Not picture perfect: students celebrate Love Your Body day

An array of colorful post-it notes filled the vivid orange body outline displayed on the white walls of Hugh K Shillings Center. The post-it notes were more than just sheets of small, sticky slips of paper though: they were words from the student body addressing little things they loved about themselves. 

Love Your Body Day is a national movement that landed on October 18th of this year. Herspace brought it to Saint Paul Academy on the 26th of October.

Herspace is an affinity group within the SPA community that strives to empower and celebrate those who identify as female. Even though Love Your Body Day was organized by a group of female identifying students, they encouraged everyone to participate no matter who students identified as. Herspace also puts on week celebrations for International Women’s Day in March and hopes to arrange several speakers throughout the year for addressing certain issues pertaining to high schoolers. “It’s just fun,” co-president Adelia Bergner said. “In high school especially, people don’t have all the confidence all the time and it’s easy to get down on yourself…I think having a school-wide celebration is a good reminder.”

To celebrate Love Your Body Day, Herspace created a poster of the outline of a person. The participants of Herspace created the image to look gender neutral, signifying that students of any gender could participate. The body was then stuck on the wall for a place where students posted post-it notes about characteristics or features they loved about themselves or their body. “I don’t hear that kind of conversation happening that often at school about people talking about what they love about themselves. Seeing that outpouring of love for oneself has been really awesome.” Bergner said.

Love Your Body Day was made to challenge the message to females about the unrealistic beauty standards industries and media portray on teenage girls and young women. Social media, as well as other media platforms, fill the internet with what is thought of as gorgeous and flawless women, the “ideal” look. Movies, television, and advertisements often cast certain roles based off of how a person acts or looks. These factors cause teenagers; particularly girls, to find it hard to love themselves for who they are or how they look. 

“I always feel more insecure when I’m around people who I believe to be closer to the ‘ideal look’ because I reflect upon my body and think that I’m so far

away from that ‘look’,” Freshman Annika Brelsford said.

“Love Your Body Day gets more people thinking about what they love about themselves instead of what they hate about their bodies. It shows how loving yourself and your body is okay,” Brelsford explained.

“It’s a rough time in high school and Love Your Body Day helps cope with some of the bad thoughts,” Brelsford added.