In light of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Monday, Feb. 24 marks the launch of the health and wellness studies department’s on-campus project, “U R > UR Reflection.” This project comes with the notion that our reflections do not define who we are. We are more than what we see in the mirror. We have infinite potential to love and accept others and ourselves. This week on campus, there will be events in the Marketplace and residential communities, where students can decorate their own mirrors, and with a positive mind and light heart, ask themselves, “When I look in the mirror, what do I see?”

Is it absurd to assume that most people look in the mirror and see at least one thing about their bodies that they would like to change? What about gawking at your reflection hastily, pinching at your loose skin sharply, plucking at your unwanted fat nauseatingly — sound familiar? Having persistently suffered from disordered eating throughout my adolescence, I know I’m familiar with this shameful routine. It’s insane how immensely hurtful we are to our bodies and our minds.

Only recently have I learned to love and appreciate the amazing gift I am blessed with: my body. A piece of advice from me to you: Do not look at your body with disgust, and do not touch your body with bad intention. When we learn to be grateful for the sacred shell we are encased in, we begin to love ourselves, even the “imperfections” we once hated. I believe that body positivity and good health go hand in hand. When you realize your body is a temple, you want to take care of your temple; you want to keep it clean and treat it right. If you’re not about a nutritious diet and working out — you do you — if you still love your body, that’s what’s up. But if you’re decently overweight, you don’t eat a nutritious diet, you don’t exercise and you hate your body, I do not think I am out of line in suggesting that if you began to treasure your body like a precious, invaluable gift, you would begin to appreciate your body.

“The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgment.” This quote occupies a special place in my heart. View yourself without judgment, and begin to see the world without judgment. Realize you’re beautiful, and realize the world is beautiful. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you you’re not, and eradicate your old, negative thoughts that convinced you you’re not good enough. You want a beautiful body? Congrats, you have a body; it’s already beautiful simply because you are alive and well. Chin up, strut around and own your shit like the bad bitch or bro you’ve always wanted to be.

Kristina Klimek is a sophomore majoring in environmental studies.