The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday December 10th

Feminist Friday celebrates all types of beauty

Rachel Guerra of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders spoke about body image at the Campus Y Friday afternoon as a part of the Feminist Friday series.
Buy Photos Rachel Guerra of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders spoke about body image at the Campus Y Friday afternoon as a part of the Feminist Friday series.

Rachel Guerra, a research assistant at the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, said society has a skewed perception of eating disorders.

“Historically, eating disorders have been seen as a women’s issue,” Guerra said. “More specifically, a rich, teenage, straight, skinny, white girl’s issue.”

Guerra discussed this stereotype at the “Feminist Friday: Self Love and Body Positivity” event, hosted by Embody Carolina and Carolina Advocating for Gender Equality, as part of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

“Eating disorders do not discriminate,” Guerra said. “They affect people of every age, sexual orientation, religion, race, gender and socio-economic status. They come in all shapes and sizes.”

The perception that eating disorders are a female issue excludes many people who suffer from them, Guerra, a former co-chairperson of Embody Carolina, said.

Rachel Allen, co-chairperson of CAGE, said the event helps to spread the message of gender equality and body positivity.

“I just think that gender inequality perpetuates low self-confidence in women, and I think it’s really important to promote self-love and self-care because I don’t think people realize that that’s an important part of life,” she said.

Guerra began the discussion about self-care and self-love by saying that health comes in all shapes and sizes and so does beauty.

“Body positivity is the crazy idea that all bodies are good bodies,” she said. “We need to normalize loving ourselves and our bodies.”

Students discussed advertising campaigns such as American Eagle’s #AerieREAL and the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, which use models who do not fit the accepted stereotypes of beauty. While some students found these campaigns to be a positive step, others said they commercialize women’s insecurities and categorize women as “real” or “unreal.”

Sophomore Emily Hagstrom said these kinds of discussions are important for people to learn how to love themselves.

“These issues are worth discussing because how we feel about our bodies is so linked to these weird societal standards of how we think that gender is constructed,” she said. “It’s very important to know that you are worthy of love no matter what your body size (is).”

Sam Stinson, a first-year medical student, said he was interested in the event from a health care perspective.

“I’m just getting an idea of what people are thinking so that, when having a patient interaction and needing to talk about some of these things, I can be more informed,” he said.

Regan Buchanan, incoming Campus Y co-president, said she came to support CAGE and Embody, which are both Campus Y committees.

“But also, what rational person doesn’t love feminism?” she said.

university@dailytarheel.com



Comments

The Daily Tar Heel's 2022 Year in Review

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive