Knox campus will take a closer look at its student body thanks to Bodies Week. In order to promote discussion about body issues and beauty, Students Against Sexism in Society (SASS) is in the process of organizing Bodies Week, formerly called Love Your Body, for the second week of spring term: Monday, March 28 through Friday, April 1. After having discussions within SASS, some members thought that the former name, “Love Your Body,” sounded like a command that some people might not be able, or willing, to follow.
SASS President and senior Amelia Garcia participated in Love Your Body two years ago. Garcia said, “It’s nice to be able to be in an atmosphere where people are thinking outside of the box of this is what you need to be to be beautiful: you have to be thin and white.”
Secretary of SASS, sophomore Kaitlyn Duling commented on the name change, saying, “We just wanted to be more inclusive. Make it more of a celebration than this is something you must do to be a healthy person.”
Students were disappointed when SASS did not do a body event last year. Duling acknowledged this when she said Love Your Body or Bodies Week is something people expect and want. However, last year SASS did not have enough people to put in the work necessary to have an event of this proportion which involved coordinating with models, printing photos and holding the photo exhibit.
Garcia said, “Originally [Love Your Body] was just the photos but [SASS] wanted to showcase lots of different body types and say ‘You’re all beautiful’ to confront that narrow standard of beauty.”
Although previously advertised as being at the end of winter term, SASS has also moved Bodies Week to next term so it would not conflict with simultaneous campus events like Terpsichore and Off Knox.
This year, SASS has expanded its activities from simply having a photo exhibit of students’ bodies to having a week devoted to all things body. Garcia said SASS wanted to talk about issues that go deeper than beauty. For Bodies Week, they wanted to discuss body issues like being transgender and eating disorders in addition to physical beauty. Garcia said SASS is trying to promote conversations that will get people to think about bodies in different ways.
They will hold two discussions, one involving media and how media affects personal body image. The other will be on the origins of Bodies Week and other issues involving bodies. They have planned for a coffee house open mic night featuring discussions and performances involving bodies.
For the last day, SASS will hold its most popular event: the photo exhibit. In the past, SASS had many different people involved in the event to shoot photos and model. Garcia said SASS would have photos of about 30 different models to display and hopes these photos will promote conversation about bodies.
Garcia said, “I think conversation is the starting point to ending these issues of body image issues and a bunch of other things that people experience in this society. I think that’s the most important part: being part of the discussion.”