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Be Comfortable in Your Genes

Photo: Brittany Garza and FriendsIn honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, the University of St. Thomas Office of Counseling and Disabilities Services will partner with the Society of Macrina to promote a campaign that celebrates the beauty and uniqueness of one’s body. The campaign, “Be Comfortable in Your Genes,” will run from Feb. 24-28, and encourages people of all shapes and sizes to donate their old jeans and celebrate the body they have.

Inspiration for “Be Comfortable in Your Genes” stems from the Awareness Week’s theme “Everybody Knows Somebody,” which bring awareness to the fact that everyone knows somebody who struggles with eating.

Jennifer Shannon, Coordinator for the Office of Counseling and Disabilities Service, said the office likes to do something every year to talk about eating disorders awareness.

“I like to focus on body-positive themes to be comfortable in the body you have,” Shannon said. “I pushed the idea because it talks about celebrating your figure as it is now.”

Photo: Brittany Garza, Jennifer Shannon and FriendsThe jeans collected will be donated to a local charity at the end of the campaign, and both men and woman are encouraged to participate. Statistics show a rise in eating disorders among young men, especially athletes, Shannon said.

“A lot of people can relate to having a pair of jeans that are too big that you’re are holding on to just in case,” Shannon said. “I want people to think about what’s in their closet and why they are hanging on to the clothes that don’t fit.”

The Society of Macrina president, Brittany Garza, believes in supporting those affected by eating disorders, and encourages men and women to recognize their own beauty.

“Each of us can help by first becoming aware of eating disorders and in the case of this campaign, jean donations,” Garza said. “We hope that each woman can see her own innate beauty and the beauty of all men and women on campus.”

Counseling and Disability Services and the Society of Macrina will be on the first floor of Crooker Center collecting old jeans Monday, Feb. 24 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Afterward, jeans may be dropped off in the Counseling and Disabilities office on the second floor of Crooker.

For more information on National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, visit their website or contact Counseling and Disabilities Services at 713-525-2169.

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