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Eating Disorders Awareness Month
February is Eating Disorders Awareness month. Several organizations at JMU have sought to develop programs to counter the negative stigma some may associate with eating disorders. In the effort to educate the JMU community on eating disorder awareness and positive body image topics UREC, Student Wellness Outreach, Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, the Panhellenic Counsel,Center for Multicultural Student Services, and Operation Beautiful have combined their resources to construct a February full of events.
One of these groups, Operation Beautiful (OB), a new organization at JMU as of fall semester 2012, seeks to promote positive body image and raise eating disorder awareness. Vice President of the club, Louise Lehmuller exemplifies Operation Beautiful’s mission: “I want people to take as much out of Operation Beautiful as I am. Beauty is being unique and just being you. No diet pill, magazine, or workout tape can help achieve that.”
The leadership of OB strives to change the conversation about eating disorders on this campus and eliminate the ever-present ‘fat talk’ by teaching members how to respond to ideas contributing to negative body image. Madelyn Hankin, Event Coordinator of OB comments on faulty stereotypes our society possesses, “Body image is one of those ideas that is brought up or thought about on a day to day basis. People seem to have an idea of what the ‘perfect’ body image is supposed to be. However, who is to say what’s perfect?”
OB welcomes individuals who are passionate about the cause to join their organization. Member meetings are every other Monday at 5pm in Taylor 305. For Eating Disorders Awareness month, Operation Beautiful is mediating Body Matters: A Panel on Eating Disorders, Prevention, and Treatment at 7 p.m. in ISAT 159. Panelists will include Liz Klemt (student), Michele Cavoto (clinical dietician), and Susan Margolis (counselor).