The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

88° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Positive body image workshop creates culture of body image acceptance

    The word “acceptance” is widely distributed to us as a reminder that we must accept ourselves for who we are as individuals, even if it means accepting our flaws. The same idea can also be applied to the images that we bestow on our own physical bodies.

    The UA Campus Health Service, along with the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Chapter here in Tucson, will be hosting an introductory “Body Positive” Workshop in the Rincon Room of the Student Union Memorial Center on Thursday to discuss the challenges and issues associated with negative body imagery and how these issues are often linked to mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide.

    “Basically what we’re trying to do here is create a culture of body acceptance,” said Gale Welter Coleman, nutrition services coordinator at CHS. “This is why I’m bringing in Elizabeth Scott to our campus to help distribute the message regarding body-image problems and how we can improve on those issues.”

    Scott and Connie Sobczak founded the movement in 1996 with the hope of creating a vivid community that offers a voice and helps those who are struggling to obtain a positive perception of their own body.

    “We all live with body image,” said Lee Ann Hamilton, assistant director of Health Promotion and Prevention Services.

    The organization is dedicated to helping build peer leadership programs across college campuses in the hopes of not only addressing areas of need such as self-destructive behaviors caused by conflicts with our own physical bodies like eating disorders, but to also provide leadership training aimed at creating Body Positive on college campuses.

    “[They] provide training and educational materials needed for students and staff members to become Body Positive leaders who work to establish a climate where self-care, positive imagery, as well as healthy eating are considered the norm,” according to the organization’s website.

    Furthermore, in order to establish itself as a well-organized group, the organization comprises itself of five competencies that can help others live peacefully within their own physical selves.

    The first competence, “Reclaiming Health,” teaches students to uncover messages that they receive regarding health and how to distinguish between those that are good messages and those that can cause self-destructive behavior.

    The second competence discusses the importance of practicing intuitive self-care so that our bodies have the capacity to obtain a healthy experience.

    “Cultivating Self-Love,” the third competence, allows students to move away from self-criticism about our own bodies and become aware of the voices that raise criticism.

    The fourth competence, “Authentic Beauty,” teaches us to find inner beauty without having to resort to the ideal images imposed on us by society.

    Lastly, “Build Community,” seeks to encourage individuals to be connected with others in order to establish a community of support and harmony.

    The discussion regarding body image is one that reaches many parts in our society and ultimately affects individuals who struggle to find inner peace with their own bodies.

    If you would like to take part in this introductory workshop, secure your spot by emailing Laura Orlich at or call (520) 250-1007.

    Follow Ernesto Fierro on Twitter.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search