“I Heart Me” to promote self-worth

By Molly Dunn

Baylor and the Body IQ work team hope to change the community in regards to diversity, respect, compassion, justice, acceptance, service and freedom with the “I Heart Me” campaign.

According to the student life website, the purpose of the campaign is to inform students about the importance of caring for themselves and others by discovering an identity based on intrinsic value rather than appearance, success or social status [PDF].

Dr. Emma Wood, staff psychologist in the counseling center, is one of the creators of the program.

“Basically, our job is to raise awareness of body image issues on campus and eating concerns and how that affects students,” Wood said. “I personally spearheaded this idea of what if we just transformed how you would work with body image issues to just yourself in general.”

Wood said this campaign focuses on “finding value in yourself, finding the things that are important and values that you have, learning to accept yourself, learning to take care of yourself just like we would say take care of your body.”

Van Davis, assistant director for fitness and nutrition education, is a part of the Body IQ team as well and said she hopes many students come to the workshops.

“I think this is going to be wonderful,” Davis said. “Because even though we are an eating disorder awareness work team, body image is one facet of this whole campaign. It’s bits and pieces of everything that we feel that is very important to the lives of our students.”

The first workshop of the two-part campaign will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Baylor Sciences Building, Room D110.

Students attending the first workshop will be equipped with an understanding of how to show agape love, defined as God’s love, and to teach others how to love.

“Basically, we will go through and kind of comment on some of the issues that that entails,” Wood said. “Like diversity, what does that mean, what does that look like on our campus, how do we bring love to issues of diversity, how can we show love to diverse populations?”

Wood said the first 125 students to sign up for the workshops will receive a free T-shirt mimicking the “I Heart NY” T-shirt. Instead, the shirt says “I Heart Me”, with the word “agape” inside the heart symbol.

“Agape love is not based on contingencies,” Wood said. “It’s not like you are loveable if you get A’s, if you’re skinny, if you’re muscular or if you’re a pure leader, it’s just you are loveable because you are, because you exist.”

The final part of the campaign will be a training session from 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 24 in Room 308 of the McLane Student Life Center.

In order for students to be able to go to the second training workshop, they must attend the first workshop on Thursday.

“The training will include how to actually enact those kind of social actions, how to change a campus,” Wood said. “So we will teach students how to promote body image, like what do you need to do, how can you do it on campus, how do we fight sexism, how do we celebrate diversity and acknowledge it, how do I treat myself with compassion and how am I best able to be a role model to my friends and family?”

Once students are trained and educated about each issue and core value discussed, they will receive a decal to identify them as an ally or an advocate of the “I Heart Me” campaign and what it promotes.

Davis and Wood said they hope having student advocates will help the campaign message spread through campus.

If the campaign is successful in its first semester, Wood says she is hopeful that Body IQ could host similar campaigns with more frequency in the future.

“It’s a very new concept for this campus,” Wood said. “I don’t think we talk about diversity enough here and there’s a lot of diversity on campus and that’s what makes humans beautiful.