Introducing Love Yourself Week: In Conversation with Helena Hu and Jess Wat

H: Hello lovely people! We’re here to introduce you to Love Yourself Week 2015,ANU’s first body image positivity week.

J: We’re super excited that our brainchild is all grown up, and ready to take the campus by storm next week!

H: Starting October 19, we’re asking you to try and let go of any self-doubt, self-hate, and to embrace yourself as you are.

J: We will have speaker panels with academics and mental health organizations, a No Lights No Lycra dance event, a men’s body image discussion panel, a movie night, and other really exciting events. Universal Lunch Hour is going to a really amazing time—think petting zoos and selfie booths!

H: We started this project because it’s taken us both a long time to love ourselves as we are, and to know that we are good enough. As ANUSA Gen Reps, we are very lucky to be in a position where we have been able to easily access the resources and support to make this dream come true—to let everyone on campus be surrounded by positivity and acceptance for the week, and take time to celebrate themselves.

J: A lot of the time people don’t often reflect on their uniqueness or on what they love about themselves. Unfortunately society has come to idealise a specific set a traits as the universal standard of beauty that all women should measure themselves against, regardless of how unrealistic or unhealthy that may be.

H: We want to ask you to pause, to understand and challenge these one-dimensional society constructs, and ultimately come to know that whatever you look like on the outside or however your body functions, it is beautiful and deserving of love—self- love, and the love of others.

J: We have worked with the Departments to bring you events that will hopefully raise awareness of lived experiences can affect your body-love in completely different ways. We will be talking about men’s body image, queer body image, and non-able-bodied body image amongst others.

H: We would like to ask you, before we go, to please keep an open mind next week. Please try your best to understand these undoubtedly complex and challenging issues, and to be as supportive of yourself and any others who may be going through a difficult time.

J: We truly hope that you will enjoy yourselves during this week, and take something positive away from it!

If at any time during Love Yourself Week you require assistance, the ANU Counseling Centre have 28 walk-in emergency appointments per day. Please call 6125 2442 or make an appointment at the Centre at 9am.

Butterfly National Support Line and Web Counseling Service – support, advice, counseling and referral., Monday to Friday, 8am to 9pm. Tel: 1800 33 4673

ACT Eating Disorder Program (and referral advice). Monday – Friday 9am-5pm Tel: 6205 1519

If you are worried about someone after hours call:

ACT Mental Health Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (CATT) on 6205 1065 or 1800 629 354

Lifeline on 13 11 14.