6th annual Women’s Services campaign encourages self-acceptance

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Photo of Julia Tebbs giving a thumbs up as the Women’s Services and Resources campaign coordinator.  (Brittany Salinas)

Luna Lovegood, a character from the popular Harry Potter series, was described as having straggly, blonde hair with an eccentric personality and was given the nickname, “Loony Lovegood.” The fictional character did not change, despite the ridicule she faced.

“Being different isn’t a bad thing. It means you’re brave enough to be yourself,” she said in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

Luna’s message connects to the core message encouraged by BYU Women’s Services’ annual “Be You” campaign.

The 6th annual 10-day campaign, held on Sept. 19–28, encouraged confidence, self-love and acceptance by providing education and resources for all men and women suffering from perfectionism and lack of self-acceptance, according to the Women’s Services and Resources’ website.

Students take turns placing their photo on a whiteboard to showcase qualities they admire about themselves. (Brittany Salinas)

Studies show that at least 85 percent or more of the world’s people suffer from some degree of lacking self-esteem, according to Joe Rubino, a doctor from the BodyMind Institute. Rubino explained people from all walks of life can suffer situational or more widespread challenges with their levels of self-esteem.

Dixie Sevison, director of Women’s Services and Resources on BYU campus, said the “Be You” campaign was created with the aim to combat societal standards of perfection and self-worth.

Women’s Services and Resources director Dixie Sevison runs the fifth day of the “Be You” campaign challenge, where students were asked to “Be Authentic” by taking a photo and recognizing their personal qualities. (Brittany Salinas)

“Unfortunately, standards of perfection and self-worth are usually defined by what others think rather than by what we know and feel to be true,” Sevison said. “By conforming to worldly ideals and expectations, it’s impossible to live a life of happiness and one’s self-esteem will suffer.”

The campaign featured daily challenges focused on self-appreciation, volunteer service, health or stress-relief. The events held encouraged students and faculty to view themselves in a better light, according to Kyrie Papenfuss, the marketing coordinator for Women’s Services and Resources. Some of the challenges asked students to “Be Charitable” by making refugee blankets and T-shirt bags, “Be Positive” by writing a nice note to a friend, and to “Be Healthy” through a health fitness class.

Julia Tebbs, the campaign coordinator at Women’s Services and Resources, said the challenges are made to be simple, yet effective in helping students practice self care.

“It’s great to hear people say, ‘take a picture of me’ and be willing to share that kind of support with others,” Tebbs said while running the “Be Authentic” photo challenge on Sept. 25. “We’ve had really good attendance, and I’m excited to receive more feedback to learn how we can continue to improve for next year.”

The next campaign by Women’s Services and Resources, called The Voice of Courage, will focus on standing up against all forms of abuse and will take place on Oct. 22–26. A schedule of future Women’s Services and Resources’ events can be found on their website.

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