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Body Talk Peer Health Advocates

We strive to empower students to examine societal norms, cultural impositions, and personal relationships with their bodies and create a campus environment more accepting of these conversations by providing safe spaces to discuss issues related to body image and hosting educational workshops.

Aashana Daru

Body Talk Student Coordinator

she/they | Third Year | Major(s): Biological Sciences

"Bodies are the only thing we have in common; not the way our bodies look or feel, but the fact that we have all bodies. Instead of embracing our differences, diet culture and a largely fatphobic society have constantly kept us uncomfortable with our bodies. Through BodyTalk, I hope to instigate conversations about this with my peers and inspire a more comfortable experience of self––for myself, and for all of us!"

Melissa Bueno

she/her/hers | Third Year | Major(s): Biochemistry & Chemistry

"I've had my fair share of exposure to the toxic unreachable standards that the media and society set. Rather than add to the toxic community, I want to help counter that and be active in conversations about body image, healthy lifestyles, and self love. Especially because self- confidence is key to having and keeping a healthy lifestyle including mental health. Thus, as someone who is still working towards accepting and loving my own body, I hope to support others, and continue educating myself, to build healthy relationships with their own bodies."

Daniella Conner

she/her/hers | Fourth Year | Major(s): Biology & Comparative Human Development

"Although the representation of different bodies is increasing in the media, I recognize that there is still work to be done towards eliminating the confinement of beauty to a single, physical appearance. I firmly believe that, in order to bring about change as a society, it is important to begin with the individual. Self-acceptance and self-love do not happen overnight or (often) alone. I joined the PHA program to contribute to creating a safe and supportive atmosphere on campus where everyone can be free to share their struggles, knowing that they will be received with open ears and without judgment. In a generation that has ingrained self-deprecation into our culture, I want to work towards the normalization of self-love by spreading awareness and solidifying an emotional and resource support network."

Alli Marney-Bell

she/her/hers | Third Year | Major(s): Public Policy and Econ (Biz)

"As a PHA, I hope to educate the campus community about the freedom and joy that comes when you accept your body. I have found that I have so much more respect and for myself and others since learning this on my own, and I want to share that with others. I also hope that by doing so, I can help battle the debilitating diet culture that I have seen hurting so many people on campus."

Osinachi Nwosu

she/her/hers | Second Year | Major(s): Computer Science

"Our bodies are both the same and uniquely different in any given moment. As such, how we feel about our bodies and our image will differ from moment to moment, fueled not only by society and their discussion of the "perfect" body, but our thoughts and self-esteem. Thus, I think it is time that we talk and learn more our bodies in a way that boosts our mental, emotional, and physical health, and Body Talk PHA seems to be a good way to promote such health."

Nayu Shimo

she/her/hers | Second Year | Major(s): Fundamentals: Issues and Texts; Psychology

"As someone who has struggled with and still is workin on my relationships to food and my body, opening up the frequently stigmatized conversation regarding body image and societal standards around health are tremendously important to me. Through becoming a PHA and a part of BodyTalk, I hope contribute to creating a supportive and non-judgmental community and atmosphere even within an environment that can frequently be highly stressful, as well as continue to learn and cultivate healthy relationships with myself and my peers."

Kaden Smith

she/her/hers | Third Year | Major(s): Gender and Sexuality Studies; Comparative Human Development

Nidhi Talasani

she/her/hers | Fourth Year | Major(s): Biological Sciences

"With the growing presence of social media and its effect on societal expectations, it’s becoming increasingly important for us to learn to be comfortable in our own skin. Through Body Talk, I want to help reframe the conversation surrounding body image and promote body positivity. By becoming a PHA I hope to learn from discussions I have with my peers and grow as an individual."

Penelope Toll

Jochebed Yeboah

she/her/hers | Fourth Year | Major(s): Political Science

"Growing up, I was exposed to the toxic ways in which many (including the media) spoke about different bodies, elevating some over others. I joined Body Talk because I wanted the opportunity to engage in critical conversations surrounding bodies and the ways to view them healthily. My hope is to challenge the notion that how one looks is a deciding factor of their worth and capability to function in society. I am excited for the events to come and the many amazing people who will join me in this program."

Self-Care UnMasked: 

In November 2020, Body Talk hosted a workshop exposing myths around self-care. "Self-care" is a term that is thrown around all the time, but what does it really mean? From its roots in the Black Panther Party to its commercialization by beauty brands today, self-care is truly a multilayered concept. Now more than ever, it is important to recognize these intricacies and make time to practice self-care.

Blank Slate: BodyTalk x Outside the Lines Virtual Figure Drawing Session:

This Valentine’s Day, join Outside the Lines and BodyTalk to make some works of (he)art! After a short discussion on the power of art and representation in the movement/experience of body positivity, we will be joined by a live model on Zoom for a session of figure drawing.

Navigating Nutrition: Examining Health at Every Size® as a Social Justice Framework:

The BodyTalk PHAs are so excited to host a conversation with Christyna Johnson, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who works to promote a nutrition philosophy rooted in Health at Every Size. Ms. Johnson (@EncouragingDietician on Instagram) uses social media as a resource to educate and promote a wide range of issues, such as food morality, intuitive eating, and the intersection of nutrition and social justice. Join us over zoom to learn more about intuitive eating and Health at Every Size® as ways to form a sustainable personal relationship with your body!

Clean Foods, Junk Foods, and Super Foods: Discussing and Dismantling Notions of Food Morality

Body Talk hosted a session aimed at dismantling and discussing notions of food morality and its deep ties to diet culture, fatphobia, and weight stigmatization. While many of us have grown used to labeling food as ‘junk’ or ‘healthy’, ‘guilt-free’ or an ‘indulgence’, ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ the BodyTalk PHAs want to remind you that food is just food! It can fuel us, comfort us, and bring us joy – but it should not have an inherent morality.

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