Rock Your Body celebrates positivity, self-love


Abigail Schafer/Iowa State Daily

Vendors with self-care products and services talk to students like Aaron Zoellner, junior in psychology, at the Rock Your Body event to raise awareness for body image issues and eating disorders. Rock Your Body took place in the Cardinal Room, March 2 and is apart of BEIDA week.

Jake Dalbey

Love yourself: it’s a simple message that for some is a common way of life, but for others what lies underneath the facade of a smile keeps them from fully embracing life.

These barriers come in the form of depression, anxiety, eating disorders and many other mental health conditions, but they all share similar and often invisible symptoms not seen from the outside.

The ISU Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness group, also known as BIEDA nationwide, hopes to eliminate some the of the negative stigmas associated with mental health and help people find the means to love themselves.

The ISU BIEDA hosted one of several events associated with the Eating Disorder Awareness Week on campus Thursday in the Memorial Union. Coined as the “Rock Your Body Party,” the gathering provided food, music and resources for several campus-based health organizations.

“We spread awareness of eating disorders as well as promote positive body image as well as self-love for everyone,” BIEDA president Cassidy Boe said.

Rock Your Body was the second to last event for Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which began Monday with Honor Your Hunger.

“We had free food to stress that food is not the enemy,” Boe said. “It was a way to say that if you’re hungry, you should eat.”

In addition to BIEDA’s presence at the event, other organizations prepped stands to inform passing students on various issues affecting young people.

The Health Promotion Club, a student organization, focused on creating a health-conscious mindset and presented on the dangers of drugs and alcohol and how abuse can lead to a less positive lifestyle.

Its most recent engagement involved creating an ordinance to ban the use of vape pens in Story County as part of the Smoke Free Air Act.

“Sciences have shown it can be dangerous, and we aren’t sure what’s in the vaping liquid,” Health Promotion Club president Kiersten McGuire said. ”Right now we’re looking to see what we can focus on for the fall semester.”

Iowa State’s BIEDA chapter was the first to begin in Iowa, a fact that Boe hopes can help spread the message of her club to others.

“We’re meeting with other universities like the [University of Iowa] and [the University of Northern Iowa] to start their own group, hopefully to give them ideas and collaborate,” Boe said.

Boe encourages those who want to help spread awareness of body and mental issues to join BEIDA as a way to not only plan events but also enjoy others.

“A lot of planning is needed before events like these, but at our meetings, we just try to have fun and get to know one another,” Boe said.