Body Positive is a workshop here at Stan State that has been active for a little over a year. Brought to the campus in 2018 by two counselors from the Psychological Counseling Services, Susan Brumm, LPCC and Ann Marie Washington, L.C.S.W, the Body Positive workshop focuses on “creating community and a shared positive approach to beauty, health and identity; supporting success in life and academics,” says Washington.
Body Positive was brought to this campus after Brumm and Washington applied for a grant that would help fund the program. Washington says that “…out of 24 grants submitted, ours was 1 of 8 that was funded to bring Body Positive to the campus.”
However, according to thebodypositive.org, the Body Positive was created by Connie Sobczak and Elizabeth Scott in 1996 to “[help] people develop balanced, joyful self-care and a relationship with their bodies…”
Since then, they have provided platforms for people to become Body Positive Facilitators, which is what Brumm and Washington are.
Among their team are two students who are part of the Core Action Team and facilitators. Washington says that they heavily rely on these students to give voice to “...what the student body needs and what it sounds like."
One of the students that is part of the Core Action Team is Brianna Faria (junior, Kinesiology). Faria believes that the Body Positive workshop is a place for her to “...focus on whatever [she’s] feeling… along with learning new perspectives on how to take care of [her]self.”
Body Positive is a place where students, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation can go to learn about self-love and accepting yourself for who you are. The club hopes to provide a safe space for students, where they can go to discuss any issues they may be facing, without the fear of being judged.
It is important for students to have access to something like this club because, as students, we all face struggles in our everyday lives and we need a community to be there to listen to us and help us face our struggles.
“As college students, we are all trying to find ourselves. We are trying to figure out what works for us and what doesn’t; to find our own happiness and acceptance of our own,” says Faria.
This is something that Body Positive can help students with. Fabian Hernandez (senior, History) says that having a workshop like the Body Positive is so important to our campus because “we have such a diverse field of bodies here on campus. It is important to know that there isn’t a particular body type that’s acceptable.”
This is why the workshop started. Being a counselor at the Psychological Counseling center, Washington said that she felt there was a need for something like this on campus due to her past experiences with students who suffered from body issues.
The pressure that societal norms have on the population has a huge impact, especially on teens and young adults. “With what our culture tells us about who we are, what we should look like, [it] needs to be challenged and we need to get a realistic idea of who we are and what we should look like and not what Hollywood or entertainment or magazines are telling us we should look like,'' says Washington.
Body Positive strives to help you challenge what others tell you you should look like and instead, accept yourself for who you are.
Body Positive will continue to provide a space for students to practice self-care, build a community, and prioritize their health.
Join them in Spring of 2020 as they enter another year of the workshop!