Katie Smith was in middle school the first time she felt self-conscious about her body.
“I lost nearly all of my body fat—and I started to lose myself,” Smith said.
Smith was one speaker present at “The Body Monologues,” an event organized by Health Promotion and Wellness and HealthWorks that promoted the importance of body positivity through the personal memoirs of students, dance and spoken word poetry.
“We are share the same ambitions and insecurities,” Sara Mills said. “The truth is, no one will ever be able to fit every expectation.”
After each girl read their memoir, snaps from the audience sitting in the Freeman Auditorium followed.
“Take the negative opinions of others and throw them in the trash,” Meghan Judge said.
In total, nine girls read their personal memoirs about their journey with body image.
Halfway through the performance, the Orchesis Dance Company performed a contemporary dance to the song Landslide.
The dancers explained that two of the dancers in black skirts represented the “struggles,” and the other two represented the girls dealing with the struggles. They said the main point was to drive across the point that humans can beat their inner demons.
“I found compassion for my less than perfect waistline,” Smith (sophomore-health policy and administration) said.
A question and answer session followed the discussion, with several audience members asking questions related to advice for body positivity and how to write a memoir.
One of the audience members asked each of the participating girls in the Body Monologues to say something they liked about themselves; some of them stating outward beauty traits such as their eyes or hair and others said they loved their mind.
“We need to choose to respect and love ourselves first,” Judge (junior-biobehavioral health) said.
Maddy Galascio said she first noticed a change in her body during her sophomore year of high school. She said she wasn’t happy with the way she looked and would often cry.
“I hope students realize they aren't in the battle alone if they do have an eating disorder or struggle with their body image in some way,” Stacy Jones, producer of the Body Monologues, said.
At the end of the performance, each participating girl stood in the front of the stage and bowed to a room full of clapping and supporting students.
“I am positive, I am kind, I am beautiful— and so are you,” Smith said.