University of Rochester

Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Awareness week focuses on healthy body image
By Enid Arbelo
Focusing on inner beauty and a healthy body image are just a few messages that student groups will share across campus for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week that starts February 22. This year’s theme, “Be Comfortable in Your Genes,” reminds people that genetics play a role in determining body size and shape.
That’s why the week’s hallmark event is the Great Jeans Giveaway. From February 26 to March 2, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to donate old or new jeans that do not fit comfortably and to wear jeans that fit their body type. Jeans will be collected in boxes in residence hall laundry rooms or at the awareness week table in Hirst Lounge in Wilson Commons. Donations will be given to the Unity Clothes Closet.
Throughout the week, Wilson Commons will also be the place where student groups will provide information about eating disorders and how to reach out to friends who may be need help. A video filmed by a University student that depicts the impact of eating disorders on individuals and their family and friends will be shown at the table.
Other events that week include:
• February 26: “Day Without Mirrors.” Mirrors across River Campus will be covered with positive, self-affirming messages to remind people to focus on inner beauty not outward appearances.
• March 1: “Be Comfortable in Your Genes.” Mary Tantillo and Taillie Tisher from the Western New York Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders will talk about the role of genetics in the development of eating disorders and answer questions from the audience at 7 p.m. in the Gowen Room in Wilson Commons.
• March 1: Free Screenings. University Counseling Center will provide confidential eating disorder screening from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first floor of Wilson Commons. The screenings include a brief questionnaire and a conversation with a UCC counselor. Screenings also can be competed online at
The week’s events are sponsored by the Panhellenic Association, Phi Sigma Sigma, Delta Gamma, Alpha Phi, Sigma Delta Tau, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Delta, Sigma Lambda Upsilon, Zeta Phi Beta, Freshman Fellows, Health & Home Special Interest Floor, D’Lions, and the UHS Health Promotion Office and the University Counseling Center.
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