During Naked Week, we as a staff feel it is important to reflect on what the week, and body positivity, means to each of us.
We’ve all had that freshman moment where someone mentions about Naked Week, and we have no clue what they’re talking about. However, we learn about what Naked Week means and it’s hard not to appreciate what the week stands for. Learning to love one’s body is a lifelong challenge for most. Whether or not we admit it, there is an age-old struggle that comes from comparing yourself to the people around you.
Last semester, a body positivity activist and author Jes Baker visited campus. During her event, she asked the crowd what age that students started to feel self-conscious about their bodies. The response was overwhelming, with most stating that they felt negative toward their bodies since the age of 11.
Not only is this disheartening, but it shows how little certain media outlets such as the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and other child and adolescent-based programs cares about true and accurate representation of bodies and people. Nowadays, more and more impractical representations of the body are becoming readily available to an increasingly younger audience. It’s unfortunate that disliking yourself somehow marks the end of innocence, yet this is how things seem to have always been. This issue nowadays is the threat of a complete loss of innocence all together for future generations.
Although this is hardly a new phenomenon, the dawn of social media has posed its own unique threats to body positivity for people of our generation and those that will come after. We are bombarded with endless streams of content that subliminally enforce the “ideal” body type. This “ideal” is not all-encompassing, and how could it be? How is it possible for every single human on the planet to conform to one standard? The short answer is: it isn’t. So what does Naked Week have to say about this?
Naked Week is an initiative to normalize the uniqueness of different bodies and identities. Naked Week is one week out of the year Denison takes to remind its community of the importance of diversity and acceptance. No matter if you are a participant or not, this on-campus event provides a message that everyone can benefit from. Students who choose not to participate in Naked Week support the runners by gathering on A-Quad to respectfully cheer on their peers.
If the Opening Ceremony was too public and daunting for you, don’t worry! Naked Week isn’t over yet, and you can still participate!