At Northwestern University (IL), Body Acceptance Week is held during the last week in February, offering an opportunity to raise awareness about and foster body acceptance. This year’s theme focused on the negative impact social media can have on body image. Topics included mindful and intuitive eating, “beauty sickness,” self-compassion, eating disorders, moving our bodies with joy and acceptance, and more.
“Our overall mission is to create and support a campus community in which all students can thrive,” Angela Mitchell, the director of sponsoring organization Health Promotion and Wellness, told The Daily Northwestern. “Body acceptance is a core piece of one’s well-being.”
Psychology Prof. Renee Engeln hosted a Q&A on body image within society and social media. She said that, while the anti-fat bias and body positivity movements are making strides, research indicates that fat bias is actually increasing. “It’s very hard for those movements to compete against a culture that is overwhelmingly focused on appearance and narrow body ideals,” Engeln told the paper. “There’s a lot of tension that people feel. We want a different media landscape, but when you spend your years being taught to value a certain body, you can’t turn it off.”
Read more about Body Acceptance Week at Northwestern here.