An opinion editorial from a student at Colorado College lambastes the school’s healthy lifestyle programs, claiming that they promote “body shaming.”
Jade Frost, a senior at Colorado College, took to an online publication to voice her concerns about the negative ramifications being brought to her campus by healthy lifestyle programs, which encourage students to eat consciously and exercise regularly.
Frost argues that a program at Colorado College shames students based on how much food they consume. The program is called “Tigers Don’t Waste” and rewards students who don’t leave any waste on their plates during meal times.
The “Tigers Don’t Waste” program in one of the dining halls at CC is one example on how the culture subtly shames students based on their consumption. The program, which was started by students, encourages other students to watch what they put on their plate as a way to minimize food waste. I remember when it first started, there was a lean male student sitting in a chair where students were scraping their plates and putting them back in the kitchen. The man would check each student’s plate and give them a sticker if they had no food waste and would give a not-so-gentle reminder to those who still had food on their plate. In “‘They Are Weighted with Authority’: Fat Female Professor in Academic and Popular Cultures,” Christina Fisanick notes, “American culture encourages and is proud of abundance, of having more than we can use. However, as much as we are pushed to consume, we are pushed even harder not to show signs of consumption.” The “Tigers Don’t Waste” student program is one way to praise students for hiding their food consumption, while scrutinizing others for showing that they have too much food consumption. If a man shows signs of consumption, then he is showing that he does not have control over his body. If he does not have control over his body, then how can he be masculine, if masculinity is about being in control? This loss of control of the body will lead to trying to regain control through going to the gym and engaging in outdoor activities.
According to the editorial, Frost is also concerned about the body consciousness experienced by less-than-fit male students who wish to engage in athletic activities. She claims that these students are cast aside by the “toxic [Colorado College] culture,” and made to feel unwelcome solely on the basis of their bodies at popular outdoor campus events.
If the male student doesn’t participate in outdoor activities such as Winterfest and BreakOut Trips, then they are seen as not having body management. The people who participate in these events are mainly men and it is seen as an abnormality if you are a male and do not physically participate. If an “unfit” male were to go on these events, then they experience body consciousness due to their lack of physicality and have to compensate through body management. By having body management, the male student continues to foster the toxic CC Culture. Kwan’s study of body privilege, consciousness, and management is practiced on Colorado College’s campus when men try to participate in the “CC Culture,” and attain the body privilege.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org