sealPurdue News

February 15, 2002

Purdue conducts 'Celebrating EveryBODY' campaign

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – In recognition of National Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention Week, Mohammed Bilal from MTV's "The Real World" will kick off a "Celebrating EveryBODY" campaign at Purdue University Monday, Feb. 25, with a lecture entitled "Celebrating our Differences."

The lecture, sponsored by Students for Healthy Body Acceptance and Positive Esteem (SHAPE), Purdue Student Government, the Black Cultural Center and the Purdue Student Wellness Office, will be at 7 p.m. at the Elliott Hall of Music. It will be followed by a reception, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Both the lecture and the reception are free and open to the public.

Sue Abney, nutrition education coordinator for the Student Wellness Office, says Bilal's talk will be entertaining and informative.

"Bilal will discuss size and shape issues, diversity and all the social ills faced by young people today," Abney says. "He shares his dynamic story and emphasizes personal accountability for our actions in hopes that the younger generation will help build a responsible society."

SHAPE, the Purdue Student Health Center and the Purdue Student Wellness Office also will conduct other activities to challenge current norms of beauty, shape and size. From Feb. 26 through March 3, displays entitled "Innocent Comments or Wounding Remarks?" will be exhibited in 25 campus buildings. The displays will include written testimonials from people who have had their own body acceptance affected by comments from others. Brochures will be available for people struggling with body image issues.

Each day at 10 a.m. in the residence halls, Boiler Television (BTV) will run videos about body image and healthful eating. A video entitled, "Stop Killing Us Softly III," also will be shown nightly at 7 p.m. It portrays how the media promote unrealistic expectations for thinness.

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, SHAPE members will pass out positive body image fortunes throughout campus. The fortunes will contain messages such as, "Each of us can help change the world. Start by celebrating EveryBODY."

The Recreational Sports Center will operate the "Wheel of Balance: Body/Mind/Health" from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. Visitors to the RSC will spin a roulette wheel to select a question about weight loss, body image, stress, exercise or healthful eating. SHAPE hopes the questions will spark an educational dialogue.

On Friday, March 1, SHAPE will promote "Fearless Friday," during which members will pass out candy and encourage students, faculty and staff to not obsess about fat, calories, exercise and body image issues for at least one day.

CONTACT: Sue Abney, (765) 494-1716,; Renee Thomas, Black Cultural Center director, (765) 494-3091,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Media interviews with Mohammed Bilal will be available before and after his speech. Contact Sue Abney, (765) 494-1716, to make arrangements.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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