Virtual Love Your Body Week Gives Students an Opportunity to Share their Voices


Greek and Roman families share their self-portraits during Wednesday’s festivities. (Photo Credits: Verena W.)

When small stickers no larger than the size of a fist were plastered all around campus—in bathrooms, on bulletin boards, and even in classrooms—students would know that Love Your Body week was officially here. However this year, it’s different and entirely online.

Peer-to-Peer, Westridge’s peer support group who act as mentors and listeners and raise awareness of mental health issues, explained the purpose of Love Your Body week on their Instagram page. “Love Your Body Week is a time for members of the Westridge community to come together and support one another over issues surrounding body image.” 

The week included activities and events to instigate conversations about body image and ways to spread body positivity. The event was organized entirely by Peer to Peer, with the help of Brittany Coker, Dean of Upper School Activities, Lisa Carruthers, Director of Counseling and Student Support, and Tami Millard, Learning Support Specialist. The group hoped to create a supportive environment to discuss ways to uplift body images. 

“Love Your Body Week is not meant to be a command, but just a reminder to be more aware and feel unashamed about topics surrounding our bodies,” said Caris L. ’21, who has been a Peer-to-Peer mentor for three years. “We hope students were engaged as best they could in this online setting.”

Love Your Body Week kicked off on Tuesday with an optional after-school Peer-to-Peer office hour event where students could chat with Peer-to-Peer mentors about topics ranging from advice for high school to self-care. The office hours were offered again on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Town Meeting included topics relating to themes of body positivity, followed by a Peer-to-Peer Love Your Body Activity where students partook in Big and Little Sister groups. These activities included creating a group playlist of uplifting songs, as well as crafting self-portraits and sharing them with family members. 

Wednesday’s Upper School Town Meeting discussed body images and ways to uplift students. (Photo Credits: Verena W.)

“I enjoyed listening to people share,” said Alex S. ’24 after attending the Town Meeting on Wednesday. “It felt like a small community was building with every person who talked and it was really heartwarming. It also made me feel not alone even though I haven’t had exactly the same experiences.” 

Maya C. ’24 agreed. “It was nice hearing everybody’s experiences with body image, and I think everyone in the town meeting benefited from hearing other peers’ stories. I liked how people were able to share their struggles with body image without judgment from other students. I also admired how people shared encouragement and advice with how to deal with a negative body image, as it’s something most people struggle with to some extent.” 

To wrap up the week, Thursday included a “P2P Lunch Buddies” event, where Westridge students from different grades were paired up with each other to have lunch and chat. Friday ended the week with an optional Body Check-in activity during lunch with Peer-to-Peer students.

Although Love Your Body has been transitioned entirely online, some students were optimistic and enjoyed the week and activities. “I think it was especially important to have this conversation regarding body positivity because so many people feel distant due to COVID-19, though through all these events, we were all able to connect on a personal level within our Big and Little sister groups along with the entire upper school. It really brought us all together which was well needed,” said Hanna G. ’21 after reflecting on Wednesday’s activities.

“This year allowed us the opportunity to have more activities than normal. Because of the Wednesday schedule, we were able to have a Big Little sister activity, and that’s something that we’ve never done before,” shared Coker. “Historically, [Love Your Body Week] has been mostly focused on Upper School, whereas this year we’re able to have a lot more engagement with the Lower and Middle school.”

As the week came to a close, students were asked to define what loving your body meant and advice on how to appreciate themselves. To me, I think it means being okay with not looking ‘perfect’,” said Corina D. ’21. “I think it means appreciating my body’s utility and individuality rather than its level of conformity.”