It’s fair to say that at some point we all have been critical or at least aware of our body. One might look at themselves and think that their nose is crooked, their arms are too long or that they even have a few extra rolls. We might even associate those features as negative.
UW-Milwaukee’s Peer Health Educators hosted a “Love Your Body Day” as a celebration for everybody. Benjamin Katz, a first-year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology, said the event was made to implement the notion that we all come in different shapes and sizes.
“Love your body means just loving your body at every size,” said Katz. “Kind of enforcing this idea of having a positive body image at any size can be helpful.”
The event was held in the concourse within the university’s student union. It was decorated with a huge sign that proclaimed “Love Your Body” in colorful bold colors. There was a mirror in the center, interactive games and tables with resources. Katz said the event encourages people to dismiss the world’s perception of beauty standards.
“I think that trying to reject any messages that society says your value is formed on the basis of what your body looks like,” said Katz.
One thing that caught my eye while navigating the space was a string with a sign that asked individuals to write what they loved about their bodies and tape it on the string. Some of the responses were “my eyes,” “my long legs” and “my body is always there for me.” I asked a few individuals who were at the event that very same question.
“I love the things it allows me to do,” said Olivia Krause. “That I am strong and I’m working on my strength.”
“I would say my smile, I think that’s the one thing I really like about my body, and I can be happy about it,” said Sanya Katahurya.
“What I love most about my body is that my body helps me just in my day to day life,” said Katz. “It helps me get around, it helps me explore the world, it helps me just in any way.”
When I left the event, I was a little conflicted. I remember standing in front of the sign that asked “What do you love most about your body?” and I hesitated, it took me a long time to come with a response. If I’m being completely honest, I wrote down a generic response. I felt a little bad that I couldn’t think of one thing that I liked about myself. However, the more I talked to people in my personal life, the more I realized that I wasn’t alone.
It isn’t every day where we get to ask ourselves that question. Most of us might not even ask what we love about ourselves in general. That’s why “Love Your Body Day” is needed. It’s a reminder to be both okay with loving your body fully, at this very moment and that it’s okay that our exoskeleton is constantly evolving and self-love is a journey that takes time.