Panel addresses body positivity, self love

Photo courtesy of Malika Hayes

Florida A&M University’s Peer Mentor and Campus Plus programs co-sponsored a presentation earlier this week about body positivity and self-love.

The presentation allowed young women of all body types to join and participate in different exercises and open discussions promoting body positivity and self-love.

Peer mentor Malikiya Hayes initiated this presentation to allow young women to come together so they will feel good about themselves.

“This came about because we live in a very vain society in how you view yourself and how others play a big role in your self-confidence. We want to take everything negative that we think about our bodies,”  Hayes said.

Over the past summer, Hayes realized that many young women were feeling insecure about themselves and that social media played a major role in their self-perception — and insecurities.

Some women said that taking pictures and posting them is hard because they are unsure about the commentary the pictures might generate regarding their bodies.

Campus Plus president Shernise Lewis allowed the group to join in on different exercises that included making lists describing the likes and dislikes of their bodies.

Many people believe that society plays a big role in how you view yourself as an individual and that your body type or the things that you wear are what define you as a person.

Photo courtesy of Malika Hayes

Members of the Campus Plus organization made it clear that their stance is with you.

“There’s only one of you and if you don’t think you’re the best then who will,” Hayes said.

At the start of the meeting, some of the women were skeptical about being more open about some of the insecurities they endure because they’ve hardly ever said anything openly about them.

Eventually, with the music and laughs throughout the zoom call, the women became comfortable and spoke about the things they felt good about and insecure about, and they related to one another.

The exercises allowed the women to bond and speak positive affirmations to one another.

“How people feel about you is an opinion — it’s not a set way,” Alexia Ford said.

The meeting also included women talking about the ways they celebrated their bodies, whether it be speaking positive words to themselves, being more active on social media, or maybe simply having a little fun just for themselves.

“We see ourselves way different than people see us. We are our own worst enemy,” Ford said.