Why You Should Attend Body Positive Warriors Weekly Meeting

Body Positive Warriors is a safe place for students to come together in a supportive environment. (Photo by Alanya Dk)

The Body Positive Warriors (BPW) is an on-campus workshop at Stanislaus State hosted by licensed counselors that works to introduce students to a positive awareness of health, beauty and identity.

Meeting every Tuesday at 10:15 a.m., the group covers a different topic each week, with topics ranging that from "Reclaiming Health" to "Cultivating Self-Love."

The workshop not only gives participants a platform to talk about issues that concern them, but also "helps us stop judging," said Susann Brumm, a licensed professional clinical counselor, who works for Psychological Counseling Services on Stan State's Turlock campus.

The workshop also helps participants become aware of the incredible diversity of people and that every person is different and therefore cannot be forced into certain ideals of beauty. Through various group exercises, an awareness of acceptance and love for one's own body is created.

“It gives you the tools to catch the negative thoughts towards yourself and helps you to change it.” said Edward Colorado, a licensed clinical social worker who helps run the event.

Social media in particular has increased the pressure to conform to an ideal of beauty-it influences us all, even if we are not aware of it.

"The primary thing is the comparison. I think it just creates a distorted view of how people look,” said Colorado.

There are countless studies that prove that social media invites us to optimize our self-presentation. especially with the rise of social media stars who have become increasingly influential. These influencers may present themselves in an emphatically approachable manner, appearing as "people like you and me," but behind the scenes, their posts and appearances are all about marketing.

Against this background, it becomes clear that the pressure on students, especially young people, has definitely grown. Not only do you have to look perfect, but you also have to portray a special lifestyle and talents.

Constant preoccupation with oneself and the associated self-criticism can easily get out of hand. This can fuel self-doubt and sometimes has a negative effect on self-image, self-confidence, and the relationship to one's own body.

That's exactly why the BPW workshop is so beneficial for many. Not only do the thoughts and feelings of participants change for the better, but it also has an effect on others.

“The impact is bigger than just helping one person,” Brumm explained. “They (the participants) impact a lot of people."

In doing so, she wants to emphasize that participants transfer the positive experiences to their environment. One solidifies attitudes not to judge people and to accept that we cannot conform to specific ideals of beauty purely for genetic reasons. The workshops draw attention to important things and create awareness of you and your surroundings and steer away from inattention, which is when we ask but do not listen attentively, we listen to something but cannot remember the content.

Sarah Kuester (senior, Business Administration) believes that students who may not struggle with body positivity should still attend these meetings.

“It’s still a very good way just to think about you and how you are feeling,” she said.

“There was an inspiring atmosphere in which I could speak freely and openly,” added Sabrina Kilian (junior, Business Administration).

Body Positive Warriors really took off about four years ago, when several CSU advisors including Brumm, attended a Body Positive event in Modesto. The initial skepticism quickly turned into enthusiasm.

“All were impressed by the message and the way they did the event”, said Brumm.

In early 2018, Brumm and a colleague applied for a SPEMI IDEAS grant which would provide financial and academic support for innovative ideas on campus. The grant was eventually rewarded, so the idea of the BPW workshop at Stan State was redeveloped and offered.

The BPW workshop aims to provide a whole new perspective on health, beauty and identity. Even if you don't think you are in need of advice, you can always learn and develop. If you are interested in attending a BPW workshop, you are welcome to register for the upcoming Zoom meeting on their official Stan State webpage.

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