Celebrating Body Positivity, ECHO Holds Annual 'Love Your Body Day'

Love Your Body Day
Cassandra S. Hastie '18 takes a photo of Karen M. Maldonado '18 during ECHO's "Love Your Body Day" event in Ticknor Lounge Thursday evening. Hastie and Maldonado are both ECHO peer counselors.

Students joined to share positive body images and to promote healthy lifestyles at “Love Your Body Day” in Ticknor Lounge on Thursday evening.

An annual tradition since the the 1970s, the event marked the start of Eating Concerns Hotline and Outreach's outreach on campus. The group seeks to support students struggling with mental heath issues, especially eating disorders.

The group now offers a peer-counseling hotline every night from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

ECHO member Karen Maldonado ’18 said “Love Your Body Day” provides an opportunity for frank discussion about body image.

“We’re here to become a space where people can talk about body image, love their bodies,” she said. “I think that’s an important thing we are trying to emphasize this year.”

Upon walking into Ticknor, students were greeted by food, soft drinks, and ECHO members encouraging them to answer a prompt: “I love my body because...”

ECHO members wore this year’s “Love Your Body Day” t-shirt, which read, “Respect your Body, Accept your Body, Honor your Body, Cherish your Body.”

Representatives from other organizations like the Student Mental Health Liaisons, Office of BGLTQ Student Life, and Food Literacy Project staffed booths circling the lounge.

Skylar-Bree Takyi ’20, an intern at the BGLTQ office, said it was important for her have a range of voices and perspectives represented at the event.

“I think particularly when we talk about body issues there’s this idea that only straight cis-women experience them, and that’s very far from the truth," Takyi said. "Straight cis-men experience them, gay people experience them, trans people. Everyone has issues with their body,and it’s important that we keep that in mind when we’re creating events meant to support people who are going through that."

Over snacks and beverages, ECHO members emphasized that regular eating patterns are an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

“I think it’s really important to show people that there are so many different ways to do that and that food can be a way to celebrate your body as well,” said ECHO co-director Alana Steinberg ‘18, an inactive Crimson editor.

“I think it’s really important to tell people we can celebrate our bodies in different ways so not only do you have to love your body but you can also accept it, cherish it, nurture it, and we have a lot of resources that allow you to do that,” she added.

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