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Penn State Student Affairs to host National Love Your Body Week events

Old Main, fall leaves

Leaves begin to change around Old Main on Penn State’s University Park campus on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021.

Penn State Student Affairs will present a series of events encouraging body positivity and awareness throughout next week — Oct. 11-15 — which is National Love Your Body Week, according to a Thursday release.

Specifically within Student Affairs, Penn State's Health Promotion and Wellness, Gender Equity Center, the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development and Campus Recreation are all helping to host the events.

The events seek to "enable students to consider their own body image, recognize negative self-talk and develop a stronger sense of love and positivity [toward] their bodies and everything bodies do for us," according to the release.

The keynote speaker will be Sonalee Rashatwar, whose instagram account, "@TheFatSexTherapist," has over 150,000 followers. Rashatwar is also Penn State's keynote speaker for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is October.

The week's events for Love Your Body Week are:

The Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development will host a "Lunch and Learn" titled "Love Your Body (& Spirit)" at 12:30 p.m. Monday in 130 Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, Garden Room. The center will discuss how to use "spiritual and mindful practices to promote body positivity and racial self-love," the release said.

"Cardio Dance" parties will be held from 5:45-6:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday and from 7:15-8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday in rooms 124 and 125 of the Intramural Building.

The parties will have music and "fun choreography." All varieties of bodies and skill levels are welcome, according to the release.

For the keynote event, Rashatwar will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the HUB-Robeson Center's Freeman Auditorium. Their speech will be sponsored by Penn State's Gender Equity Center and Health Promotion and Wellness.

Rashatwar will examine "body image abuse and trauma" relating to abusive relationships and society, as well as incorporate issues of fat phobia and the "intersections of fat, gender, race and white supremacy," according to the release.

The speech is funded by the Laura R. Whitaker Fund and the student-initiated fee, and attendees can join the event virtually by registering here.

From 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, "Canva and Chamomile" will enable attendees to virtually "pour a mug of [their] favorite warm drink and settle in to create your own body-positive digital collages."

Participants may also follow templates made by the Center for Performing Arts and Student Engagement Programs Offices, and the Zoom link is available here.

Megan Marshall, from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, will "guide participants through a body image exercise to consider its impact on mental health and self-esteem."

The Zoom event is titled "Body Image: A Continuum," and registration is required here.

Additionally, participants must finish the "Letter to Your Younger Self Activity" prior to attending. It is available for download here.

Penn State's Smeal College of Business, Health Promotion and Wellness and the Gender Equity Center will co-sponsor the event.

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