On Monday, March 23rd 2015, students at William Peace University came together as part of Love Your Body week to show others that numbers do not define them. These “numbers” can be anything from GPA to weight and each student could smash a scale in order to support Southern Smash, an organization founded in November of 2012 in order to bring awareness to eating disorders and our self-worth. The founder, McCall Dempsey is a 15 year survivor travels and talks to communities to encourage positive self-image and “self-talk”. Southern Smash encourages students to write down numbers or sayings of what they won’t allow to define them and put that piece of paper on a scale to smash it. It allows students to “smash” the negative thoughts and ideas about their worth or body image and work towards seeing themselves in a more positive way. When asked to express her thoughts on the event, Nicole Davis, the Counseling Services Coordinator on campus, said “I thought the event was very successful. We had over 75 students and staff participate in the SMASH event. Some participants described it as being “very powerful” to smash the numbers that make them feel captive. We are not defined by a number…whether it’s a size, weight, GPA, or speed. This event was a very visible way to internalize that truth”.
Being self-conscious and having insecurities is a natural part of life, especially as a teen/young adult. Being self-conscious starts at a young age, according to the Southern Smash website, 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat. It has become more evident that men and women are constantly pressured to look a certain way or weigh a certain amount by the media. The media uses unrealistic, air-brushed images in magazines that make people feel like they need to meet ridiculous standards Jasmyne Mundy, Service Vice President and Public Relations Coordinator of Gamma Sigma Sigma, a community service sorority on campus, said “Southern Smash was an excellent event that helped raise awareness about eating disorders and positive body image. I really look forward to being a part of this event next year”. When asked what she liked the most about this event, she said “All of the student involvement”. Southern Smash brought many students and staff together on campus and created a bond in the fight toward positive body image.