Week to Celebrate Wildcats of All Shapes and Sizes

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 16, 2011) — Every day, young people are bombarded with unrealistic, unhealthy body images just by picking up a magazine or flipping on the television. Our society's thinner-is-better attitude has its price: According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 80 percent of American women say they are dissatisfied with their appearance, and nearly 10 million females and 1 million males in the U.S. are battling eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

However, the sponsors behind UK's Love Your Body Week hope to help students foster a more positive perception of themselves.

Formerly known as National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, this weeklong event was created to call attention to the
negative body images portrayed in the media and their dangerous effects on women -- and men -- across the country.

This year, Love Your Body Week takes place Feb. 21-25. It is jointly sponsored by the University Health Service and the UK Student Dietetic Association.

Jill Kindy, health education coordinator for the University Health Service, hopes the events of Love Your Body Week will encourage participants to accept themselves, flaws and all.

"Sometimes it seems like everything around us is telling us that we are not okay the way we are," says Kindy. "But these events allow us to stop and say, 'I'm okay being the best me that I can be.'"

Body acceptance is crucial, says Kindy, because while healthy eating and exercising are important for health reasons, they can only change your body structure so much.

We live in an 'extreme makeover' society, but the reality is that 80 percent of body size and shape is genetic," she says. "That leaves only about 20 percent that we can tweak with diet and exercise."

Love Your Body Week schedule:

Feb. 21-25 (all week): Mirrorless Moments. Take the time to focus on your inner beauty! Mirrors all across campus will be covered with positive body image statements.

Feb. 22 , 7:30 p.m.:  “America the Beautiful,” a documentary by Darryl Roberts. This documentary details America’s ugly obsession with beauty. The screening will take place at the Young Library Auditorium.

Feb. 25, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.:  Be U! Stop by the Be U! table just outside Starbucks at the Student Center. No make-up or fat talk! We’ll be handing out buttons that say,  "Be U! Wildcats come in all shapes and sizes!"