Leadership Alliances Work to Promote Women’s Health, Positive Body Image, and Sexual Assault Prevention

The FMLA at SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY brought Julz Chavez, creator and owner of a new doll line “Get Real Girl,” to speak about the need for realistic and healthy images in toys and products for children. Julz Chavez, a cousin of labor rights activist Cesar Chavez, created the “Get Real Girl” athletic dolls to promote healthy looking role models and to counter barbie-like unrealistic and unhealthy bodies. For Love Your Body Day, the UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS FMLA organized a screening of “Killing Us Softly,” Jean Kilbourne’s video on gender in advertising, as well as “Beyond Killing Us Softly: The Strength to Resist,” which further explores the role of the media in women’s perception of their bodies. The group tabled with information on Sexually Transmitted Diseases, contraception, and eating disorders, and organized a presentation on the biology of women’s health with a professor from the Women’s Studies Department. In addition, they created a “Wall of Shame” with negative images found in magazine advertisements. To promote positive body image, the group passed out colorful valentines that were cut out in the shapes of hearts and women with positive messages on them. The group received campus press coverage. The KUTZTOWN FMLA also organized a successful Love Your Body Day, empowering women to challenge the dominant, pervasive, and damaging media images of women that perpetuate unhealthy body image and eating disorders by tabling with information on body image and fundraising with back massages. From Oct 7-11, the UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA AT RENO FMLA co-sponsored Sexual Assault Awareness week with different student organizations. The event featured an enclosed tented area that served as a “24-hour Violence Free Zone” where students could seek counseling, support, and solidarity. The Sexual Assault Prevention campus group that trains volunteers on campus, provided counseling and support during the week’s events. Also during the week, the FMLA organized a Take Back the Night rally, a visibility display of red flags to commemorate the too-frequent cases of rape and sexual assault in the US, and a pay equity bake sale that raised over 100 dollars.

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