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As I Am Campaign

One week countdown

Hey Tigers!
In order to keep you in the loop about what USLC is doing, I thought I would start doing a blog to regularly update you guys.
Seeing as the As I Am Campaign is launching in a week, I thought it apt to begin there. For those of you who don't know, As I Am will be a campaign focused on issues of nutrition, body image, and eating disorders on campus. We aim to start a discussion about these topics on campus, as well as publicize campus resources available to help you if you think you have an eating disorder, if your friend has an eating disorder, or if you want to find out how to eat healthier in the dining halls.
A few of you have asked me why we are doing this project/why this project is important, and I just wanted to share some thoughts of the project leaders of As I Am in response to these questions.
"My inspiration for this campaign came from personally witnessing other students struggle with eating, nutrition, and body-related issues. After giving these topics more thought, I realized that I myself had not had much exposure to them nor the resources on campus to address them, and that was something that needed to change." - Ashley Hatcher '15
"Raising awareness about issues with eating and exercise is so important to me. I think everyone knows at least a couple people that struggle with food and exercise either a little or a lot. I think that issues like these are so difficult to deal with because food and exercise are hard to avoid. Everyone has to eat so, if you have any type of anxiety about food, the information that we got from the nutritionist and the specialist at UHS should be helpful for you!" - Carly Jackson '16
Finally, a bit about my own thoughts. I admit that I do not understand what it's like to have an eating disorder. Before this semester, I didn't know how to talk about this issue, and I didn't even realize that eating disorders were an issue on this campus. In short, I was pretty ignorant. So, to be completely honest, this project really started with Ashley and Carly's initiative, and their conversations with UHS and the Women's Center. However, as we delved further into the topic and attempted to figure out the best approach to combat the issue on this campus, I came to realize the importance of what we were doing. The Princeton struggle with "effortless perfection" has led to the development of eating disorders for many students, and the exacerbation of previous difficulties with food for others. The fact that our social life is so focused around food (think of the residential college dining halls, and the huge presence of eating clubs on this campus) doesn't help either. However, with that said, this campus is mostly silent about the issue of body image and eating disorders. This needs to change.
I concede that a one-week campaign may not make much of a tangible difference - we are not going to eliminate eating disorders on the Princeton campus in one week. However, I sincerely hope you can now begin to see why this campaign is important: it's for the sake of raising awareness of campus resources, starting a conversation about a problem that has mostly been invisible, and beginning to bridge the gaps in understanding our friends.
Thanks so much for reading this, and please feel free to reach out (kchow@) if you have any questions about As I Am or USLC in general.
Sincerely,
Kathy Chow
USLC Chair 2015
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