Readers’ Forum: 11/26/19

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Protecting our students

Many love Utah winters, with the crisp air and beautiful snow-capped mountains. While
the snow is beautiful to look at and use for skiing or snowboarding, the precipitation is
much less enjoyable to deal with for those having to walk up to campus on Freshman Hill.
The ground becomes icy and there is no way, beyond grasping at snow-covered branches, to
reclaim one’s balance. Freshman Hill needs hand railings on the edges of the path in order to
protect the countless students who use the hill to get to their classes.

Freshman Hill isn’t pleasant in any season, but in winter, it’s more than an annoyance —
it is a real safety hazard. With the constant freezing temperatures and precipitation, the hill
becomes icy and can stay that way for days. One BYU alumni, Will Gates, recalls an experience
he had during his freshman year: “I once saw a kid trying to get up the hill step wrong and then slide back down 5 or so feet.” Many students at BYU are from parts of the country where winters are not very harsh and therefore as freshmen, they have never had to tread on snow or ice before. This inexperience, paired with an objectively difficult walk, makes for a very challenging and dangerous route to class.

It’s clear that the current conditions of Freshman Hill are not safe enough to protect the
many students who use it during the long winter months. Unless handrails are constructed,
countless students will continue to slip and fall or skip class altogether, which I sincerely hope is not a goal for BYU administration. The solution to this safety issue is clear: handrails are a
needed addition to Freshman Hill in order to protect the safety of thousands of students coming
onto our campus.

—Rachel Gates
Springfield, Virginia

Fashion should reflect all women’s body types

At a glance, shopping is viewed as a fun experience all women supposedly enjoy. But
sadly, often women come away from a shopping trip whether it be online or in the store,
discouraged, because the way the clothes look on the model may look very different than what they look like on our own bodies. From a young age, girls are constantly exposed to the same “ideal body,” in the media as well as even their Barbie toys. Subconsciously, this creates the perception that only the ideal shape is “beautiful.” Today more than ever, this way of thinking is amplified due to young teens having more access to the internet and social media, causing major insecurities.

We as consumers should want models to represent the images of women who are evident
in our society, because size 0 is not the social norm. We should be able to see ourselves in these women. Consumers can do their part in helping stop this epidemic by supporting brands that use models of all shapes and sizes this holiday season. Already, there are numerous companies around the world doing their best to try and fix this problem, a few being Aerie, Anthropology and Outdoor Voices. As brands and their models begin to be portrayed by a diversity of sizes, women will be more able to see themselves in a position of societal beauty. In return, many of their insecurities brought on by previous modeling standards will begin to diminish.

Too often we see women fixated on achieving the ideal body image and going to great
lengths to do so. “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Do not let this beholder be society, but rather yourself.

—Madeline Giles
Mission Viejo, California

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