UCSF Hosts Body Image Awareness Week

By Shipra Shukla

Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters book cover

Eating disorders affect more than 70 million people worldwide. UCSF Student Health Services and the Center for Gender Equity, among several departments, are co-sponsoring Body Image Awareness Week from Feb. 23 to Feb. 27. The highlight of the week is a talk by Courtney E. Martin, award-winning author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, that examines the link between the need for high achievement and eating disorders. “Those of us dedicated to promoting wellness are naturally drawn to getting deeper into these issues,” said Martin. “We want to understand not just what the symptoms are, but how we can participate in chipping away at the causes.” Presented by the Center for Gender Equity, Student Health Services, Student Activity Center, and Campus Life Services Fitness and Recreation, Martin’s talk takes place in Cole Hall on Thursday, Feb. 26, from noon to 1 p.m.


Several body image awareness resources are available on and off campus. They include the following.

Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters was called “a hardcover punch in the gut” by Arianna Huffington and “a smart and spirited rant that makes for thought-provoking reading” by the New York Times. Martin is also a widely read freelance journalist and regular blogger. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor and Alternet, among other publications. She is a columnist for the American Prospect online and an editor at feministing.com, and has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning Americaand the O’Reilly Factor. All Body Image Awareness Week events are free. The schedule is as follows. Monday, Feb. 23: “Culture and Body Image at the Hub” is a workshop looking at the cultural undertones affecting body awareness. The workshop is led by Neesha Patel, PhD, UCSF Student Health Services. Lunch will be provided. 1 to 2 p.m., Medical Sciences Building, room 182, Parnassus campus. RSVP to [email protected]. Tuesday, Feb. 24: “Living with an Eating Disorder and Body Image Concerns” brings together students from diverse backgrounds to share their personal experiences with anorexia and bulimia. The panel is moderated by Rebecca Watters, MD. Lunch will be provided. Noon to 1 p.m., School of Nursing, room 217, Parnassus campus. RSVP to [email protected] Wednesday, Feb. 25: The documentary film Asian American Beauty showcases students from Columbia University who share their experiences of beauty, body and culture. This film is followed by a discussion moderated by Neesha Patel, PhD, UCSF Student Health Services. Lunch will be provided. Noon to 1 p.m. School of Nursing, room 417, Parnassus campus. RSVP to [email protected] Thursday, Feb. 26: “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters” is a talk by Courtney E. Martin, who discusses how obsession with food and weight threatens a new generation of girls and is directly tied to trying to do too much. A light lunch will be provided. Noon to 1 p.m., Cole Hall, Parnassus campus, with a simulcast to Rock Hall Auditorium, Mission Bay campus. Thursday, Feb. 26: Bigger Stronger Faster: Is It Still Cheating If Everyone Is Doing It? is a documentary that David Ansen of Newsweek says will shake up beliefs about competition, hypocrisy, body obsession and American notions of masculinity. Presented by Student Health Services, School of Dentistry, School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy. 6:30-8 p.m., Cole Hall, Parnassus campus. Friday, Feb. 27: “Eating & Stress” is a workshop presented by Kelly Garner, Student Health Services. Lunch will be provided. Noon to 1 p.m., Student Health Services, William J. Rutter Center, room 330, Mission Bay campus. RSVP to [email protected]

Related Link:

UCSF to Raise Awareness of Eating Disorders This Week
UCSF Today, Feb. 25, 2008