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Senior project tackles body image issues

October 21, 2011

Joe Florio/ The Courier - Students stop by Senior Jackie Deskovich’s table in the lower level Stockdale to learn about her project in affiliation with the Fat Acceptance/Body Acceptance Movement and the Health at Every Size Movement.

How often do you weigh yourself? How much does your weight mean to you? For senior Jackie Deskovich, her weight is just a number.

For Deskovich’s senior Honors project she is “trying to reclaim the word fat.” To do this she is working with the Fat Acceptance/ Body Acceptance Movement along with the Health at Every Size Movement to educate students on what the word “fat” should actually mean to students.

Deskovich’s project is ongoing and features four separate parts. The first part consists of gathering student volunteers. The volunteers will then be weighed. After weighing the students, Deskovich will then do a photo shoot with her volunteers. Following the photo shoot is another weighing session. From there, Deskovich will use the data she collected to make a formal presentation on her Honors project on Dec. 5, 2011. This past Tuesday, Oct. 18, she presented the first aspect of her project while also posting inspirational messages around Stockdale and McMichael dorm hall. The messages told viewers to accept every body type.

“I want to know how many people, especially females because weight is so stigmatized with females, get on a scale, look at the number and own up to the fact that this is just a number that doesn’t say anything else about me except the gravitational pull of the earth on my body,” said Deskovich.

To do this, Deskovich set up a table in the basement of Stockdale this past week. Her table also had a scale so students could stop, weigh themselves and then write their weight on a sticker that read, “Hello my weight is…”

However, several students admitted they struggled with weighing themselves.

“I don’t ever weigh myself because I feel it brings me down,” said junior Danielle Rhoades.

However, after weighing herself, Rhoades decided that Deskovich’s project opened her eyes to the message Deskovich was trying to portray.

“I think I feel better now though, because I can just be who I am,” said Rhoades.

“[I want people to] start a campus wide conversation about it, I think a lot of people might be more comfortable being themselves on campus.”

Kaitlyn Pfau
Contributing Writer

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