practicing yoga and an inspiring mentor who introduced her to the world of feminism.

“It’s very difficult to grow up in this world, this culture, without feeling inadequate especially if you’re a girl or woman,” Klein said. “Today, women only have limited options in which they can be attractive. Meanwhile men can be considered attractive even if they don’t have mainstream features. ”

Among other topics discussed were the popular baby bump watch, eating disorders, the westerns emphasis on mind over body and physical awareness. For communication studies major Sammy Johnson, the talk was inspiring.

“It helped me change the way I should think of my body and self-worth,” Johnson said.

Love Your Body Week is the first step to introducing the Media and Public Health Act Project, an organization whose partnership with N.E.D.A. (National Eating Disorders Association) aims to pass legislation so ads featuring photoshopped images of men or women will also contain labels saying so.