Week to raise awareness of eating disorders and body image concerns
The Week, running from Monday 23 – Friday 27 February, has been organised by Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Dr Nova Deighton-Smith, and PhD student Glen Jankowski, in collaboration with the University’s Centre for Applied Social Research, School of Health and Wellbeing and Students’ Union. The aim is to raise awareness of eating disorders across the University whilst finding out more about the body image and wellbeing issues that young people in the city are facing and how the University can help. All events are free and open to the public.
Dr Deighton-Smith explained: “This week is an opportunity for anyone interested in appearance-related issues to come and listen to speakers that have expertise in this field of research, as well as openly discuss some of the issues that young people might be experiencing. Unrealistic cultural ideals of beauty can leave so many of us feeling unhappy with the way that we look and burdened with the many consequences to our health and wellbeing. This will be a week dedicated to challenging those ideals and pressures, whilst promoting acceptance of our appearance, ourselves and others.”
The week will begin with the craftivism workshop on Monday 23 February, led by Dr Paula Singleton and running from 5-6.30pm in the University’s Rose Bowl. The workshop is a chance to make Barbie or Ken into a superhero, capturing your own identity complete with origin, mission, and vulnerability.
On the Tuesday, a ‘Riots not Diets’ zine making workshop will be held from 5-6.30pm in the Rose Bowl, led by Embla Magnusdottir, former Leeds Beckett Student Union Women’s Officer and President of the Feminist Society. Zines are small, self-published magazines that have been used in feminist and punk communities often to spread messages that mainstream media ignore. Using popular women’s magazines, participants will subvert dominant appearance messages to make a zine about celebrating appearance and resisting pressures.
Speakers, including Dan Round, a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist from The Retreat Centre in York, Ursula Philpot, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at Leeds Beckett, Dr Katy Day, Critical Social Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett and Dr Megan Hurst, Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, will then gather at the University’s Rose Bowl on Wednesday 25 February from 2-5pm for an afternoon of talks and panel discussions.
A second session will run at the Headingley Campus on Thursday 26 February from 4.30-6.30pm, with a further focus on body image and eating disorders. Speakers at the Headingley session will include Dr Karen Hind, Senior Research Fellow in the University’s Carnegie Faculty and PhD students with an interest in appearance-related research.
On the evening of Thursday 26, Student Minds, the national charity running support groups for those with eating disorders, will host a film night at the city campus Students’ Union from 6.30pm. The film, Sharing the Secret, explores the subject of Bulimia Nervosa in a high-achieving teenage girl.
All week, including Friday 27, guests will have the opportunity to visit stalls within the University’s Leslie Silver Building, take part in questionnaires and contribute to a “Fat-Talk Free” pledge board. All money raised will be going to B-EAT and Leeds Beckett Student Minds. Questionnaires will be used by researchers at the University to find out more about students’ health and wellbeing, sport and exercise participation, and dietary practices; with the aim of understanding the issues felt by students and improving the help that the University is able to provide.
For more information about the week and to book onto any of the sessions, please visit http://bodyimageweek.eventbrite.co.uk
Please also visit our Library website for more information on our academics' research around eating disorders.