A loud “clang!” reverberates across Gunter green, as students smash scales inside grocery bags. Nothing but smiles come from students and staff as they stand over shattered scales. The metal bat was the most popular tool amongst participants. In front of the smashing site are tables scattered with small candies, fruit, souvenirs and packets with information about eating disorders.
Last week was Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and over the course of the week, different events were held all over campus. Scale smashing was also held on Turner Green.
Scale smashing is not an original event, but was inspired by Proud 2B Me, a website that promotes body positivity. Eating Disorder Awareness Week is a national campaign that happens all over the U.S. Among a series of student staff, Dr. Tina Rose, the liscienced psychologist for Cassidy Hall Health Center and Dr. Katie Kage, a registered dietitian and assistant professor at University of Northern Colorado, collaborated together and put the weeks events together. Eating Disorders have the third highest death rate in the country, and Kage said it’s vital to talk about eating disorders.
“Eating disorders is a topic that is misunderstood. There are a lot of misconceptions and stigma around eating disorders. What’s even worse about that is we see the college population unfortunately have a high incidence of developing eating disorders, so I think it’s vital to have conversations about eating disorders,” Kage said.
Rose agrees, and she often sees the impact eating disorders have on people.
“There’s a lot of silence that happens, a lot of people who are ashamed of what they experience and what they struggle with,” Rose said.
Scale smashing was meant to be a metaphor. Smashing the scale released people from the number on the scale that defined their self worth for the day or the week.
Rosemary Assabil, a senior human services major and an intern for Cassidy Hall, emphasized the use of resources on campus and to talk to someone.
“We want students to know they aren’t alone, and to seek help,” Assabil said.
After the week is over, The Body Project will be in early April, to talk about the pursuit of thinness and how unhealthy this expectation is for women. Kage wants the dialogue to continue about eating disorders.
“The conversations should not end. Keep talking about it.” Kage said.