Chalked phrases reading ‘love yourself’ and ‘focus on your own self-awareness’ line the sidewalks and stairs around campus. Post-it notes with ‘have a great day’ stick to the bathroom mirrors in various buildings.
Such messages were created by the Center for Gender Equity as part of Love Yourself Day on Oct. 18 on the STEPS lawn.
Students and passersby could enjoy snacks and hot chocolate as well as take-away face masks, coloring books, movement stations with nerf footballs and soccer, a yoga mat station and a ‘Compliment a Professor’ table. Members of LEELA, a fusion dance group on campus, gave henna tattoos for a low price.
“The students will walk away with a more focused mindset,” said Alana Rosen, ’21, a student staff member at the Center for Gender Equity and the Love Yourself Day event leader. “It’s just going to be a relaxing thing to do and sort of that nice thing to see when going around campus.”
Sarita Mizin, ’19G, a staff leader and graduate assistant at the Center for Gender Equity, said this year’s Love Yourself Day was a rebranding of last year’s Love Your Body Day, which was sponsored by the National Organization for Women.
“Love Yourself Day brings attention to ways certain populations receive messages about how they should look or operate in this world, and it gives opportunities for people to engage in self compassion and self-care activities,” Mizin said.
Rosen said the top two activities to relieve stress and promote self-awareness are exercising and drawing. Exercising releases endorphins, while drawing allows your mind to relax.
The event, Mizin said, was also held to recognize issues around self-image, which are inherently negative. These issues include body dysmorphia and the lack of body confidence because of the media’s influence.
Aly Duffin, ’21, also a student staff member and event leader, said the Center for Gender Equity focuses on gender-based issues like toxic masculinity and social implications of gender and works to educate others by hosting programs.
“I’m really proud of how Love Yourself Day went,” Duffin said. “I think it sparked some really great conversations and I was just proud of other students for really embracing self-love.”