Throughout the month of March, the Indiana State University Women’s Resource Center has been celebrating Women’s History Month by educating and empowering students to be confident in their futures, bodies and history. The MyBody event on March 23 was a perfect example of such. The topics of this discussion included self-esteem, body positivity and biases in society.
Throughout history, women have been told that their bodies are inherently flawed, and their worth came from appearance and how they looked. Although we’ve come a long way from the days of toxic makeup and deadly childbirth, we still have many issues with self-image and body positivity. Even now, we have unrealistic beauty standards and an internalized fear of food. With the MyBody event, the Women’s Resource Center hopes to start changing that.
There were many wonderful presenters, including people from True & Co, Glad Rags, the Terre Haute OBGYN Women’s Health Center, the Student Counseling Center, and a fitness expert from the Recreation Center. True & Co is a lingerie company that works hard to make comfortable and inclusive bras and underwear that are made to fit women the way intimates should. Glad Rags is a sustainable menstrual company that makes cloth pads and menstrual cups to help the planet and consumers’ menstrual health. Both of these companies are working to improve women’s health and provide consumers with products that actually work. For the rest of these presenters, I will assume you, as the reader, are aware of what they do.
Throughout this event, we discussed sexual health, mental health and a lot of other topics. It is important to open up discourse these things because they are labeled as taboo and not to be talked about. Periods, body image issues, and mental illness are not gross, or unnatural, or something to be ashamed of. We should feel ok talking about these things with other people and speaking up when something is wrong. As was discussed during the event, self-esteem and body image are things that we all deal with on a daily basis. We need to learn to love ourselves and our bodies no matter where we are in life or the journey to body-happiness. The expectations society puts on women’s bodies are unhealthy and unrealistic. Everyone’s body is different and there is no one-size-fits-all.
The MyBody event was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot about loving one’s self. Real quick, here’s a few PSAs. If your mental health is negatively affecting your daily life and getting in the way of completing tasks, do not hesitate to go to the Student Counseling Center. If you are worried that something about your menstrual cycle isn’t normal or that something is wrong, discuss it with your OBGYN. If you do not have someone to go to or you cannot afford a visit, the Women’s Resource Center can help. Finally, no matter where you are in your life, exercise has immense benefits for you and your body. Stay safe, stay healthy, and remember to love your body.