By Rachel Taber
On Friday, Feb. 27, All is One! Empowering Young Women of Color (AIO) held its Body Positivity Fair in the Esch-Hurvis Room as the finale to its People of Color Empowerment Week. People of all types came to the campus center to participate in activities focusing on body positivity, and have a discussion on self-consciousness.
Many groups participated, including Beta Psi Nu, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Interfraternity Council and Downer Feminist Council. Booths coordinated activities such as giving a compliment to someone, getting a compliment from someone, writing a compliment to yourself and writing something that your body was able to achieve for you today.
Similar to last year, AIO brought in speakers to present as part of People of Color Empowerment Week. However, they also meet throughout the year to plan further events. “All is One also tries to do smaller things—we have regular meetings where we do workshops,” said sophomore and social chair of AIO Mia Bowens.
Many of the women in the Beta Psi Nu chapter at Lawrence helped plan this event, including Bowens. “We thought [if body positivity] is prevalent in our sorority maybe other people are having this issue too,” explained Bowens. “And sending this out to the campus and other Greek organizations just seemed natural.”
Beta Psi Nu had a booth on how to not deflect compliments, and instead accept them. “I was just talking to a friend about what I was going to do and directly after that, we started a separate conversation about compliments” Bowens said on the creation of her booth. “I thought it was a good idea to research and look at why [people struggle to accept compliments] and try to combat that.”
In the future, Bowens and others hope for more body positivity awareness on campus. “This is the first body positivity fair we’ve had, but hopefully in future, things like this will be more advertised,” Bowens said.
“Since there’s so much time made for stress here on this campus, we need to actually schedule time to be positive, and look at ourselves and be positive,” said Bowens.