Womyn’s Outreach Association encourages women to love their bodies

by Kiani Dumagan , Contributor

The Andrea O’Donnell Womyn’s Outreach Association promoted self-empowerment last Wednesday, Nov. 30 at their annual “Love Your Body Day” event at Scripps Cottage.

From 4 to 8 p.m. event attendees participated in various activities including yoga, arts and crafts, self-defense lessons and sex toy bingo.

Co-President Charmanay Porter said WOA puts on the event because they believe that body image is a prevalent problem for many women and it’s critical to address the cultural, societal and media standards that negatively affect it.

“I think it’s very important to step back and re-evaluate everything and just have people of all body sizes and shapes and colors and abilities to just come to terms with who they are and not think they have to conform to the ideal body type, because there is no ideal body type,” Porter said. “We like to do these events so that we can educate people about different topics.”

Representatives from the Pride Center, the Vagina Monologues and Planned Parenthood were also present at the event to pass out informational pamphlets and other resources.

Pride Center Education Liaison Samantha Nordin said she came to the event to spread body positivity.

“I believe that everybody suffers with their body image in some way and our job here is to show people that loving your body is really important,” Nordin said.

Attendees were encouraged to write on a “Wall of No Shame” chalkboard and list things they weren’t ashamed of.

Some responses included “my inverted nipples,” “my sex drive” and “my naked body.”

Community Service Coordinator Julia Goldberg said her main goal of the event was to encourage women and female-identified communities to love their bodies the way they are and teach them to appreciate what their bodies do for them.

She said her favorite activity at the event was the yoga session because it allowed her to de-stress from her busy week.

To end the event, attendees participated in several self-care activities. One activity encourages attendees to write any negative comments that had heard about themselves onto sticky notes and stick them to the outside of a piñata. Once finished, they were encouraged to smash the piñata and reveal positive comments inside.

WOA meetings are held every Wednesday from 4-5 p.m. in the Aztlan Suite located in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.