The Women’s Center’s celebrate of ‘Love Your Body’ Day included art, nutrition and a burlesque workshop.

Editor’s Note:The burlesque dancer featured in this story agreed to be interviewed and photographed under the condition that The Post refer to her by her stage name.

While Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” plays, Clementine places her silk maroon glove in her mouth, looks at participants seductively and pulls it off her hand with her teeth. After putting it back on, she steps on the glove while wearing it, bends over and pulls the glove off with a slight smile.

Twelve to 13 participants watch, then mimic her moves using her scarves, gloves and boas, to the song “Naughty Girl” by Beyoncé.

Clementine was performing a burlesque workshop in honor of “Love Your Body Day” which, according to the National Organization for Women Foundation, is part of a campaign that “challenges the message that a woman’s value is best measured through her willingness and ability to embody current beauty standards.”

The burlesque workshop was one of three events held by the Ohio University Women’s Center in celebration of the day.

Jennie Klein, associate professor of art history and associate director of the School of Art and Design, discussed the representation of motherhood by contemporary artists in the Women’s Center.

“I learned a lot. I hadn’t really thought about the concept of mothering in art really,” Sarah Jenkins, program coordinator of the Women’s Center, said. “Art is one of those things that we sometimes think of people, especially women, as being selfish if they choose that over other things. (We discussed) how does that fit into being a mother, this thing we expect women to choose over anything else.”  

At 2 p.m., nutrition counselor Selena Baker and Jamie Dorman, who studies applied nutrition, held a presentation in the Women’s Center about tips to keep bodies at their best health.

Specifically, Baker talked about the importance of getting enough antioxidants, iron and vitamin D.

Dorman handed out recipes for avocado face masks, body sugar scrubs and infused water.

“I actually did the (avocado mask) last night with my roommate, it feels really nice,” Dorman said at the event. “The star ingredient is the avocado because it’s so high in monounsaturated fats. That’s really good at reducing redness and irritation on your skin.”

The final event of “Love Your Body Day" was the burlesque workshop at 4 p.m. Athens residents and friends since high school Jessica Hayes and Veronica Honeywell said they enjoyed the energy of the workshop.

“A lot of times, women will try to cut each other down, and that’s not what it’s about at all,” Hayes said. “(Burlesque) is accepting, building yourself up, building other women up, so it’s positive.”

Honeywell, who works at Moonstruck Burlesque, added that she loves being able to grow and be a part of a community through burlesque.  

Clementine, who also works at Moonstruck Burlesque and has been performing burlesque for two years, said the activity is a “fierce weapon against body negativity or hatred.”

“I would describe it as a celebration of the body,” Clementine said. “It’s all about confidence and being sexy or being whatever you want to be, not based on how you look, but how you feel, or what you perform and present.”

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Geneva Murray, new director of the Women’s Center, said this was her first time officially participating in a Women’s Center event and was excited about the outcome.

“I think the participants we had today are so energized that we’re going to have to do more love your body activities before next year,” Murray said. “(Body image) impacts every other area of our life, which means that if you’re a student and you’re worried about your weight or how you look, it’s going to be a distraction from so many of the other things that you enjoy in your life. … It’s really important that we provide support to our students so that they are always feeling empowered.”


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