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'Love Your Body Day' celebrates women's bodies

By Jelissa Neal
On February 16, 2014

Students gathered together this past Tuesday with the same goal in mind: to celebrate women's bodies.
While celebrating is often thought to include streamers, balloons and party music, it can also be in the form of awareness, of no longer keeping the topic of a woman's body as taboo and allowing for conversations to happen without censorship.
This year, Love Your Body Day was sponsored by Outreach & Advocacy: Sexuality Information for Students and the Wellness Committee.
Some campus organizations and local businesses at the event had booths and each booth targeted either some aspect that women face each and every day.
FMLA had a booth that was set up to educate both men and women on safe sex.
When asked why FMLA wanted to be part of Love Your Body Day, Caroline Locke replied, "A lot of people have sexual intercourse, and they feel that's part of loving your body and using their body to do good things. So we want to make sure that everyone stays healthy and uses their body in a healthy way and love their body by appreciating the safe route in [avoiding] STDs and preventing pregnancy, if that's what you want to do."
Representatives of H.E.R.O.E.S. were asked the same question: why they felt a need to be part of Love Your Body Day.
Ben Schaller replied, "There are a lot of preconceived notations of what it is to be a gay man or a gay woman, and then you have to form fit whatever Hollywood preconceived notion, so there's a lot of personal image disorders."
"To fight that today here we are using fun-time nametags," said Jenn Bachman, treasurer of H.E.R.O.E.S.
Visitors of the H.E.R.O.E.S. booth were given nametags on which they could write a compliment about themselves to help promote the idea of self love and self worth.
There were stations set up for massages and relaxation.
Earth Fare, which gives students a 5 percent discount on Wednesdays, had a station targeting health and offered students green tea.
Dr. Lisa Ousley, clinic director of Student Health Services, provided an interactive display, which allowed others to see what a normal breast without lumps feels like versus a breast that contains lumps.
She also stressed that yearly mammograms should be done once a woman is 40, so spread the word.
The Little City Roller Girls had a station that explained what roller derby is.
Women are often not considered physically strong, and if they are, then they are somehow lessened as a woman.
These women showed that the juxtaposition of strength and femininity are possible. The Little City Roller Girls have four scrimmages taking place from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at 522 Princeton Road in Johnson City. This event is free to the public.
The Women's Studies Program was the only major with a station at this event.
Zach Tuggle, a women's studies student explained why it was important for them to be there.
"Women's studies is an interdisciplinary field and it also works to engage the student body by being involved, not just on campus, but in the community as well.  So we're always welcome to new ideas and new events. We just try to get out there and really meet people and get to know people and motivate and move the student body."
If anyone missed Love Your Body Day, there will be another opportunity to support other women.
April 3 will be "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," which will be a great way for men to show their support for women and join the International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. Registration is open now. For more information contact Kate Emmerich at emmerich@etsu.edu or oasis@etsu.edu for more information.


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