'Brave Bodies' Delves into Health and Body Image

By KRYSTIN BRUNO
On March 30, 2016

On Wednesday, the Ebony Women for Social Change, also known as EWSC, and the Women’s Center presented the “Brave Bodies” event in the Black Student Union office. Members of the EWSC, along with 10 participants- six women and four men- gathered to discuss body image, perceptions of one's body and how these perceptions can affect one's mental health. 

Members of EWSC Ra’Nasia Sangster, Brittany Peters, Brittany Jordan, Taneisha Williams, Domonique Jarrett, DeAndria Barksdale, Hannah McCoy and Juliette McLean began the event by welcoming and thanking everyone for their attendance to the event. 

The event included an informative PowerPoint presentation, addressing subjects such as the importance of sleep in order to regulate a healthy stomach, vaginal health awareness, menstrual cycles, cellphones and their effect on skin, stress and its metabolic effects, hydration, and how food plays a part in a woman’s sex life.

Participants were asked to take a paper with a drawing that approximated his or her perception of his or her own body. Later, everyone described which drawing they picked and how they identified themselves with the drawing. Participants were also asked to describe their favorite part of their own bodies.

This activity offered insight as to why women must embrace their bodies no matter what shape or size they are.

“It is a physical essence of my emotional and mental being,” McCoy said when talking about her perception of her body. 

Though the topics that were addressed in the event were women-centered, the men openly participated and learned from the information presented. 

The group added personal preferences of clothing stores that sell apparel sufficient for a woman to maintain her vaginal health. Cotton On, H&M and Abercrombie were the few stores mentioned. Denim name brands such as Levi's and Lee were also suggested.

When the members of the EWSC were asked what advice they would give women on ways to address body image issues or health concerns, many answers were offered. Jarrett suggested websites such as WebMD.com or health.com. Peters suggested health blogs or forums. Williams stressed that the most reliable source to go to for help is a doctor.

kbruno4@ramapo.edu

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