Each month, we feature a stand-out program sponsored by a college or university women’s/gender equity center. If you’d like to highlight your program for consideration, you can submit more information about it online!
Today, we’re highlighting the EveryBody is Beautiful Photo Shoot, an annual program sponsored by the Women’s Center at Old Dominion University. Want more information about this program? Contact Gretchen Edwards-Bodmer at email@example.com.
About the Program
During Love Your Body Week and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we host a photo shoot encouraging students and staff to get their picture taken holding signs with body positive messages and encouraging them to pose in ways that are comfortable to them and show appreciation for their bodies. Mini-quizzes are given before participants take their pictures, asking them questions about the beauty industry, advertising, eating disorders, etc. They are given those questions and the answers to take with them. They are also provided with a variety of information/handouts on body image, eating disorders, how to be a critical viewer of the media, objectification of women in the media, etc. They get a copy of their picture within a week of the event. Once a year we do this event with a focus on appreciating natural bodies/beauty, and we encourage participants to have their picture taken without makeup or hair products. We offer them a chance to show the “beauty” industry that they are beautiful and valuable without those products (which the beauty industry shames people into using by telling them they’re not good enough as they are).
How This Program Makes an Impact
We always get very positive feedback from participants both at the event and in the post-event evaluations we send a week after the event. This event helps participants to take a step back and think about what messages and products they are consuming. It helps them to start thinking about their own body image and the messages society sends to them about their bodies and gives them resources and information about how to work toward a positive relationship with their bodies. We usually have an influx of students wanting to volunteer with us after this program.