Natural body types to be celebrated at URI

Kingston, R.I. — Feb. 15, 1999 — For four days this month, the University of Rhode Island will celebrate natural body types in a series of workshops, discussions, and displays. All events are open to the public without charge. “Seeking a Balance: A Four Day Celebration of Natural Body Types” begins Monday, Feb. 22, at URI’s Kingston Campus. Sponsored by URI’s Counseling Center, Health Services Health Education, and the Athletics Department, the series is an antidote to pressures in our society for people to be thinner than is natural or healthy for them, according to Grace Frenzel, University psychologist and one of the organizers of the program. While a great deal of attention is being paid to the so-called epidemic of obesity in the United States, the series organizers believe that many people are trying to achieve body sizes that are unrealistically thin. In contrast to media images that glorify ultra-small female bodies, this series is designed to help people accept their natural body sizes, learn about problems that can be created by dieting, and practice healthy eating patterns. Keynote speaker will be URI psychologist Shanette Harris who will speak at 4 p.m. Monday on “Cultural Construction of the Body: Implications for Inter-Cultural Relations.” Additional events include an eating disorders screening on Wednesday, a program on meditation, and programs for athletes and weekend athletes. Throughout the four days, information on dieting, healthy eating and the acceptance of natural body types will be available at booths in the Memorial Union. A highlight of the series will be an exhibit titled “What Is Beauty?” which depicts the female body across time and cultures. Complete schedules are available at the Memorial Union, the URI Library, and Mackal Field House. Further information is available at the Counseling Center, 874-2288. For More Information: Grace Fenzel, URI Counseling Center, 874-2288 Jan Sawyer, 874-2116