News | Student Life

Body Positivity Week to promote self-love, raise awareness about eating disorders

  • THINK POSITIVE | Liz Orozco, CC ’16, and Paulina Pinsky, BC ’15, are organizing Columbia's first Body Positivity Week at the end of February to promote self-love and raise awareness about eating disorders.

Two students who want to raise awareness about eating disorders and self-image are organizing Columbia’s first Body Positivity Week at the end of February.

Liz Orozco, CC ’16, and Paulina Pinsky, BC ’15, are planning to hold events like body-positive yoga sessions and a speak-out between Feb. 24 and Feb. 28, coinciding with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

“Usually when people hear ‘eating disorder,’ they freak out,” Pinsky said. “We want to be educational but also inclusive, so we’re really focusing on having events geared towards everyone.”

“I think everyone here can benefit from general body positivity and self-love, so we didn’t want to target any certain demographic,” Orozco said.

Pinksy and Orozco are also inviting an official from the National Eating Disorders Association to speak on campus. The two hope to eventually turn the week into an annual event.

On Saturday, Pinsky and Orozco held a body-positive photo shoot in Lerner featuring students holding signs that said “I Woke Up Like This” intended to promote body-image confidence. They said it was so successful that they scheduled another later this month.

“We had a double-sided sheet of paper full of the names of people who came, and people who weren’t able to attend have been sending in pictures nonstop,” Pinsky said.

Pinsky and Orozco are working with Columbia’s chapter of Active Minds, a national organization dedicated to changing the way students talk about mental health.

“We don’t want to emphasize the illness. We want to emphasize that loving your body looks and feels different for everyone,” Active Minds Co-president Rakhi Agrawal, BC ’14, said. “Not everyone may have an eating disorder, but everyone can be body-positive. To that end, we’re basically just supporting Liz and Paulina’s efforts in whatever way we can.”

“I know that people are more likely to come forward once the conversation [about these issues] comes up,” Orozco said. “One part of the problem with mental health is that it’s very taboo to talk about—and it shouldn’t be.”

Orozco said that she was bulimic for about a year and a half, and spent five years recovering.

“It was definitely something I was very secretive about at first,” she said. “But after I recovered, it was something I just wanted to talk about all the time. I’m not shy.”

Pinsky said most of her friends only found out about her having suffered an eating disorder for seven years after she wrote a View from Here piece for the Eye in the fall. 

“I like talking about it—to me, it doesn’t feel taboo, and I think it’s so funny that it is. For me, talking about it normalizes talking about it. Eating disorders shouldn’t be a secret because that’s what perpetuates them,” she said.

emma.bogler@columbiaspectator.com  |  @ebbogz

Comments

Plain text

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Your username will not be displayed if checked
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Anonymous posted on

really, the one on the right woke up with all that makeup on?

+1
-13
-1
dqueezy posted on

the point is that she woke up as who she is - if she wants to wear makeup, she can wear makeup. the entire point of this movement was for individuals to be confident and feel beautiful in any form they want.

giving you the benefit of the doubt that you don't know the beyoncé lyric and not that you're a jerk.

+1
+6
-1
you missed the point posted on

body positivity is about feeling comfortable with however you are and however you want to present yourself. "I woke up like this" does not mean in this context that you literally dragged your ass out of bed to come to a photoshoot without making yourself feel comfortable (i.e. dressing, putting on makeup, whatever it is you do) but instead reflects the idea that you are proud of what you are each day. Using some makeup is how P felt comfortable and she looks damn good so don't worry about it. Try loving yourself more rather than hating on others.

- Julia Peck

+1
+11
-1
GammaGlobulin posted on

I think Anon had a good point.

Why is Pinsky wearing heavy make up, colored hair and bright lipstick?

Is that making her "comfortable" as you suggest? Or does she feel the need to modify her body's appearance to look "good"? I mean isnt that what got her into an eating disorder in the first place?

There is a dissonance here between "I am content with my body" and "I feel the need to do a photo shoot in full make up blocking my 'problem areas' with a sign". She is going to have to resolve that dissonance if she is going to be successful with this issue.

+1
-3
-1
Read The Event Description posted on

ALLING ALL FLAWLESS INDIVIDUALS FOR A PROFILE PICTURE CAMPAIGN.

You might be thinking, "Are you talking to me?"

YES. I am talking about you! You flawless, beautiful human!

Bring your fab self to Lerner for a mini photo shoot with Matt White on Saturday, February 8. It will be in the Lerner West Ramp from 11 am - 2 pm. Bring yourself made up, dressed down, or even naked-- we just want you to come in your most confident form! More details to come!

This event is in preparation for Active Minds' National Eating Disorder Awareness/Body Positive week [February 24-February 27]. Get ready for the events to come!

They never asked people to NOT wear make up. The point was to come "in your most confident form." And if she feels most comfortable wearing make up, that is her choice and her choice alone.

+1
+1
-1
lol posted on

this guy

+1
-3
-1
Anonymous posted on

how do i become friends with Paulina Pinsky

+1
+4
-1
Anonymous posted on

Where can I find out about the events?

+1
-1
-1
Liz Orozco posted on

Body Positive Week starts Monday Feb. 24th! Event dates and times will be released within the next day or so on facebook! Like the Columbia University Active Minds page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/CUActiveMinds

There will also be flyers and emails going around this week!

+1
+1
-1
Anonymous posted on

You two are fantastic! We need to see real people as role models not airbrushed super models. Eating disorders are becoming practically a rite of passage these days. It's has to stop and those that have them need help. Thank you for outing this very real disease.

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

You two are fantastic! We need to see real people as role models not airbrushed super models. Eating disorders are becoming practically a rite of passage these days. It's has to stop and those that have them need help. Thank you for outing this very real disease.

+1
+1
-1
Anonymous posted on

WWW.OA.ORG
Free help for those that have a desire to stop over eating.

+1
+1
-1