Participants in Southern Smash, an event held to raise awareness for social stigmas surrounding body image and support organizations at UNC, were invited to write down negative opinions of themselves, tie them to balloons and let them go. Students then used bats and hammers to demolish personal weight scales.
McCall Dempsey, the founder of Southern Smash, said the group’s mission was not solely to raise awareness of disorders but also to promote self-confidence.
“Our mission is to bring attention to not only eating disorders but also positive body image as well,” Dempsey said.
Organizers invited participants to reflect on what oppresses them and what they love about themselves.
Between 10 and 20 percent of college-aged women and four and 10 percent of college-aged men suffer from eating disorders in America and more suffer from poor body image, according to Embody Carolina, a UNC-based eating disorder support group.
The event was sponsored by Carolina House, the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, Embody Carolina and the UNC Panhellenic Council. The groups also held an informational dialogue with students.
Senior Chloe Paterson thought UNC students would be especially susceptible to eating disorders.
“Carolina students face a lot of pressure to be perfect, and that doesn’t help,” she said.