Latin-inspired music boomed through the air as a crowd of excited women gathered Thursday evening to celebrate their accomplishments with a night of Zumba.
The women spent the past week and a half completing the Women’s Services and Resources’ 10-day Body Image Challenge, which includes daily challenges, journal prompts and meditation prompts to cultivate confidence and self-worth. Some of the daily themes included, “Broadening the Definition of Beauty” and “My Body Is Not an Accessory.”
More than 700 women participated in this year’s challenge.
Bright-colored balloons, streamers, tablecloths and a crew of smiling volunteers welcomed participants and had them fill out a quick survey before earning a signature Women’s Services t-shirt and joining the free Zumba class. The white shirts don the single word “beautiful” and come in five bright colors.
Event coordinator Erin McAdams believes the event was a success.
“I think it accomplishes its goal of helping girls get started on the track of thinking differently and feeling differently,” she said. “That’s what we hope for.”
One of the event volunteers, Jamie Nielsen, a communications major from Thousand Oaks, Calif., shared her positive experience with the challenge.
“There’s been an increase of happiness, excitement and self-worth during these past 10 days,” Nielsen said. “It’s just amazing the things that you can draw and learn about yourself. It’s so easy to get lost, especially in a university like this. It can feel so robotic and suffocating and you kind of lose yourself.”
Alli Crimm, an exercise science major from Pinetop, Ariz. explained how the event changed her for the better.
“It just made me think about how if I’m looking in the mirror now I should not focus on how I’m looking and comparing myself to other people but just to love (myself),” Crimm said.
Sarah Herzig, a pre-nursing major from Houston, Texas said she would encourage all girls to do the challenge.
“At first I thought it was a little tedious, but when you really sit down and do it, the more you do it the more you want to do it,” Herzig said. “It’s kind of a reward.”
Herzig said the event has helped her with more than just her own self-image.
“It’s helped me have a positive outlook on other people too,” she said.
Women who still wish to participate in the event can find a link to the challenge at byuwsr.blogspot.com, and can visit the center’s location in room 3326 of the Wilkinson Student Center to pick up their t-shirt.