Body Project has big plans for Bradley

Speakers, workshops and classes focus on positive body images
The Women’s Studies Program and the Wellness Center have worked to develop a program that will help students challenge the stereotypical body norms of looking like Barbie and G.I. Joe.
The Body Project was started in 2007 with events focusing on individual body image including comedians, guest speakers and various workshops and fairs.
According to its Web site, The Body Project was established to make students increase their awareness of self-image problems, as well as help students to accept the human body “in all its shapes and sizes.”
“The Body Project doesn’t leave anything to chance,” said Marianna Divietro, a student who is involved in the project. “It does not just encourage young men and women to change their negative perceptions into more positive ones, it looks to various outside resources, all current and recognized, to exemplify the benefits of embracing health and nourishment.”
This past Monday, the group brought Bradley student Kristin Kaye, a National Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion, to talk about her struggles with overcoming an eating disorder as a female athlete.
Junior psychology major Ryan Henderson attended the event and said he thought what the Body Project is doing is something a lot of students could benefit from hearing.
“With all of the societal pressures to look a certain way and the media producing an ‘ideal image,’ people, especially college students, need to realize that expectations of others are not as important as the expectations of happiness for yourself,” Henderson said.
Along with the event, tomorrow the group will be host a belly-dancing workshop from 10:30 p.m. to midnight at Late Night BU in the Markin Family Student Recreation Center.
“The media seems to portray weight loss and gain as popular trends,” Divietro said.  “Sometimes it is cool to be thick. Sometimes, the only way to be is extremely thin.  What the Body Project works to do is stabilize men and women’s personal and healthy image so that their perceptions don’t change with the times.”