CAPS to host event bringing awareness to eating disorders
In the United States alone, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.
Counseling and Psychological Services is hosting “Love Your Selfie!” in partnership with the National Eating Disorder Association to raise awareness about eating disorders and demonstrate the importance of body image acceptance.
Elizabeth Marcum, a psychological counselor for CAPS, explained why she and her colleagues believe this is a crucial discussion to have.
“Our goal is to increase awareness of eating disorders and open the conversation that we all have with our bodies, self image and food… The goal is to begin to Love Your Self(ie) just as you are,” Marcum said.
National Eating Disorder Awareness week will take place Feb. 27 to March 3. There will be several events throughout the week, all geared towards spreading messages about body image positivity. “Love Your Selfie!” will conclude the week of events. It will take place in the Cougar Village Courtyard Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In addition to honing in on body positivity, the event will also be celebrating diversity.
“Often when individuals post pictures to social media platforms, they are highly edited, photoshopped or only one image of hundreds that is deemed good enough,” Marcum said. “We are trying to challenge the idea that individuals need to present a perfect image on social media.”
Students are glad that the UH administration is taking steps to talk about this issue.
“The school should absolutely encourage discussion about eating disorders,” said Quinn Waddell, an English sophomore.
In addition, this open dialogue will help students become more knowledgeable about assisting someone who suffers from an eating disorder.
“As a bystander it’s hard to know what to do and how to be helpful, so I would like to find ways to help friends deal with this disorder,” Waddell said.
Students can join in on NEDA week by posting their own selfies with the hashtags #NEDAwareness, #LoveYourSelfie, and #UHNEDA.
“[We hope] that a take away message will be to encourage students, staff, faculty and UH community to look beyond the surface when thinking about self worth and self image, challenging the messages of society and culture, and ultimately providing an opportunity to begin to have those deeper conversations,” Marcum said.