Nor’easters Increase Body Image Awareness

The body image epidemic has hit home, and students are becoming more aware of the problem. Juliette Finnerman, a sophomore at UNE, has seen the issue of body image on campus, “I’ve heard a few friends talk about knowing people on campus with eating disorders and I have a couple of friends who are always worrying and talking about how their body looks.”

Recently I encountered something brand new to me while working off campus: discrimination for the way I look. It came out of the blue in an ordinary conversation about what to get for lunch. The question was, what kind of food did I like? After listing off some of my favorites, like sushi, mac-n-cheese, and Chinese food, to be sure that we went somewhere I liked I added that I didn’t eat meat other than chicken. Very casually and in all seriousness the man I was working with said, “I don’t believe you because vegetarians aren’t usually fat.”

Now although this encounter happened off campus, it got me thinking. Is body image an issue at UNE? The arrival of Tess Munster with the #EffYourBeautyStandards movement and Meghan Trainor with All About that Bass into mainstream media more awareness is being brought about physical appearance, and yet you still don’t hear a lot about it on campus.

Jordan Porter, a senior and resident advisor in Sokokis Hall, spoke very openly about the topic. “Body image is an issue at UNE. I believe it is an issue at virtually every college campus,” Porter continued, “As college students, though, it is a difficult topic to talk about with each other.”

Finnerman is passionate about trying to bring about body positive awareness, “Maybe UNE could hold programs that speak about the issue and give tips, but ultimately it’s up to the person struggling with the issue and whether they choose to listen or not.”

Alliance is the LGBTQ and Straight Ally club on campus. They pride themselves on being a safe space where you are free to talk about anything you want with no judgement. Besides LGBTQ acceptance, Alliance has begun to work towards body positivity as well. They have been planning a body positive themed event called the Nearly Naked Mile. Due to a couple conflicts it has been postponed until fall semester 2015.

If you or someone you know is struggling with body image there are many services on campus available for assistance. A few of the services are counseling, title IX coordinators, and nutritionists. As the issue of body image comes more into the spotlight, it is good to be more aware and know that someone you are close with might be struggling with this hidden disease.