Campaign to promote healthy body image

Green Ribbon Campaign challenges society to accept different shapes and sizes

Dietician Theresa Schneider spoke at Dunning Hall last night.
Dietician Theresa Schneider spoke at Dunning Hall last night.

The Green Ribbon Campaign is out to show people that beauty, strength and talent come in all
shapes and sizes.

The three-week-long campaign, which began this week, is run by Health, Counselling and Disability
Services (HCD S) and promotes healthy lifestyles by addressing issues of food, fitness and body image.

“[The Green Ribbon Campaign] is about acknowledging that we all come in different sizes and
shapes,” said HCD S Director Mike Condra. “Society needs to respect the variations in peoples’ weight
and size and shape.”

Lee Fisher-Goodchild, who is the promotional co-ordinator for the Peer Health Educators in charge of organizing the Green Ribbon Campaign, said that the team is trying to get people to move their focus away from media images with which they’re bombarded.

“[That distortion] fosters an unhealthy sense of what we should be,” she said. “Give yourselves a break; you’re so much more than your body.”

Fisher-Goodchild said the campaign targets men as well as women, because distortions of men are also present in the media. “They relate to being trim and muscular, and this is no more realistic that it is for women to be tall and skinny,” she said. The campaign’s booth includes a display that focuses on men, muscle, and media. Eileen Cheung, one of the campaign’s leaders, said the topic of male body image isn’t commonly discussed. “Eating disorders for males are rarely addressed, and so they are
even more stigmatized,” she said. “It is therefore more important to put it out there, let them know that they are not alone.” Each of the major issues is covered on a weekly basis. This past week was the Campaign’s kick-off into Food Week with a screening of Real Women have Curves. Last night, a public talk titled “Healthy Eating, and Eating for Energy” took place with registered dietitian Theresa Schneider. Next week is Fitness Week.

The week will be dedicated to promoting fitness and will offer pilates classes.

The third and final week will feature a “body image” segment, and will include a talk by Condra titled “How to Help a Friend.”

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