A pink, life-size “Barbie Box” was available for the public to interact with and take photos in throughout the whole week in the Student Recreation Center and in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union to bring awareness to “Love Your Body Week”.
The #BetterthanBarbie campaign, as well as other Love Your Body Week events from Nov. 15 to 19, was hosted by the BGSU Wellness Connection.
The #BetterthanBarbie campaign was initiated by graduate student Jessica Patton, who works with the Wellness Connection.
“I wanted to incorporate the barbie box in Love Your Body Week because it's such a visual representation of the unrealistic standard of beauty. Barbie is a thin, white woman, whose body is so proportional that if she were an actual human, she would be severely malnourished. I think when people are able to see themselves in the Barbie box they are getting a chance to imagine a world where Barbie isn't the beauty standard” said Patton.
The Barbie Box interactive event was hosted in the Union on Nov. 19 at the end of the Love Your Body week in order to provide audience engagement and prompt a discussion of self care and addressing eating disorders for college students.
Eating disorders impact all genders, not just women. College is a prevalent time for students to develop harmful eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, with 4 to 10% of male college students and 10 to 20% of female college students having an eating disorder.
“I think the Barbie Box is important to everyone, not just women, because even though Barbie herself is a woman, the ideology behind it goes deeper than gender. It shows us a larger problem of individuals trying to fit and conform to unrealistic beauty standards and the media portraying these versions to us from a young age through adulthood, shaping the way we think and view ourselves as well as others,” junior Haley Lutz said.
“Everyone, no matter their gender identity, will face a time in their lives where they may not like the way they look or face criticism from other people for the way they look,” Patton said.
Beyond the interactive Barbie Box, there was a raffle available if students answered a question correctly relating to self care. The raffle winner will receive a wellness box filled with t-shirts, notebooks, informational coasters, a loofa, self care items and wellness pamphlets.