Up and Coming
Photo Credit: Real Women Real Bodies
The new RSO “Real Women, Real Bodies” (RWRB) exhibited a presentation in the Union last Wednesday on the topic of self-esteem.
“Real Women, Real Bodies” is a campus organization centered around individuals having issues with self esteem and body image. The three women that established “Real Women, Real Bodies” are Sydney Stein, founder and President of the organization, Hannah King and Morgan Looney.
“I find body image interesting. Even as a thinner girl, I have always had qualms about my body, and I feel it is important to address these issues,” Stein said when asked about her interest in the topic.
Guest Speaker: Jasmine Austin
Photo Credit: Dyann Diercks Jasmine Austin conducting the seminar
The RSO brought in Jasmine Austin, a communication graduate student and public speaking instructor at the University of Wyoming. She initially became interested in self esteem when she was in middle school when her mother and herself listened every day to “Video,” by India. This continued for the next five years to make sure she “understood the importance of comparing yourself to . . .yourself.” She is working on her graduate thesis on how self esteem affects women. Austin is also working on helping people asses the truth about how they feel about themselves and building their personal perception.
“This topic is important because it affects everyone and it is such a dynamic construct. Helping people realize that they are responsible for their level of self esteem can really transform their idea of who and what the are. By no means are we completely perfect and awesome, but through these seminars, at least we realize that there are things we are great at and things we can work on,” Austin said
Austin began by handing out interactive questionnaires to the PowerPoint “ What Is Self Esteem?” and addressed how self esteem affects: performance, mental health, interaction with others, and willingness to experience new things. She also included: videos of individuals participating in poetry slams who challenge society’s issues with natural beauty and the skewed perception of beauty in the media; and theory concepts of influential psychologist Carl Rogers, who theorized that the view of self concept has three parts: self image, self worth, and the ideal self.
Stein said, “I feel as though everyone participated and got something out of the conversation. I am so glad Jasmine was able to bring us together and inspire us to talk about these pertinent issues.”
Student Speak Out
University of Wyoming student Conroy Stout, the only male that attended, said that he came to the session because Austin is a not only his co-worker, but is also his friend.
Stout said,” Body image certainly is a problem in today’s society. not only for women but men as well. The presentation affected me by giving me a broader perspective on how women feel objectified in our society and by the media but mostly allowing me to understand how it is that can affect someone’s self confidence and that you as a person and that anyone as a person can take control of that, can take responsibility for that action themselves and increase their own self esteem.”
Stout continued by saying that, body images affects not only women, but also men in society.
“It’s not just women who feel objectified all the time despite the fact that they are more pervasively objectified,” Stout said.
Photo Credit: Sidney Edwards–Sydney Stein speaking at the RWRB seminar
Natawsha Mitchell, University of Wyoming student, said that she thought the topic was especially important because it affects her personally and because it can have a damaging effect on individuals health, happiness, and productivity.
“I loved the presentation! Jasmine did a wonderful job and was really successful in creating a welcoming and supportive atmosphere where everyone felt comfortable discussing such a delicate topic,” Mitchell said, “It was really helpful to get some solid definitions of terms that are thrown around so often and talking about issues with other people boosted my confidence.”
Stein said that she would like “Real Women, Real Bodies” to become one of the main RSO’s on campus that many people would be informed of.
“I would like the organization to grow into a positive force on campus that holds large events and unveils a highly anticipated campaign once per semester,” Stein said.