Reflections and Reality: Body Positivity Initiatives in the Guelph-Wellington Community

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Written by Rebecca Cairney

While walking down a street past shop fronts, it is no secret that more often than one would like to admit, you will take a quick glance at your reflection in the display window. It’s one of the many shameless acts of our individual fixations on physical appearance. The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Eating Disorders Coalition formed in 2000 after the first National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. They have since worked to increase the awareness of and support provided to people who are impacted with eating disorders. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Eating Disorders Coalition has strived to involve the community in discussion and is currently collaborating with Downtown Guelph businesses. Storefronts downtown can now be seen displaying posters which work to help turn our store front reflections, into body positivity reminders. This small but impactful initiative, uses slogans that remind passers by that the image they see reflecting back may appear morphed due to social characterization of beauty.


It’s not a new topic for public discussion, but it’s one that isn’t talked about enough. Body positivity and the importance for both women, and men, to feel confident in their own skin is impactful; regardless of how little, or how much of it there is. In a society where we are bombarded from a young age with social media and advertising which often promotes a specific body type as beautiful, we loose sight of what is truly beautiful. One persons ‘normal’ body type may not be attainable or even healthy to another, whether it be big or small. What is important is to foster a community which values the view the truest form of beauty. The one you can’t necessarily see in a physical sense.


The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Eating Disorders Coalition offers many resources which provide support and information on body positivity, and eating disorders. Its important to respect body diversity, whether it be towards others or ourselves. Being healthy doesn’t necessarily have a specific size, and adopting healthy behaviours and addressing self-hatred, eating disorders, and discrimination is something we must fight together. On Thursday June 2, it is World Eating Disorders Action Day, the first ever world day for the advocation and dedication of providing accurate information and perceptions of eating disorders. It’s time we practice self-love and compassion, no matter our size.


To find more information visit: http://www.eatingdisorderscoalition.ca/

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