“Got Muffin Top?”: Body Image and College Life

From the Wellness Center at Brigham Young University-Idaho: “Got Muffin Top?”

Photo by Rick Kelly.

Given issues of body image facing college students, this poster is inappropriate. Health and wellness is important. That cannot be denied. However, in a culture where image and body image is already such a problem, this approach seems to be little more than shaming.

Add to this the pressure within LDS college community to get married, let alone academic and financial pressures of college life. We need to be encouraging of everyone. Positive encouragement can be used instead of guilting or shaming and doing so is more effective and more Christ-like.

As somebody who is large, trust me: being large is hard. However, many who beat themselves up because of how they look are not doing so because of health concerns, but because of perceived (and very real) social concerns. These pressures can be downright overwhelming, particularly for college students.

I applaud the Wellness Center at BYU-Idaho for wanting to encourage more healthy living. That said, I hope this poster comes down. There are better ways.

About Chris Henrichsen

Chris Henrichsen has moved Approaching Justice off of Patheos. Find his latest posts and the new Approaching Justice. Thanks!