Ryan Chartrand

It’s too late. There’s no point in squeezing, stretching and wishing . those jeans just won’t fit.

But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’re beautiful no matter what, and the Women’s Programs and Services wants to prove it.

The “Be Comfortable In Your Genes” campaign is part of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) signature series, the Great Jeans Giveaway events. The series of events aims to expose body image issues. For instance, many people, especially women, feel uncomfortable about their natural body size and feel good-looking only if they can fit into a pair of smaller jeans. This can lead to unhealthy diets, internalized disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, and damaged mindsets.

“While you can adopt a healthy lifestyle and aim to be fit for your particular body type, you cannot change your genes,” the NEDA Web site states. “We want everyone to start feeling comfortable in their genes by wearing comfortable jeans.”

To promote the concept of everyone feeling comfortable in their “genes” by wearing comfortable jeans and not constricting ones, Women’s Programs will accept jeans that make their wearers feel badly about themselves.

McKenzie Hall, a nutrition junior and a coordinator for Women’s Programs, organized the event for the first time at Cal Poly after working with the event at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, from which she transferred.

“This is something that is done at a lot of schools,” she said. “It’s a really big deal, especially for women our age, and at Cal Poly, there really are not that many resources to help.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 90 percent of those who develop eating disorders are women, and the average age of onset of an eating disorder is 17 for anorexia, and 18 to 20 for bulimia.

Hall added that societal forces often negatively affect a woman’s self-image.

“Many women feel a lot of pressure from society,” she said. “By helping each other and making each other feel OK, it’s like fighting back.”

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