Lining the pathway next to Dexter lawn, six booths were set up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the Wellness Fair, hosted by Cal Poly’s Women’s Programs and Services. The booths featured different aspects of women’s health, including sexual, mental and physical well-being. More than 200 students showed up at the booths, said Christina Kaviani, program assistant for Women’s Programs and Services.
Sandwich boards with magazine cutouts of “real” versus “fake” bodies greeted students at one end of the fair. Further down, next to the Women’s Programs and Services booth, three large black and white canvas prints of women’s bodies sat on easels. The first canvas featured a topless woman facing away from the camera, showing off her neck all the way to the bottom of her bare back. Another canvas highlighted a woman’s long, braided hair. The third showed a naked woman lying on her stomach with a black cloth draped along her body. Several other small prints emphasizing women’s different body parts lined the booth’s table. These artistic, professional photos of members of Women’s Programs and Services were taken at McClure Pictures studio.
Kaviani thought it’d be a unique fundraiser to take these photos not only to raise money for the women’s shelter, but also to show that every woman’s body is beautiful in its natural form. None of the photos were photoshopped or altered in any way.
“We chose our favorite body parts” to be photographed, Kaitlin McCormick said, whose bare back was featured on one of the large canvases.
At the same booth, psychology senior and Women’s Programs and Services intern Kenny Woo and McCormick were selling “Be You (tiful), Love Your Body” T-shirts, prints of the black and white photos taken of the women’s center volunteers, and pastries.
Kinesiology senior Darshana Patel checked out the poster that showed what someone could spend money on if they gave up superficial habits. One year’s worth of Slim Fast was worth plane tickets to Europe. Patel enjoyed the spectrum of health the Wellness Fair offered, she said.
“Mental health is not stressed enough,” Patel said.
Promoting a healthy body image, communications senior Jamie Engelhardt passed out sparkly, homemade “I heart my body” stickers at the Coalition for Health, Wellness and Body Appreciation booth. Engelhardt began this club last year after suffering from an eating disorder her freshman year at Cal Poly. She took a year off to recover from her illness, came back for her junior year and began an eating disorder prevention and awareness club. She hoped that her club would help women celebrate their bodies just the way that they are, she said.
Emily Sullivan from Equilibrium Fitness for Women, a health and fitness club exclusively for women, also promoted a positive body image by asking onlookers to write down a negative thought about themselves and throw it away in exchange for a flower pin.
The Equilibrium booth as well as the nutrition club booth wanted to spread awareness about maintaining a physically healthy lifestyle. The nutrition club had Tupperware with homemade healthy oatmeal cookie bars to hand out to students walking by.
The Center and PULSE encouraged onlookers to make healthy decisions in their sexual lives. Both booths passed out condoms and information packets on how to keep students’ sexual lives safe and healthy.
Kaviani said that she wanted the Wellness Fair to be a “positive and uplifting experience for everyone.”