Student Affairs units host events for body positivity and awareness

October 07, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Oct. 11–15 is National Love Your Body Week, and a week of programming dedicated to promoting body positivity and awareness will be offered on the University Park campus.

The week's events are hosted by Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW), Gender Equity Center, the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development, and Campus Recreation, all units of Student Affairs.

Throughout the week, various Student Affairs units will provide a variety of different offerings and engagements to enable students to consider their own body image, recognize negative self-talk, and develop a stronger sense of love and positivity towards their bodies and everything bodies do for us.

Sonalee Rashatwar

Sonalee Rashatwar

IMAGE: Provided

This year, the keynote speaker also serves as the keynote for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is recognized in October.

“Our keynote speaker, Sonalee Rashatwar, will highlight the often-overlooked connection between intimate partner violence, abuse, body image and self-esteem,” said Becca Geiger, assistant director of the Gender Equity Center.

“Negative body image and self-esteem grow in shame, silence, isolation and judgement, which are often key forms of control utilized by perpetrators who manipulate and emotionally abuse their partners, making them feel worthless and unlovable, further trapping them in the relationship," Geiger said.

Love Your Body Week is open to all Penn State students, staff, faculty and community members. All are invited to attend the free events and activities to help enhance body image, learn more about resources, and gain skills to support the community. Events include:

Love Your Body (& Spirit) Lunch and Learn

Oct. 11 at 12:30 p.m., 130 Pasquerilla, Garden Room

Join the Center for Spiritual and Ethical development for a conversation around intentionally using spiritual and mindful practices to promote body positivity and racial self-love. No matter your own identity and spiritual practices, you can apply self-love as a part of your everyday spiritual practice, incorporating these activities into your self-care routine.

Cardio Dance Party

Oct. 11 and 13, 5:45–6:30 p.m., and Oct. 12 and 14, 7:15–8 p.m., 124/125 Intramural (IM) Building

Get ready to dance your heart out to the songs you love! This cardio-based dance class is filled with fun choreography and will get you sweating. All experience levels and body types are welcome. Dancing has no size limit and this class will help you appreciate your body for all the amazing things it can do on the dance floor.

Keynote: Sonalee Rashatwar

Oct. 12 at 7 p.m., Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center

Join the Gender Equity Center and Health Promotion and Wellness for an evening with Sonalee Rashatwar, also known by her popular Instagram handle, @TheFatSexTherapist. Rashatwar is serving as the keynote speaker for both Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Love Your Body Week. Rashatwar will be discussing body image abuse and trauma in unhealthy and abusive relationships as well as in relationship with society, including conversations about fat phobia and unpacking the intersections of fat, gender, race, and white supremacy.

Individuals can join the conversation virtually by registering for the livestream. Funded by the Laura R. Whitaker Fund and the student-initiated fee.

Canva and Chamomile

Oct. 13 at 5:30–6:30 p.m., on Zoom

Pour a mug of your favorite warm drink and settle in to create your own body-positive digital collages or follow one of the preset templates made by the Center for the Performing Arts and Student Engagement Programs Offices.

Body Image: A Continuum

Oct. 14 at 6–7 p.m., on Zoom (registration required)

Co-sponsored by Health Promotion and Wellness, the Gender Equity Center, and Smeal College of Business, this session will be lead by Megan Marshall, M.Ed. Megan will guide participants through a body image exercise to consider its impact on mental health and self-esteem and how body image is an important part of building belonging as our bodies are part of our identity. Registration is required for participants to receive the Zoom link for the event. Additionally, prior to the workshop on Oct. 14, participants must download the "Letter to your Younger Self Activity" and complete the instructions.

For more information on Love Your Body Week events, visit HPW’s Events & Programs page.

Last Updated October 08, 2021