As the President of the United States throws around numbers to determine a person’s beauty and worth, Montclair State University and the Office of Health Promotion is hoping to help students, faculty and staff to accept their bodies just the way they are.
Created in 2001 by the Office of Health Promotion, “Body Acceptance Week is a week-long initiative to promote positive body image on campus, engage students in discussions, explore beauty standards, identify disordered eating or excessive exercise habits and help students connect to resources,” according to the university website.
Throughout the week, individuals have multiple opportunities to get involved. Activities include a fashion show where students can strut their stuff, having a conversation on body image in a safe space, not to mention the seemingly endless chances to win “My Body Is Freaking Awesome” t-shirts in order to spread the message all year long.
While Body Acceptance Week is not unique to Montclair State, there are not many universities which make it a point to celebrate body image, which is surprising due to the important message spread by this initiative. Body Acceptance Week is necessary, not only on college campuses, but at high schools, middle schools and even elementary schools.
Luckily at Montclair State, students take Body Acceptance Week very seriously and are always excited to participate in the festivities. This year, the Office of Health Promotion thanked all the ladies who volunteered as they received “an overwhelming response from women to model for the [Body Acceptance Week Fashion] show,” as stated on Campus Recreation website.
Body Acceptance Week is an initiative everyone can get involved with and agree with, which is hard to come by in today’s political climate. With so many people volunteering their time and energy each year to ensure Body Acceptance Week is a success, everyone at Montclair State is learning to be body positive and that it is our imperfections that make us perfect.
For those who struggle each day to see that, Body Acceptance Week leads them to resources that they can utilize throughout the year like the Counseling and Psychological Services on campus.
While Body Acceptance Week at Montclair State runs from Feb. 18 to 24, the lessons learned stay with people all year long.