SAGE hosts series centered on body positivity

While the body love series of events was initially intended to last for only a week, SAGE decided to extend the event to a month. SAGE though it would be a more appropriate length of time to support people’s various identities and promote lasting body image ideals. (Photo courtesy of Gwen Howard)

October is Body Love Month, which is marked by a series of events hosted by the Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment to promote intuitive eating, celebration of individuality and body empowerment.

The series, which runs from Oct. 2 to Nov. 3, includes a variety of events with different partnerships. Gwen Howard, SAGE Director of Body Love, said that it is important to have a series about body love to enhance student health.

“Eating disorders and poor body image are sort of at an epidemic high among college age students specifically,” said Howard, a junior majoring in popular music performance and choral music. “It’s important to remember how many imposed ideals we have about how we should look like, how we should eat and how we should exercise.”

One of the upcoming events includes the Body Love Fair at Alumni Park on Thursday. The fair will feature resources to help students foster a healthy relationship between the mind and body. Students will be able to smash scales, participate in crafts, enjoy food and listen to music.

“[The goal is to] reclaim the power of makeup for one’s own purposes rather than any sort of ideals that are imposed,” said SAGE Executive Co-Director Rosa Wang.

The pursuit of inclusivity was prioritized when SAGE planned the series, according to Executive Co-Director Anya Kushwaha.

“Historically, we’ve always had things that have been all abilities or all identities welcome,” Kushwaha said. “But now, I’m so happy that we have space specifically for [marginalized groups].”

In addition, SAGE will host its Sephora Bold Beauty Class for Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Folks event on Sunday. This event is an excursion to Sephora for a makeup class that focuses on marginalized identities who may feel excluded from traditional cosmetic use.

The Body Love series was originally planned to be a week long. However, according to Wang, SAGE found it appropriate to expand it to a month in 2015.

“We realized that a week is not enough. There are so many identities and trying to encompass them into one week, even one month isn’t enough,” Wang said. “We wanted to expand it to try to include all audiences.”

Body Love Month will come to an end on Nov. 3.

“Body image literacy is what I would love for my peers to have a little bit of experience and practice with,” Howard said. “To start questioning the messages we’re getting and start thinking about things in a more critical way with regards to how we see ourselves and what’s making us see ourselves certain ways.”