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Amigas Positivas Celebrates Body Positivity

The+main+display%2C+hung+in+the+gender+neutral+bathroom%2C+with+the+words+%22Body+Positive%22+in+the+center%2C+accompanied+by+the+phone+number+for+the+National+Eating+Disorders+Association+Helpline
The main display, hung in the gender neutral bathroom, with the words

The main display, hung in the gender neutral bathroom, with the words "Body Positive" in the center, accompanied by the phone number for the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline

Photo credit: Hoku Kern

Photo credit: Hoku Kern

The main display, hung in the gender neutral bathroom, with the words "Body Positive" in the center, accompanied by the phone number for the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline

By Hoku Kern, News Editor

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The Dos Pueblos Amigas Positivas Club brought smiles to many students’ faces with uplifting signs and posters hung in various bathrooms on campus, celebrating body positivity.

Photo credit: Hoku Kern
A close-up of one of the posters found in the girls bathroom, with an uplifting message centered around a heart

 

During National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, students may have noticed a change of decor in the school bathrooms. Walking in, one could find signs and posters plastered across the mirrors, with powerful quotes and words surrounding body image.

These posters were created and hung by members of the Amigas Positivas Club, an on-campus club that meets weekly to discuss the issues that affect adolescent girls and organize projects, such as this one, to spread awareness of these issues.

Club facilitator and Community Education Coordinator for the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, Karen Villegas, explains that “The purpose of the group is to empower young women to make healthy, educated choices, and to serve as advocates in their community. We provide information, resources, and support for our members, and encourage them to speak out about issues that spark their interest.”

The club members put up these posters for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, February 26 – March 4. The club is hopeful that these posters will encourage a more positive culture at Dos Pueblos surrounding body image.

“We’ve been talking about body image, the media, and eating disorders for a few weeks now and wanted to move from education to activism,” said Villegas. “We know that weight-shaming is very prevalent in our local schools, and we saw this project as a way to promote a more positive culture at Dos Pueblos.”

Putting the posters up in the bathroom allows students to see them in a more private setting. 

Photo credit: Hoku Kern
Another sign, this time with the message “You are worth more than you think,” found in another bathroom on campus.

The meaning behind putting the signs up on the mirrors rather than just on the walls was to send the message to the students that they are more than just their appearance.

“Covering the mirrors with positive messages was meant to encourage teens to use that time to reflect on the many other qualities that make each of them a unique and beautiful person.

Villegas said, “Knowing that students of all genders experience body image issues, we decided to put our primary display up in the gender neutral bathroom, with smaller displays in various girls and boys bathrooms on campus.”

They want students to know that if they are suffering with body image issues that there are resources available to them, from clubs such as theirs to larger scale helplines such as the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline.

While the club has no current future campus-wide projects planned at the moment, Villegas said that they “are open to ideas and hope that the students in our program feel empowered to undertake their own awareness projects or coordinate efforts with other groups on campus in the future.”

Villegas also explained that by putting up these posters, the club hopes to challenge the beauty standards set by society, and make sure that all students know that they have value and worth, especially here at Dos Pueblos.

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Amigas Positivas Celebrates Body Positivity