Brescia students create video and photo display to address problem with body image among women

February 10, 2011

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London, ON – Brescia University College  student Nikita Miller has watched and listened as women and young girls in her  life struggle with the issue of body image. To bring attention to this growing  social issue, and in recognition of Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW), she  initiated a photo display at Brescia  and a video for YouTube that have made a real impact.

“I wanted to sit on the Eating Disorders Awareness Committee  because I couldn’t imagine one of my ‘little sisters’ struggling with something  like that. I personally can not imagine the torture or hell of being at  the mercy of the media, other people, my own judgments, or an eating disorder. With  society focusing so much on obesity, we are now encouraging eating disorders by  trying to combat a different problem,” Miller said.

The committee decided to draw attention to body image as a  social issue during EDAW. Within two weeks, Miller brought together a  professional photographer, Vincenzo Pistritto; Brescia  students Mimi Kaupp, Emily Bamford, Jazmyn Jansen, and Cailin Whincop; model  Susan Chlipala; and University of    Western Ontario  journalism student Nick Mizera to shoot the video.

A display board in the entrance of Ursuline Hall features before  and after photos of the six young women, taken by a professional photographer.  “I watched people walk by the board and it was so priceless. I loved the  look on their faces, but most of all, I just loved that people seem interested  and are paying attention to something!” said Miller.

The women featured in the photos stayed after the shoot to watch  Pistritto enhance their photos using Photoshop. “Keeping this event in mind, we  put together a three-minute video. I had a short window of time from when  the idea first came to me until the time of execution. There was no selection  process for the video. The first group I could get together, I took.”  Miller stressed this point in response to a comment posted on YouTube about the  appearance of the women featured in the video. You  may view the video on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzoaZI6CgfI

“I encourage you to share the link and help to combat the  stigma associated with eating disorders and help to shine light on the idea of false  beauty and magazines,” Miller said.

The EDAW committee also hosted a panel and a yoga session at  Brescia this  week. On Monday, February 14, the second annual Swap Shop will give Brescia students the  opportunity to buy slightly used clothing for a good price. All proceeds will  go to Hope’s Garden, an eating disorders resource and support centre in London. Miller hopes that  an annual committee will continue raising awareness about this important issue  at Canada’s  women’s university.

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Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is  affiliated with The University   of Western Ontario. The  1,100 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide  variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating  environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College  welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more  information, please visit www.brescia.uwo.ca

To link to the online release, please visit Brescia’s Online Media Room at http://www.brescia.uwo.ca/media/newsroom.html

For additional information,  please contact:

Nikita Miller   E-mail: nmille7@uwo.ca

or

Julie Maltby   Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer   E-mail: julie.maltby@uwo.ca   Phone: 519.432.8353, ext. 28280