“Love Your Body Day” event redefines beauty

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    Due to the current high beauty standards for both genders, the Women and Gender Studies program hosted the “Love Your Body Event” Wednesday night to help people feel beautiful, said Dr. Jeannine Gailey, this year’s Women and Gender Studies Faculty Research Award winner and head organizer for the event.

    Organizers of the event brought in speakers and art to look at many takes on beauty as it relates to gender.

    “This event has to do with the messages that we receive everyday that push us into these very ridged and narrow categories, which affects us all, both men and women,” said Gailey.

    Wednesday was “National Love Your Body Day,” so the event’s goal was to “celebrate our bodies,” said Gailey.

    Other goals included “[opening] up dialogue on campus on topics related to gender and getting people [to think] about the complexities of gender and the gendered body,” said Theresa Gaul, director of the Women and Gender Studies program.

    The event featured 14 different stations. The stations included photographs, dance routines, videos and people who wished to tell their stories.

    The event was held from 6-8 p.m. and people were able to walk in and out at their leisure. People of all ages and genders visited the exhibit in the Moudy Gallery and were able to stop and talk to the people in charge of the stations.

    Those in charge of the stations had to request to be in the exhibition. Each station was hosted by a different person or artist.

    “Earlier in the fall semester, people from the TCU community who wished to participate in the exhibition submitted proposals to be selected,” Gaul said. “These were judged by Dr. Gailey, and the exhibition was then developed.”

    One of the stations featured styles of women’s undergarments from years past.

    “It just shows what women are willing to wear to conform their bodies to the ideal image at that time,” said Stephanie Bailey, who was in charge of that station.

    The undergarments are not far from what women still wear today. Women have always felt like they needed to have a thinner shape to be more beautiful, Bailey said.

    Kaleigh Wyrick, a participant in the exhibition, decided to fight back against society’s ideals for women. In 2007, she decided to quit shaving her legs.

    “I have body hair, and I shouldn’t be ashamed to show it in public,” Wyrick said. “Why do guys get to have body hair and I don’t?”

    Wyrick said what society considers beautiful is a result of national media and advertising. This includes shaved legs.

    Though the media depicts each gender in particular ways, it does not mean the types of people represented are the only ones who are beautiful. All types of people were represented at the event, including those from different religions, ethnicities and genders.

    This is because National Love Your Body Day is for everyone. All people should love their bodies, Gailey said.