The Body Positivity Group has provided a positive space for students on campus, especially since the launch of Facebook’s Mills College Confessions page, where anonymous posters confessed negative feelings about their bodies. Kendall Anderson, founder of the Body Positivity Group, started the club to provide the resources lacking on campus to students with negative body image issues and eating disorders.
“I notice a lot of negative ‘self-talk,’ body shaming, dieting and food calorie talk around campus,” Anderson said. “College students are so susceptible to these issues, and especially with the high achieving standards at Mills, and the diverse student body, we need to put something in place to start combating and fighting against negative body image.”
Anderson believes that the Body Positivity Group has made a positive impact on campus, even though it is not an “official” club since it was formed halfway through the spring semester. Because of the Body Positivity Group, Anderson says the general awareness about being body positive has gone up among the student body.
“I feel that the club has served its members as a place of support for those struggling, or even people who just want to learn to love themselves a little more,” Anderson said. “I also feel this club has benefited Mills campus as a whole; even people who don’t regularly attend meetings see and hear about our group on Facebook, and members bring what they learn in our meetings and apply it to their friends and every day situations.”
The club has implemented several measures to promote positive body image on campus, such as posting body positive signs on the mirrors in every bathroom in the first-year dorms. The club meets every week to have productive discussions around raising body positive awareness on campus. They also have several projects planned for next year including a body-positivity photo shoot, collaborating with the Figure Drawing Club, and an event with Connie Sobczak, founder of The Body Positive, an organization that works toward transforming people’s negative body image beliefs into positive ones.
Anderson writes a weekly column for The Campanil’s online blog about the importance of body positivity. Her personal body positive philosophy is appreciating her body and taking care of herself through eating what she craves, surrounding herself with other people who feel good about their bodies, and committing herself to an active lifestyle.
“I feel it is important to remind myself and those around me that we are all beautiful and special, and that our imperfections are what make us wonderful,” Anderson said. “I want to treat my body with the utmost respect, because it does some pretty awesome things.”