“Love Your Body Week” at Saint Mary's College


“Love Your Body Week” Aimed at Changing How Women See Their Bodies

Media contact:
Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 284-4579

January 28, 2011 (Notre Dame, Ind.)-Have you ever paged through a magazine, looking at the perfect bodies of models, wishing you had that ideal body? “Love Your Body Week”, to be held at the all women’s Saint Mary’s College February 21-25, could change your mind. The week will consist of student speakers, panel discussions, and other activities. The most important goal of “Love your Body Week” is to help women to critically analyze negative media stereotypes and learn to love their bodies. Three of the events will be open to the public (see below). Click for a campus map.

Saint Mary’s College students Brianne Suckow ‘12, Laura Glaub ‘12, and Christina Grasso ‘11 came up with the idea for this year’s “Love Your Body Week.” Student-run organizations, the Student Government Association, the Residence Hall Association, and the Student Activities Board are sponsoring the week.  

“We wanted to put on an event at Saint Mary’s that not only educates our peers but also has a positive impact by reminding them that even though there are negative stereotypes in the media, women should love our bodies no matter what size or shape,” Glaub says.

One topic that will be discussed is eating disorders. “Eating disorders are built upon secrecy, isolation, and shame, and this is part of what makes them so deadly.  It is absolutely imperative to talk about it, and I firmly believe that an increase in awareness in doing so can catalyze change for the good,” Grasso says.

“Biting Back”, a talk and panel discussion about eating disorders, will be held on Monday, February 21 at 7 p.m. in Carroll Auditorium in Madeleva Hall. The night will begin with a student who will recount her battle with anorexia, followed by a panel featuring two local eating disorder professionals, Valerie Staples, MSW, LCSW, Coordinator Of Eating Disorder Service, University of Notre Dame and Gwen DeHorn, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., with Sonego and Associates in Mishawaka.

Bettina Spencer, assistant professor of psychology at Saint Mary's College, and psychology major Gina Storti ‘11 will offer a talk titled "Love your body? Body image at SMC compared to ND" at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22 in Vander Vennet Theatre in the Student Center.  Spencer and Storti will present their published research concerning body image on the two campuses. A discussion will follow.

Terri L. Russ, assistant professor of communication studies at Saint Mary's College will offer a lecture titled “Beautiful Body Battles, Why Are We All Chasing Unicorns?” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23 in Carroll Auditorium in Madeleva Hall.  Russ, whose expertise is feminist rhetoric, teaches a popular course called “Female Beauty: Discourse, Rhetoric and Theory”. She is also the author of the book Bitchin’ Bodies, which includes recorded dialogues of young women dissatisfied with their bodies, even when they are thin. “For large change, we have to talk about this. We have to break the power of silence with the power of speech,” Russ says.

Media: For a complete list of the “Love Your Body” events, please email Gwen O’Brien, director of media relations, at gobrien@saintmarys.edu.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary’s College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” in the U.S. News & World Report 2011 College Guide. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.