NC State’s first Love Your Body Day (LYBD) Summit, hosted on October 31, 2018 by the NC State Women’s Center, achieved three important goals relating to deconstructing supremacist views in how we view bodies:
- reclaimed language that centers the real experiences our bodies encounter,
- exclaimed resistance against those systems which seek to imprison bodies,
- and disclaimed conformity against structures that demand assimilation of our bodies.
The summit’s theme, “Reclaim, Exclaim and Disclaim,” created conversations and elicited action to deconstruct the singular and confined ways we often think, talk about and regard bodies.
The one-day summit featured workshops by NC State community partners and focused on decolonizing images of the body, with workshops focused on fatphobia in the GLBT community, body positivity, gender stereotypes, sexual violence and holding space for full-body healing.
The day concluded with a student-facilitated panel discussion. Panelists Huy Từ, a doctoral student in computer science; Christina Arniotes, a senior in business administration, human resource management; and Kahlia Phillips, a senior in accounting, highlighted how students of varying and multiple identities have taken steps toward their own self-acceptance by beginning the work of recentering their own narratives and breaking free of controlling images.
Throughout the course of the day, participants came in and out of the summit, choosing the sessions they wanted to attend and engaging with facilitators on specialized topics. More than 80 people attended the workshops.
Senior Kahlia Phillips noted that the healing space “focused on the systemic issues that keep people from taking care of themselves, especially when they hold marginalized identities, and some ideas on how to cultivate the revolutionary act of self-care for ourselves so that we can continue to do the work that we do for ourselves and others.”
One student furthered this thought, saying on their assessment, “There were identities and issues brought up today that I hadn’t thought much about before, so I will be more mindful of these going forward.”
From beginning to end, the summit achieved its goal of beginning conversations that teach us to be more mindful so we can hold ourselves responsible for our future actions.
- See the full LYBD Summit schedule.
Angela Gay is assistant director of the Women’s Center.