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Body Acceptance Week: Reframing how we think and talk about our bodies

What you should know about the annual campus observation that helps raise awareness and share resources
body acceptance week
Body Acceptance Week is hosted by Health Promotion and Wellness, Counseling and Psychological Services, Dining and the Women’s Center.

Body image is complex and students' relationships with their own bodies can be tested while existing within a college environment. Each year, Body Acceptance Week provides opportunities for the Northwestern community to explore these complexities while sharing resources and support.

“We are constantly bombarded with messages about our bodies: how they should look, how we should feel about them, and what we should do to change them,” said Sam Conway, assistant director of mental health promotion at Health Promotion and Wellness (HPaW). “Body Acceptance Week seeks to engage students in dialogue and reflection about what these messages do to us, what we can do to counter them, and how we can collectively change the conversation about body image.”

Hosted by HPaW, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Dining and the Women’s Center, Body Acceptance Week runs through March 4 and features a range of programming on topics including body liberation, body neutrality and body positivity.

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Intuitive Eating and Building Community

Come share a meal with Fallon Weatherspoon, staff therapist and eating concerns coordinator in CAPS, and campus dietitian Maddy McDonough. They will discuss the 10 principles of intuitive eating, which integrates instinct, emotion and rational thought to cultivate a more positive relationship with food and body.

The meal runs from noon to 1 p.m. in the Norris University Center Scholars Room 204.

Wednesday, March 1

Watch Party for Eating Disorders Awareness Month

Attend a watch party featuring a recorded panel discussion about eating disorders, diet trends, and how we can all work together to change the culture on our campus.

This event, hosted by Conway and Weatherspoon, runs 6:30 to 8 p.m. in University Hall, Room 101. 

Thursday, March 2

Self-Compassion and Body Awareness

Self-compassion is extending kindness and understanding to yourself. Most of us would never subject those we love to the harsh criticism we reserve for ourselves. Yet we don’t think twice about judging ourselves — what we do, what we say and how we look. Check out these resources about body image and self-compassion.

Friday, March 3

For future reflection, HPaW has provided this list of resources that further explores many of the topics covered throughout Body Acceptance Week.

Saturday, March 4

Moving Our Bodies with Joy and Acceptance

All bodies are welcome to join Eight Counts Ballet Company, Northwestern’s premiere student-run ballet group, to move and dance with a spirit of joy. Whether you’ve never stepped foot in a dance studio or have a perfect pirouette, all are welcome to come out and get moving.

The ballet class runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, Room 230.