College students live in a fast-paced environment filled with stress, and the Women’s Center will dedicate a week for overwhelmed students to focus on themselves.
“We think that it is important that we set aside some time to really think about our value that is separate from a number on a scale,” M. Geneva Murray, director of the Ohio University’s Women’s Center, said. “And to focus on what it is that we love and appreciate about ourselves. Sometimes we need a little help with that.”
From Sept. 26-30, the Women’s Center, the Women’s Panhellenic Association and the Positivity Project are hosting “Love Yourself Week.” Each day of the week there will be different activities for students to participate in.
The week will start out with “No Makeup Monday,” in which students are encouraged to have a free face for the day or wipe off their makeup for a photo on the first floor of Baker Center.
“The point of No Makeup Monday is not to make people feel bad for wearing makeup,” Murray said. “I think a lot of us participating love our makeup and can even view it as an art form.”
Murray said Monday will be one of the only days people will see her without makeup.
“No Makeup Monday is an opportunity for us to say that whatever makeup means to us and whatever we might use it for regularly,” she said. “We’re not beholding to the fact that we have to wear makeup in order to be beautiful.”
Loran Marsan, a women’s gender and sexuality studies visiting assistant professor, said that she plans on participating in Love Yourself Week activities.
“A lot of women wear a lot of makeup because they feel fearful of being critiqued, and that is not a good reason for wearing makeup,” Marsan said.
Also on Monday, Jennifer Cassetta, a nutritionist, personal trainer, self-defense expert and author, will present a speech titled “Hear Me Roar.”
“She really wants people to think about how they can prevent sexual violence and think about sexual assault prevention,” Murray said.
On Wednesday, there will be a scale smashing event at 11 a.m. at Howard Park. The event will give students the opportunity to either ruin or refurbish body scales, Murray said.
“The idea with scale smashing is that we are more than just a number, and we are more than just our (body mass index),” Murray said.
Delores Hensley, a freshman studying creative writing, said she plans on participating in No Makeup Monday and possibly other events during Love Yourself Week.
“I think it seems really cool. I know a lot of people tend to judge what they’re worth based off of the way they look or their weight, and I think that’s really ridiculous,” Hensley said.
The women’s center is holding a Show your #Selfie event, in which participants are encouraged to show self love through affirmational words, photos and videos at an interactive art display at 6 p.m. in the Baker Center Theatre on Wednesday. The activity will focus on encouraging students to reclaim self imagery, Murray said.
“Stress is a really big issue for a lot of students, and the body positivity week and the Love Yourself Week is a way for all students to find options, actions and ideas that can help them cope and be happy,” Marsan said.