Students ‘See Art, Make Art, Take Art’ for eating disorder awareness


Photo Courtesy of Elaine Selna

Photo Courtesy of Elaine Selna

Despite wanting to swipe for more dessert, Toreros usually recognize the importance of being healthy. Last week, the Women’s Center and the Center for Health and Wellness Promotion (SHWP) sponsored an event, See Art, Make Art, Take Art, for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

The purpose of this event was to express students’ feelings on body image and eating disorders in a creative way. Attendees observed a fellow Torero’s painting while creating a collective art piece. The Women’s Center also created buttons that people could put on their bags and take with them that had positive affirmations about body image like “Body Peace” and “The Body Love Revolution.”

Junior Jesse Frost, one of the organizers of the event created the buttons. When Toreros have them on their backpacks around campus, others can see them and feel empowered.

“They are really portable, very small, and very cute,” Frost said. “Having a button on your backpack that says ‘Feeling Myself’ or ‘Radical Self Love’ is just a daily reminder that you can give for yourself, that is both cute and functional.”

Using all the information from the previous events during the week and then getting to express one’s own thoughts about eating disorders by painting on a canvas to create a powerful experience.

Sophomore and art major Emily Mueller, thinks that this event can help students express how they feel about certain issues that don’t get enough attention. Students being given the opportunity to express their own thought and feelings creatively on an issue like this can be a vital experience for some to overcome their own personal struggles.

“When doing any kind of art about something it helps you work through your problems and helps you understand them better,” Mueller said.

Senior Yvette Beltran, also a Women’s Center organizer, thinks that the students of USD need to have the space and opportunity to express their ideas about eating disorders. The Center hosts this week each year, but noticed an increase in reception among the student body in attendance than in years past.   

“I think that it’s the elephant in the room so people don’t want to talk about it but do want to at the same time,” Beltran said. “Our efforts, especially this event, are trying to get people to be comfortable speaking about it if they want to or don’t or if they want to celebrate their bodies and to have that space and that opportunity.”

Sophomore Mariela Brambila thinks that there are more things that USD could be doing to highlight a topic like this that gets brushed aside many times, but affect so many in our age range.

“I definitely think it should be addressed more especially when freshmen come in and are worried about gaining the Freshman 15,” Brambila said.

Senior Sandy Guerrero also recognizes how taboo this subject is for many people.

“I feel that we need to address this issue more because it still becomes a taboo topic that people don’t want to address because they say that most people don’t find it as a disorder,” Guerrero said. “But as your own issue and I think it should be addressed more because it is a disorder and not your everyone is entitled to express themselves in whichever way speaks to them.”

Junior Maria Dimachkie, who also works at the Women’s Center, summed up the event’s purpose of making art together as a community beautifully. One of the core values of the Center is to remind fellow Toreros that they are not alone and that it is always there as a resource to help.

“I hope that, for anyone who is suffering with an eating disorder, that this makes them feel heard or being thought about and, for others, that this is being brought to the forefront of their minds so that they are aware that this is a problem for a lot of people,” Dimachkie said.

USD has been trying to make changes and promote more awareness about topics that are hard to talk about by putting on events such as Mental Health Awareness Week, Torero reactions confirm that the university has a responsibility to keep talking about these issues.