Seminar squashes body image stereotypes

Kelly Richardson

Women should be skinny, tan and tall. Men should have a six-pack stomach, stand tall and look confident.

Those and many other stereotypes were squashed last night at the final seminar of the Health Services Passport to Wellness Series in Downing University Center.

“Looking Beyond the Mirror” was the name of the seminar that dealt with body images and how the media portrays them.

Betsy Pierce, outreach coordinator with the Counseling Services Center, spoke about how advertisements can show an unrealistic viewpoint of how people should look. She also brought up shows like ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” and MTV’s “I Want a Famous Face,” which show people going to extreme lengths to improve their appearance, or even to resemble a celebrity.

Kathryn Steward, the health education coordinator, said that within three to four minutes of looking at a magazine, people start feeling critical about the way they look.

Pierce said she thought the session was important “because I think everyone can relate to concerns with their body image.”

She also said the most important message of the seminar is “being critical of the media messages and realizing what we look like is not who we really are.”

Bowling Green freshman Daniel Gonzalez said he learned from the seminar.

“I like how they compared the models with just regular people,” he said. “It was a good contrast between the two.”

Brianne Casper, a sophomore from New Albany, Ind., said she liked how they let other people comment. “You get to see other people’s ideas on this topic.”

Reach Kelly Richardson at [email protected]