Your AHSS Vice President Amanda shares her thoughts about Body Positivity.
Amanda is your VP for AHSS (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences). Find out more about Amanda and what she is doing to support you as a student here or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
I think that it is such a shame that negative body image, self-ratings, objectification and unhealthy body habits and eating disorders could be some of the major problems in a student's life. These all have a profound effect on our health and wellbeing in the way we then view ourselves.
Some of these problems are perpetuated by things such as adverts featuring models who are not representative of average, healthy people, marketing of products which are meant to address “imperfections”, fundamentally a society which disparages diversity in shape/size/looks and is disproportionately focused on appearance. I literally had a twitter rant about this a couple of weeks ago after looking at clothes online. Thinking to myself; well I guess I can’t buy that outfit or item of clothing because ‘I am too big’.
"Why not celebrate what we love about ourselves every day?"
This is something that I want to discourage and aim to break that stereotype. I am running a Body Confidence campaign this year. This campaign is to help tackle issues facing students at ARU. The aim of the campaign is to not only to help you look after yourself, loving yourself and others, BUT ALSO to encourage people to be open-minded to the diversity and different body types, figures and looks that are present in our society. These problems are so vast, it is not enough to simply remind everyone to love their bodies, one day a year but why not celebrate what we love about ourselves every day!
For me, I would say body positivity is wearing clothes I feel comfortable in. Because in my own personal experience my weight fluctuation has been what has made me sometimes feel less confident as a person. I know that this won't be the case for everyone, body positivity can be manifested in anyone in a variety of ways.
I want to encourage people to have healthier relationships with their bodies. Reminding yourself that you are beautiful, living a healthy lifestyle (being active and eating enough and healthily) and speaking out against negative/unreal representations of individuals.
Upcoming events for the campaign
Join the officers and this student-led panel discussion as we talk about being body positive at ARU Cambridge. We want to be able to share our stories and encourage body positivity.
Support for you:
You can email or in-person speak to the Counselling and Wellbeing service they are here to offer you support, non-directional information, or simply to listen”.
For more information and a wide range of interesting articles have a look at these websites:
B-eat website, the primary eating disorders support organisation in the UK, and also runs a helpline: BeReal
CPFT (Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust)
Love Your Body Day with the Now Foundation
National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance
Get involved in Amanda's campaign and let's celebrate all bodies!