On Feb. 11, BODYpeace, a relatively new club on campus, held a meeting about a mission called “The Dressing Room Project.” As an introduction, BODYpeace presented a video by Special K limiting the amount of “fat talk” that occurs in dressing rooms around the country. “Fat talk” occurs when someone criticizes their body or wishes their body was changed in some way. During the video, a clothing store posted signs around the store and on clothing tags with negative sayings such as “Feeling so disgusted about my figure at the moment. #cow” or “Cellulite is in my DNA.” As the women going around the store realized that these were sayings that they had once thought about, they were moved to tears and promised to stop their “fat talk”.
This video inspired Meredith Miller, a board member of BODYpeace, to implement “The Dressing Room Project” on campus. “The Dressing Room Project” is a national project in which people can write positive body statements on index cards or post-it notes; these statements are then posted in the dressing rooms around the area to promote positive body image. “It’s in dressing rooms, in that horrible lighting and weird mirrors and in clothes that are designed to not fit you, in which men and women find themselves most vulnerable,” states Meredith. As a result, BODYpeace had their members write down positive body image statements on index cards, which they plan on putting in the dressing rooms of boutiques and shops in West Chester. Eventually, they plan to reach out to major malls in the area. “I’m really excited about this project because we hope to inspire men, women, and the general community to love their body. Body image affects everyone at any age from preteens to the elderly,” says Meredith.
Apart from the boutiques, BODYpeace designed an exhibition to be on display at the Love Your Body Fair. The exhibition was designed around The Dressing Room Project and the Special K video. Too many details were not released because President, Ely Marie, wanted to keep it a surprise.
To learn more about the national Dressing Room Project, visit their website: http://www.thedressingroomproject.org/, and to learn more about BODYpeace, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WCUBODYpeace.
Amy Shah is a second-year student majoring in computer science. She can be reached at AS793452@wcupa.edu.