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Beyond the Looking Glass: Promoting Body Positivity

In a world where women are bombarded daily with photo-shopped images and advertisements dictating how they should look, having a strong sense of body acceptance can become a strenuous task.

With the incredible Vagina Monologues just coming to a close and International Women’s Day occurring this past Sunday, there is a newfound advocacy on Chapman’s campus regarding women’s body positivity. While it can be a touchy subject, it seems that there has been an increase in the promotion of positive self-esteem and a call to fight against the media’s portrayal of body standards for women.

While a woman’s self esteem can be a very personal matter, there has been an increasing opportunity for discussions regarding body acceptance. International movements such as Free the Nipple and the Dove Social Mission work to empower women and create a change in attitude regarding a woman’s body.

Beyond the Looking Glass, an event co-hosted by the Chapman Feminists, takes these same goals and brings it to a local level. Planned for Saturday, March 14, Beyond the Looking Glass is an event aiming to promote women’s body positivity through a guided discussion followed by an optional photo-shoot, intended to be a way for individuals to express their personal body acceptance.

We asked Jillian Strong, one of the creators of Beyond the Looking Glass, to give us some details on the upcoming event.

OF: How would you describe Beyond the Looking Glass?

JS: Beyond the Looking Glass is an event where we are looking to create a safe space for individuals to talk and reflect about themselves and what body acceptance means to them. It’s a way for individuals to be in a space where it’s okay to be vulnerable with themselves and grow from it.”

OF: What was the inspiration for this event?

JS: The inspiration, well it came from a couple of different things. It got thought up back in December around the time of Undie Run, after noticing the amount of time and effort that individuals put in the week before just to make their bodies seem perfect for the event. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong in working out to get the body you feel comfortable in, but the week before Undie Run is when it excessively increases. Also during that time, The Panther published a breast augmentation ad, and to clarify, you are fully free to do what you want with your body, but in a setting where students are in constant pressure to fit this physical image; additionally, as a women in society, I found the ad to be extremely problematic, and I wanted to address it somehow in a positive and progressive way.”

OF: What kind of outcome are you hoping to get from putting on Beyond the Looking Glass?

JS: As for outcome, I want individuals to come out of this event feeling accepted with themselves. It’s hard to say because I want everyone who attends to have their own idea of what they want to get out of it. It’s a very vulnerable event where it’s up to you what you take away from it.”

Beyond the Looking Glass will take place on March 14 from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. in Irvine Lecture Hall. More information can be found on their Facebook event page. If you can, find the time to make it to this incredible event. It sounds like something worth attending!

 

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