|Vol. 17, No. 19||Feb. 12, 1998|
The Center for Counseling and Student Development has a new Eating Disorders Mobile Unit, unveiled Feb. 10 at the Perkins Student Center.
The unit's focal point is a poster of a life-size glamour doll that communicates visually the impossible-to-attain ideals that are presented to young women at a very early age, pointing out the multitude of misleading media messages that tell women how they "must look" in order to feel good about themselves.
According to Leslie Connor, counseling and student development, "While some college women build their self-esteem around more lasting qualities, many other women are caught in the fear that, if they don't look as thin as a fashion model, they risk not being loved, special or happy."
The mobile informational unit also includes a videotape on what goes on behind the scenes at fashion magazines, including, Connor said, the extreme efforts used to make the models look "perfect," such as the use of duct tape to make a model squeeze into a dress. One segment shows how computer technology is routinely used to make a model's body look thinner than it really is.
An audiotape also is available, describing one family's reaction to their daughter's eating disorder.
When visiting the mobile unit, Connor said, students can complete a questionnaire that will help them examine their eating habits and feelings about their own bodies.
Information on the hidden feelings behind eating disorders, common nutrition myths, medical risks, helping a friend or family member, how to exercise reasonably and inspirational poetry also will be available.
According to Connor, "Our purpose for doing this is to challenge some of the common cultural messages about beauty, and, hopefully, many of our college women will rethink what attractiveness is. Ultimately, we hope that women will begin to feel more comfortable and accepting of their bodies, decreasing the incidence of eating disorders and negative body image that is currently so prevelent on campus."
The Eating Disorders Mobile Unit will be at the following locations in the coming weeks:
Trabant University Center
11 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 18
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 19
11 a.m.-1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 20
Carpenter Sports Building
3 p.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 19
Rodney Dining Hall
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 25
For information, call 831-2141.