The Diversity Team celebrated Valentine’s Day with activities that encouraged self-love and conveyed awareness about shaming on Feb. 14. A booth was organized by David Gibbons, the Stop the Hate chair on the Diversity Team, in the atrium of the Shepard Union.
The goal Gibbons set as the Stop the Hate chair was to bring to light situations such as domestic violence, mental illnesses and body shaming — situations many find difficulty discussing.
Participants in the activities received Valentine’s Day cards filled with positive words. As a bonus, candy was also attached to the cards.
“Valentine’s Day is a day that celebrates love. People get so caught up in the holiday thinking that they have to be in a relationship to celebrate — we forget that whether or not we are with someone, we are worthy of our own love,” said Gibbons.
The Diversity Team also invited students to write messages on sticky notes and place them on a board displayed by the booth. The colorful sticky notes caught the eyes of students passing by.
“Sticky notes were a perfect medium. Everyone could write a note and have it displayed and see that so many other students participated and had things to say,” said Gibbons.
Weber State University students wrote over 66 sticky notes with positive words or tips on how to overcome body shaming.
“You can hardly accomplish anything or motivate yourself if you do not love yourself first. You are either your biggest motivator or your biggest downfall,” said WSU student Stacy Estrada.
Angela Ramirez expressed views about being aware of body shaming and the connection it has with self-love.
“It has a lot to do with self-love because in today’s society, the media portrays women as being a certain way: you have to be perfect, you have to be beautiful. Even the pretty girls are held up to super high standards,” said Ramirez.
Cheyenne Liang, an intern at the WSU counseling center, was doing outreach for counseling services at the Stop the Hate booth and encouraged students to participate.
According to Liang, the booth celebrated Valentine’s Day by reminding students to be positive about themselves and utilize self-care.
“Participating in self-care — taking care of your body, getting enough sleep, exercise and also surrounding yourself with positivity and making sure you’re engaging in positive behaviors mentally and physically — are good tips for overcoming body shaming,” said Liang.