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A New Year for Body Positivity

As a woman of color, immigrant, child of immigrants and multilingual social worker, I tend to see the world through a unique lens. My minority identities afford me a superpower of always finding and feeling the gaps in systems in which I live. I often feel pulled to create space for myself and others who don’t always feel included. I strongly believe that there is no dignity in living in a world in which diversity, equity and inclusion are not woven into systems-where all of our parts and selves can show up unapologetically, be celebrated or welcomed to the table like a multicultural potluck. I grew up code switching in my linguistic abilities but it did not take me long to realize that in order to survive in some spaces, I also had to code switch in my identities. I am sure other readers can relate to this. – What if we didn’t have to do this and could show up to a space where we feel seen, included and safe. This is my mission for the Body Positive program at the Women’s Center.

Since representation truly matters, it was even more important for me to bring conversations regarding the importance of intersectionality into the Body Positive program at the Women’s Center. After all, we cannot be Body Positive unless we are seeing ourselves and others in all of our complexities. Acknowledging this, is the catalyst in having pride in our bodies and dismantling the systems that are profiting off of our insecurities.  Our bodies and identities are wrapped in political, economic and social issues- everything is linked and we are part of an interdependent community. In order for us to promote and speak the language of body positivity, we must do this through a systems-based perspective that is rooted in social justice. 

The Body Positive team at the Women’s Center is dedicated to raising awareness, educating and promoting a world of justice for all bodies and aims to achieve self-love through this intersectional conversation. We have an exciting academic year planned in which we hope to spark conversations about body positivity by including, learning from and listening to diverse voices that live in diverse bodies. 

Watch this space to learn more and reflect on body positivity. We will be sharing our thoughts, encouraging you to reflect through journal prompts and introducing you to some our favorite body positive influencers through various social media posts. We hope to inspire the UVA community to celebrate diversity, have more inclusive conversations and welcome all parts of ourselves and yourselves unapologetically to the table. So get your chai, tell your friends and invite your neighbor (while abiding my social distancing rules, of course!) and join in on the conversation. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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