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Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds: Body Appreciation Week
Have you told your body lately that you love it? From July 9 to 13, join The Women’s Centre in celebrating and appreciating the bodies we live in with Body Appreciation Week.
The Women’s Centre offers female-positive support through a number of initiatives, including workshops, film screenings, and guest lectures. The Centre also strives to inform students about issues related to women’s health and sexual violence, and promotes inclusivity across campus.
Body Appreciation Week takes place annually and features a variety of events to encourage, promote, and provide informative resources about healthy body image and body care.
“While The Women’s Centre works year-round to make UWaterloo a more positive place, Body Appreciation Week allows us to concentrate our efforts through a variety of public events,” said Alyssa Ozaruk, social director at The Women’s Centre. “These events are both for fun and education. We encourage [students] to learn more about, and ultimately forge a loving relationship with, their bodies.”
Ozaruk strongly encourages all students to participate in Body Appreciation Week events on campus, not only to help spread the message of body positivity, but also to invite students to learn more about what The Women’s Centre offers.
“We want people to learn about us, spend time with us, and use our services and resources. Body Appreciation Week just so happens to be a perfect opportunity for UWaterloo community members to connect with one another in a safe and supportive environment,” Ozaruk said.
Body Appreciation Week is just one of the centre’s many ways of engaging students on the topic of body positivity, Ozaruk said, but the Women's Centre wants to keep the conversations going throughout the year.
“We’re an intersectional feminist organization, which means that we challenge ourselves, as well as the UWaterloo community, to critically engage with our relationships with bodies. While Body Appreciation Week does provide us an opportunity to do this, The Women’s Centre keeps our office door open, and [we are] active online, so we can continue to promote body positivity through free and confidential services,” Ozaruk said.
These services range from their library of over 900 books, peer support, student-produced zine, pregnancy tests and more.
There are tons of fun events lined up for Body Appreciation Week! Make sure to click the links for more details and important information on each event.
Monday, July 9
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
A laid back evening full of crafts, body-positive discussion and snacks. (No prior sewing experience necessary!)
Tuesday, July 10
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.; 8 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Come make a plaster cast of your bust in a private, safe and body-positive environment. There will also be discussions on the sexualisation of breasts, and how stereotypes perpetuate transphobia and affect body image. (As stated on the event page, this event will be for women-identifying people, people with breasts and non-binary individuals.)
Buddies with Our Bodies
Wednesday, July 11
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
A conversation on myths about genital health, along with materials for an easy and fun DIY self-care sugar scrub. All are welcome!
Thursday, July 12
6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Deconstructing issues related to body politics! A discussion on reproductive rights, dress codes, sexual violence and more.
Spill The Tea
Friday, July 13
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
A drop-in event focused on debunking prevalent tropes and stereotypes over tea, snacks and chatter.
Don’t forget that body appreciation doesn’t end after this week. As Ozaruk shared, learning to love one’s body is something everyone can practice year-round: “The messages of Body Appreciation Week are universal, and The Women’s Centre encourages everyone to practice self-compassion, unlearn negative attitudes, and educate ourselves.”