Operation Beautiful: Spreading body positivity throughout campus

UMKC’s Women’s Center celebrated “Every Body is Beautiful” week on Feb. 26 through their project promoting body positivity, Operation Beautiful.

The Center welcomed students to 105 Haag Hall to participate in creating shrink art and decorating sticky notes with messages that encourage a healthy outlook on body image. These pieces of art were left around campus for students to find as a “pick-me-up.”

The Center has celebrated Operation Beautiful for about 15 years. The Center not only provides students with reassuring and supportive messages, but also with information about eating disorders and how to obtain a healthy body image.

Graduate assistant for the Women’s Center, Marge Wight, explained that Operation Beautiful partners with UMKC Counseling Services and Swinney to help be proactive in creating body positivity.

Wight described what the movement means to her and how she wants to help young women.
“First, I look back and think about when I was younger, and body image, and how you personally perceive yourself,” said Wight. “And now that I’m older, looking at my little cousins and knowing that your inner voice can be the hardest thing. So even if we can just spread a sticky note for this random person rounding a corner to see ‘Own your own body,’ I think it’s so important.”

The Women’s Center hopes the messages can resonate in the minds of students to create a more accepting and supportive outlook on body image.
UMKC student Nina Cherry expressed how she feels connected to the program.
“Personally, I’m just not the norm for my major,” said Cherry. “I’m the only other woman studying classical percussion. I’m around all of these big, full-grown men, and I’m small.”

The Women’s Center continues to spread positive messages for both men and women for the “Every Body is Beautiful” movement and provides support in the journey of learning to love yourself.
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