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College Students Smash Scales to Promote Body Positivity

Nearly 40 percent of the US population was considered obese in 2015-2016, a figure which rises to 70 percent if it includes those considered overweight, according to US government figures
AFP

Students at colleges around North America are smashing scales to promote “body positivity.”

Students at the University of Southern California and Nipissing University in Ontario, Canada, are hosting events that will allow students to smash scales in an attempt to promote “body positivity.”

Earlier this semester, students at Nipissing University were invited to participate in an event called “Smash the Scales.” The event was created because “scales are something that make people feel inadequate,” according a local Canadian newspaper.

“We want students to realize that weight does not define them. We have students who have gone through mental health struggles, have had illnesses or a traumatic event happen in which they’ve put on weight or lost weight,” the Nipissing University Student Union said in a comment.

“We want them to be aware that no matter what they are going through the numbers on the scale does not define their worth in the eyes of others,” they continued. “It’s important for us to do because there are many students across Ontario dealing with eating disorders or body dysmorphia.”

To extend their effort promoting “body positivity,” Nipissing covered bathroom mirrors around campus. The students believe that covering up campus mirrors prevents students from engaging with their physical insecurities. Similar stunts have been pulled at American universities like Bucknell.

The University of Southern California is also planning a “Smash the Scales” event. At USC, October is Body Love Month and students will be invited to smash scales as part of the festivities.

Gwen Howard, the Student Director of Body Love Week, said in a comment that physical insecurities are at an all-time high. “Eating disorders and poor body image are sort of at an epidemic high among college age students specifically,” Howard said. “It’s important to remember how many imposed ideals we have about how we should look like, how we should eat and how we should exercise.”

In March 2017, Breitbart News reported that school officials at Carleton University had removed the scales from the campus gym to promote body acceptance. In March 2018, Breitbart News reported on a University of Vermont guest speaker who told students to “literately throw [their] scale(s) in the trash.”

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