I Heart Me promotes self-love in students

By Molly Dunn

Baylor students attending the first workshop for the I Heart Me Campaign last Thursday, learned about self-worth and how to express an agape love not only for themselves but for everyone around them.

Dr. Emma Wood, staff psychologist in Baylor’s Counseling Center, along with the Body IQ team led the workshop’s first session. Students received a workbook that analyzed each of the core concepts of the campaign: acceptance, respect, justice, diversity, service and freedom.

“These are all really necessary to being comfortable in your own skin,” Wood said.

The purpose of the campaign is to provide students with the information of loving themselves, promoting self-worth and spreading that love to others.

“We want to instill in you a passion for compassion,” Wood said to those attending. “One of my passions is building self-esteem and self-worth.”

Waco junior Sarah Stoner said she enjoyed the workshop because the messages related to her major, social work.

“It reminded me a lot of what we talk about in class, and it’s exciting because we can only reach so many people just from my major, but getting more of the campus to think this way is exciting,” Stoner said.

Throughout the workshop, Wood supplemented her presentation with various videos and songs that focused on self-image not only for women but also for men.

Shehzad Jooma, graduate student counselor at the Baylor Counseling Center, said he believes that body issues in men ought to be addressed as much as those in women.

“I think people don’t realize that body issues can be prevalent in the culture of masculinity, but they often take a different form,” Jooma said. “A lot of times this is in the form of getting buff and working out.”

When discussing body image issues, many instantly relate that to problems only women endure. With this campaign, Wood emphasizes that it affects everyone.

“I think if somebody was to go into a men’s locker room, they’ll find body image issues that are sometimes of a different variety than of women’s, but they are still prevalent. They don’t get advertised as much,” Jooma said.

With this overall message of agape love, Wood and the Body IQ team wants to instill a message of understanding in students.

“This is what I needed to hear when I was in college, so it just gives me so much joy and I feel this love when I’m giving the message,” Wood said.

Wood explained the importance for students to perform self-care to manage their stress. College students in particular experience stressful situations, and loving themselves through serving their own needs can reduce that high level of stress, she said.

“You cannot give to others unless you are filled up,” Wood said. “If you’re not giving anything to yourself, that well is going to run dry.”

The I Heart Me workshop material explained to students that they must take care of their lives in many different areas of their life, such as physical, emotional and spiritual aspects.

“We often are harsher critics of ourselves than of anyone else,” Wood said.

As the session progressed, the concepts delved deeper into more powerful and controversial issues, such as justice and diversity.

“If we see something unjust happening, it’s our job to speak out against it,” Wood said.

Wood told students to be aware of diversity, gain knowledge of other cultures, develop skills in relating to other people and share that information with others.

Now that students are introduced to the campaign’s focus, this Thursday they will return for the training session to become allies to spread love and the core concepts of the campaign throughout Baylor’s campus.

The session will be held at 7 p.m. in 308 McLane Student Life Center.