- Letters to Editor
BY: KALEIGH UNDERWOOD
Students glancing at bathrooms mirrors in Powell, the Student Services Building (SSB) and the Fitness and Wellness Center were greeted this past week by an unexpected sight: no reflection stared back at them.
All the mirrors were covered in paper, which was employed by Campus Recreation officials in order to get students to think about Eating Disorder Awareness Week. During the week of Feb. 25 to March 1, on-campus activities were numerous and scattered.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 30 million people struggle with some form of an eating disorder.
While college students are not any more susceptible than other age groups, eating disorders/body image issues are always a concern. Campus Recreation and the Counseling Center hosted Eating Disorder Awareness Week last week.
“This week is probably when we bring the most awareness to this issue and I think it was very successful,” said Meghan Scott, Campus Recreation Health Educator.
In addition to the mirrors being covered, a resource table was set up Tuesday in Powell staffed by two counselors from the counseling center.
A cutout of a life-size Barbie and the complications of someone trying to obtain that body would go through was in attendance, as well. Some consequences include headaches, chronic pain in back neck and shoulders, trouble regulating body temperature and difficulty fighting off infections.
“I think seeing the life-size Barbie was really enlightening to some people,” said Jessica Underwood, forensic chemistry major from Louisville. “Everyone strives for perfection and as a little kid Barbie was perfection and now we can see that’s just a joke. It’s not realistic at all.”
The educational displays continued on Wednesday with a presentation by the Counseling Center targeted to the Greek life community about body image. Friday was a screening day at the Fitness and Wellness Center. The original scales were replaced with “Yay Scales,” which instead of displaying a person’s weight gave them a compliment.
The new type of scale impacted Laruen Cleek, elementary education major from Petersburg.
“I went to the gym and was shocked when I couldn’t weigh myself because the scales were gone,” Cleek said. “I got on the ‘Yay Scales,’ and it told me I was beautiful, and I felt beautiful, so I left the gym. I guess that was really the whole point.”
Eating Disorder Awareness Week is not the only time to confront or discuss eating disorder. The Counseling Center is always available to assist with such matters and is located in SSB.