It’s Time To Talk About It

A billboard on my drive to work has a new advertisement for a local coffee shop. It features their signature coffee mug with a tape measure around its middle and suggests you buy their super-skinny latte to help you with your new year’s resolution. Funny thing–I have that very same coffee mug and I like it because my hand can grasp the middle indentation of the mug more easily. I would never have connected a slimming message to its shape. Not until the billboard…

We live in a culture saturated with body image messages specifically designed to make you critical of your body. So what’s the harm in that? The fact is, body dissatisfaction is the most powerful and consistent precursor of unhealthy body-related behaviors.  Not just eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia) but also problematic eating behaviors (starving, bingeing, purging), cosmetic surgery and extreme exercising. The list goes on…low body self-esteem is linked to depression, anxiety and sexual dissatisfaction.

Millions of people are affected. We have a count of those who are diagnosed with an eating disorder: 10 million females and 1 million males have anorexia or bulimia, and 15 million have binge eating disorder.

In an effort to raise awareness of eating disorders, MSU is hosting daily events next week across campus:

  • Media Monday–February 22–“America the Beautiful” will be shown at 7 pm in Parlor C, MSU Union.
  • Take Your Body Back Tuesday–February 23–Powerful evening of sharing thoughts, feelings and experiences that surround the topic of body image and the impossible standards of beauty and weight in our culture. 7-9 pm Wonders Hall Kiva. You may submit a letter to dearbodymsu@gmail.com in advance of the program.
  • Wednesday without Worry–February 24–Enjoy food and celebrate yourself! Twix bars with a message will be handed out on campus all day.
  • Trash Talk NO MORE Thursday–February 25–Break free from the language of fat that is so common. Events around campus will promote positive self-talk. The Gallery at Snyder-Philips from 4:30 to 7 pm.

Visit the NEDA website for more information about Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

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2 comments so far

  1. Melissa on

    Thanks Peggy for bringing this topic to everyone’s attention. I too have noticed that billboard and it’s mixed message.

  2. Jennifer Berger on

    So glad to see that MSU is hosting a week of activities around body image, eating disorders and media. I’m the Exec. Director of About-Face and I hope you’ll also point your students to our online resource, http://www.about-face.org. Best of luck on a great week!


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