Celebrating Body Positivity: Thank You, Rice
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Celebrating Body Positivity: Thank You, Rice

Every week should be like this!

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Celebrating Body Positivity: Thank You, Rice

This past week at Rice, we celebrated, among other things, “I <3 Consent Week” and “Body Positivity Week,” put on by the Rice Women’s Resource Center and the Rice Alliance for Mental Health Awareness club, respectively. Not only are each of these ideas (consent and body positivity) important on their own, I love the fact that they were combined in one week. These topics are especially impactful on college campuses, where a lot of young adults are in one place, oftentimes drinking and going to parties on the weekends. There can be a lot of pressure to maintain a certain “look” (you’ve probably heard of the infamous "Freshman 15"), and there are many dangers associated with a lack of consent on college campuses. Although Rice is not perfect, and sexual assault is prevalent on campus (as it is, sadly, on all college campuses), I am proud of Rice for starting the conversation on campus regarding consent and body positivity through these two weeklong events.

I see body positivity as celebrating and accepting your body for what it is. In a world where society is always judging and has specific standards of beauty, it can be hard to see yourself as beautiful when you don’t necessarily look like the model on a magazine cover. College is a time of finding yourself and figuring out what you like and want to do the rest of your life. In the process of finding yourself, it can be hard to set realistic standards for yourself and not feel any pressure to look or behave a certain way. Body Positivity Week is a great reminder that every body is beautiful, no matter how you may be feeling. Throughout the week, RAMHA put on cool events that fostered a positive and open environment with free food, photo campaigns, and open discussion regarding body positivity and mental health.

Similarly, the RWRC hosted a week focused on consent. On Monday, there was an event where students could go and create body positive collages to start off the week on a good footing. I ended up going and creating a collage that had pictures of a lot of things I like (e.g., a kitten, macaroni and cheese, and a smiley emoji) rather than focusing on bodies, but the event was overall wonderful. I got to meet (and make collages with) a bunch of cool and supportive people. We talked about celebrating women, bodies, and healthy lifestyles — all while eating delicious queso. Later in the week, panels and workshops were held to promote safe sex and to learn how to intervene to prevent sexual violence.

Although RAMHA and the RWRC have long been active members of the Rice community, I was really glad that their featured weeks occurred at the same time. As I mentioned before, college campuses all across the country have lots of work to do in terms of protecting against sexual assault and providing resources for those seeking help for mental health issues, but Rice clubs are taking a step in the right direction in terms of garnering awareness for important topics. Consent and body positivity shouldn’t just be talked about for one week; they should be constant, positive focuses of our lives. As students, we must support these groups in order to work for more positivity and safety on college campuses.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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