Campus promotes positive body image

The week of Feb. 24 through March 2 brings awareness to eating disorders across the United States.

At Butler University, the seven-day period will combat and bring to light a much wider scope of mental and physical concerns.

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week will continue today with a showing of the documentary film “America the Beautiful.”

Peers Advocating Wellness for Students, with assistance from Counseling and Consultation Services, organized this and a variety of other events to draw attention to physical image worries.

“The best thing about this is that it’s not just about eating disorders,” sophomore PAWS member Paige Frisone said.

PAWS is taking a page from the National Eating Disorders Association in order to properly inform and assist Butler students.

Lauren Smolar, NEDA helpline supervisor, said the organization’s mission is to raise awareness for eating disorders through education prevention programs.

“The more awareness, the less stigma, so the more comfortable people might be seeking help for an eating disorder if they have one,” Smolar said.

NEDA works not only with various eating disorder associations  around the country but also organizations based out of colleges, Greek organizations and the U.S. Navy.

The NEDA website lists several events aimed at educating people about eating disorders, including forums, film screenings and yoga.

All of these events have had or will have a place in Butler’s awareness week.

On Monday, some mirrors on campus were covered in hopes of making students focus less on their appearance.

“A lot of students on campus will never struggle with an eating disorder,” said Mindy Wallpe, Counseling and Consultation Services staff psychologist. “But we all struggle with what media says we should look or be like.”

Information relating to eating disorder awareness was handed out, and a one-hour yoga session capped the day’s activities.

Yesterday, Wallpe facilitated the Everybody Knows Somebody panel for students to share stories about eating disorder struggles and to learn ways to support those with disorders.

“We want our students to be healthy individuals (who) take care of themselves and for us to be involved and provide support for individuals who are struggling with that,” Wallpe said.

Tomorrow, there will be a nutrition trivia contest at 6:30 p.m. in the Atherton cafeteria.

Friday will be a Fat-Talk Free day, during which students should attempt to delete fat-related talk from their language.

“I think that it (being) a week long really does make a statement,” Frisone said. “We have a really strong base, and since it’s led by people other than students, they put different statements out there.”

Wallpe said she hopes  the information helps students understand how to effectively handle eating disorders.

“We provide a safe place for them to come share their concerns,” Wallpe said. “We can work with them to find another outlet for their current struggles.”

Wallpe and Frisone both said it is important for the Butler community to remain aware of eating disorders.

“If people need events to understand that this is a problem, (PAWS) will continue doing that in the future,” Frisone said.

The screening of “America the Beautiful” will be at 7 p.m. in the Reilly Room.

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