With all of the stress from college, and pressures from the media and peers to look a certain way, it can be hard to take time to appreciate yourself and the way you were created as a person. That’s why Ohio University’s Women’s Center is hosting Love Yourself Week.
Love Yourself Week is sponsored by the Women’s Panhellenic Association, the Women’s Center, the Positivity Project and the Intersectional Feminist Alliance. The week is about promoting self-esteem, building confidence, developing professionalism and celebrating the successes of women.
Originally, the Women’s Panhellenic Association was sponsoring a week of female empowerment, while the OU Women’s Center was only sponsoring a day. Three years ago, the two groups decided to collaborate and form an important relationship that resulted the in the current week of activities.
If You Go:
What: Video Affirmations
When: 9 a.m., Mon.
Where: Outside the fourth floor of Baker Center
What: Scale Smashing
When: 11 a.m., Tues.
Where: Howard Park
When: 4:30 p.m., Wed.
Where: Baker Center 240/242
When: Noon, Fri.
Where: Baker 354
Geneva Murray is the director of the Women’s Center and one of the brains behind the operation.
“I’m very proud of our relationship with the Panhellenic Association,” Murray said. “We are able to talk about women’s empowerment from different angles. This week will encourage women to love themselves in all different facets, not just in regards to the body but also mentally.”
The activities start Monday with “Video Affirmations.” The Women’s Center will be showing short talks about affirmations that have nothing to do with physical appearance. This can be for the individual or their friends, but it’s about loving people and affirming people while taking their physical appearance out of it.
Women will be participating in “Scale Smashing” on Tuesday. This is to challenge beauty norms and teach women that self-worth is determined through health, not a number on a scale. The event will let women smash their scales or repurpose them.
A free yoga practice will take place in Baker Center on Wednesday.
On Thursday, OU will welcome victims’ rights advocate and creator of the viral hashtag #WhyIStayed, Beverly Gooden. Gooden is the keynote speaker for the week’s events. She will be discussing her personal domestic violence story as well as how everyone can help victims, and break the myths that people believe about abuse.
The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Women’s Leadership Summit will take place on Friday. It will focus on personal and professional development through inspirational speakers, academic approaches and real-life experience.
Due to the conference filling up quickly, on the final day there will also be a Dine-n-Discuss with the LGBT Center. The discussion will be led by LGBT Center Director delfin bautista and will cover eating disorders and LGBTQ identities.
Students were excited to hear that Love Yourself Week was happening and are looking forward to participating in the events.
Sydney Liptak, a freshman studying journalism, was proud of OU for putting this event together.
“It’s exciting to see women coming together to break beauty norms,” Liptak said. “Seeing women loving each other and themselves at the same time makes me so happy.”
Jane Armstrong, a freshman studying wildlife and conservation biology, is also excited to see how everyone will react to the activities this week.
“I am very excited to participate in these activities,” Armstrong said. “It will be such a great experience for women to come together and love themselves for who they are.”
Dr. Murray is extremely excited to see all of the different things women take away from this week, but also has some of her own hopes of what she wants women to understand.
“This week allows us to expand our notions of what it means to appreciate who we are, thinking beyond what society has sometimes told us is what’s beautiful or healthy,” Murray said. “These events will give people the chance to explore those points on many different levels.”