Love Your Body committee says 'Be your own Valentine'

The committee is now spreading programming across the spring.
A valentine sits in the Women's Center on Monday as apart of the center's "Be Your Own Valentine" event. Students created cards and buttons to express love for themselves on Valentine's Day.

Plenty of the men and women who visited the Women’s Center this Valentine’s Day were single. And they all love it.

These people are protégés of the lesson the Love Your Body committee was preaching Monday, with its “Be Your Own Valentine” campaign.

“We wanted to do at least one event every month, and of course the first thing we thought of when we thought of February was Valentine’s Day,” Women’s Center adviser Suzy Day said. “Usually, on Valentine’s Day, we focus on other people, and we just thought, ‘How great would it be if we could focus on ourselves too on this day and bring that same love we bring to others to ourselves?’”

Throughout the day, people went to the Women’s Center to create valentines and buttons for themselves and grab a bite of chocolate, all dubbed with positive body and self-image messages.

“For a kind of fun activity we thought we would put together a table where people could make themselves a valentine,” Day said.

Sophomore Nicole Silvestri worked at the table during the event.

“There’s a lot of body negativity in the world and this is kind of a radical movement that we’re trying to take part in to make everyone love themselves despite their size,” Silvestri said. “Instead of making Valentines for other people, we’re making Valentines for ourselves with positive messages.”

This was the Love Your Body committee’s first event of the spring semester. In the past, the committee hosted a weeklong slew of events, but this year decided to spread the events over the course of the entire semester.

“It used to be our spring programming was all one week, but now we’re trying to do it a little bit throughout the whole semester so it kind of spreads out the love,” Day said. “We have this really great space here in the Women’s Center, so we thought this would be a great place to have everything set up.”

The movement also exceeded the bounds of the center — the committee’s message was broadcast on plasma televisions, in MU Info and at various table tents across campus.

“Love yourself just the weigh you are,” a message lying on a table in the Student Center read. “This Valentine’s Day, ditch the scale and be your own Valentine.”

Those working at the event had positive messages of their own that they exercised on Valentine’s Day.

“Stay positive,” Silvestri said. “Be yourself. Be your own Valentine — don’t depend on someone else.”

Day said to think of oneself as a friend.

“Treat yourself the way you treat your friends,” Day said. “The same way you would compliment a friend or bring them up when they’re down, you should do the same to yourself. Sometimes, you would never say some things to your friends that you would say back to yourself.”

This movement isn’t limited to just Valentine’s Day, Day said. It’s something she hopes people will exercise every day of the year.

“Buy yourself a treat today or write yourself a message and just keep that mentality not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day,” Day said.

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