Campaign goes inward

Women’s Worth Week Committee runs photo events aimed to focus on inner beauty and raise self-esteem

The Women’s Worth Week Committee ran a photo campaign this week on campus in anticipation of its annual initiative, asking students what makes them “distinctly beautiful”.

The photograph sessions took place in the JDUC.

Each room had a whiteboard where students wrote their answers to two questions and posed for a photograph.

Women’s Worth Week enters its third year at Queen’s this November.

It was founded by Kate McCord, ArtSci ’13, in 2011.

Starting this year, the week will be run by a six-person committee under the ASUS Equity Commission. It will begin on Nov. 18.

The first question asked students, “What makes you distinctly beautiful?” It required students to consider ways they were beautiful outside of their appearance and grades, according to McCord.

The second question asked was, “If you could say one thing to inspire self-esteem, what would it be?” McCord said the photo campaign was designed to make the week’s events and discussions more inclusive.

Both men and women are invited to participate, she said.

She said the campaign is more organized than it was last year, and will be moving away from lectures on campus to events focused on student discussion.

“Now it’s much more focused on engaging students and getting them to share experiences,” McCord said.

The questions were based on a poem by Carlos Andrés Gómez, she said, who is an American slam poet.

She said he spoke on manhood as well as femininity.

“He talks a lot about [how] narrow views of manhood negatively impact women, and how those perpetuate negative cycles of violence towards women,” McCord said.

The focus of this year’s Women’s Week campaign is inclusivity, she said, and the photo campaign is meant to improve its reach.

She said inclusivity is especially important because some men find it difficult to engage in discussions around gender.

“I find with some of them — they come across as just ‘women’s issues’,” she said. “I think it’s hard for guys to access that.” However, male students are participating in the campaign, according to McCord, and have in the past as well.

She said male input is equally important when it comes to improving self-image problems.

“A lot of women perceive that men have one definition of what is beautiful,” she said.

“I’m not saying all guys are like that, but the media trains us to see things that way.”

Having men answer questions about what makes women beautiful challenges this perception, she said.

McCord said the photographs will be posted on the organization’s Facebook page and website, but she also hopes to display a slideshow on campus during Women’s Worth Week, and continue displaying them throughout next semester.

“Next semester I think we’ll print some of them and make a big poster, and have that on display somewhere, just so people can see them and access them as much as possible.”

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