Love you! Photo booth captures love of body, self
| Audrey Dighans copy editor |
Throughout the year anyone who visits Pitt State quickly learns the Oval is always busy, be it campus commuters, bake sales, 72-hour teeter-totterers or more recently, photo-booth goers.
Kendra Beye, senior in social work, set up the “Love Your Body” photo booth in the Oval on Wednesday, April 9, as part of her senior project.
“The photo booth was aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of eating disorders and the way the media portrays men and women in television, ads and movies leading to body dissatisfaction,” Beye said.
As April is Love Your Body Month, Beye says the photo booth project seemed like a great idea. For $2 students may take a photo of themselves or with friends while holding signs saying what they love about themselves, including their bodies.
“Proceeds will go to the National Eating Disorders Association,” Beye said.
Christy Perez, mental health counselor, says in the last five years at Pitt State, 24 students struggling with eating disorders have sought help from the health center.
“This is not to say there are not eating disorders on our campus now, it just shows how many students have actively sought treatment,” Perez said.
Perez says the most common diagnosis seen at the counseling center is anxiety; depression is a close second.
Gorillas in Your Midst also worked with Beye by spreading body-positive messages to Pitt State students and staff throughout the campus.
Beye says eating disorders range from 8 to 17 percent of all students on college campuses with anorexia taking the lead in cause of death.
“It has the highest death rate of any mental illness and yet it doesn’t get the funding other mental illnesses do,” Beye said. “Mass media has put such a negative light on the way women should look. They promote poor self-image and cause body dissatisfaction that is just unacceptable.”
Beye added she hopes students will leave the photo booth with a positive view of how they see themselves.
“I want them to love themselves for who they are, flaws and all,” Beye said.
Perez says students are welcome to use services at the University Counseling Center in Bryant Student Health for any concerns related to eating disorders, depression, anxiety, family and or relationship concerns, attention problems or substance abuse.
“For those concerned about themselves or a friend with an eating disorder I would encourage them to seek help,” Perez said. “We also offer medical assistance and dietary follow-up for students.”
Other events on campus this month will also be centered on the theme of Love Your Body including a poetry slam on April 16 and healthy eating tips sponsored by Gorillas in Your Midst at the Student Recreation Center.