KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 12, 2001 -- Beginning very early in life, Lisa was told how to look and feel about herself from everyone around her. She heard contradictory messages about her image from her parents, friends, coach, the media, and her own inner voice. As she grew older, she struggled with her self-image until she overcame it with a sense of strength and self-acceptance.
The public will get a chance to see and hear Lisa's story when the play EAT! comes to the University of Rhode Island on Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in URI's Quinn Hall Auditorium. The play's aim is to increase the public's awareness about disordered eating and self-image. A Tempest Production, the play was developed for teens and young adults to help them evaluate destructive messages from their culture and learn to access their own clear and resilient voices.
Created by Deborah Lake Fortson, an artistic director who has written and produced plays in the Boston area for 25 years, the 35-minute play will include a follow-up guided discussion in which audience members are encouraged to reflect on the play and voice their own opinions about beauty.
The play launches a "Celebration of Natural Body Types," a two-day event from Tuesday, Feb. 20, through Wednesday, Feb. 21, that "aims to help people identify potential unhealthy body images and make them feel good about themselves," said Susan Ash, nutrition specialist for URI's Health and Dining Services.
Free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in URI's Memorial Union, the event will feature an exhibit celebrating the female body across time and cultures. Also featured on both days, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., are various booths that include demonstrations of the physical consequences of inappropriate eating, the identification of diet products, their effectiveness and side effects, and exercise activities.
On Tuesday, from noon to 1 p.m. will be a two-part discussion presented by Ash about why people eat for reasons other than hunger followed by a demonstration of relaxation techniques presented by URI Heath Services' Laurie Johnson and Celina Pereira in Memorial Union room 314.
On Wednesday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Memorial Union Atrium 1, there will be confidential, individual screenings for those who want to evaluate themselves for the presence of eating problems. Materials on eating disorders will also be available.
All events are sponsored by URI's Counseling Center, Health Services, Department of Athletics and Recreational Services, Dining Services, Office of Student Life and Women's Center. For more information, call Health Services at 874-5954 or the Counseling Center at 874-2288.