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Embody Shatters Beauty Standards with Baseball Bats

October 23, 2018 • Tyler Toohey • No Comments

In front of Davis Library, students stood in line to swing baseball bats and defy the social norm that says a number defines you.

Embody Carolina has adopted Southern Smash as one of its primary events in working to promote education of eating disorder allies, awareness, and body positivity. Embody members decorate scales with designs and quotes and then invite the greater Carolina community to help destroy them. The event originator, McCall Dempsey, founded the event after struggling with an eating disorder for 15 years. This year’s event saw a record attendance of more than 400 students. Several spoke at the SmashTalk about their personal stories and recovery.

“This event is symbolic of smashing social standards,” said Sophia, a psychology major. “You don’t need a scale anymore. It’s becoming socially acceptable to be beautiful just the way you are.”

The majority of students involved in Southern Smash believe the event calls for the emergence of a new norm.

“Growing up you’re taught that being skinny means you are cool. That’s horrible,” said Emily, a nursing major. “Southern Smash is a good channel for releasing that old belief and frustration.”

Ashley Broadwater, co-chair of Embody, said “the sound of baseball bats on scales are such a sound of hope, empowerment, and unity.”

Broadwater explained that out of all the university organizations she has had the privilege of participating in, Embody is her favorite. After struggling personally with body image, Embody has given her an avenue for helping others overcome eating disorders. She loves having a platform to advocate from and connecting with other members deeply committed to a shared cause.

Embody Carolina is dedicated to serving those struggling from eating disorders in the UNC-Chapel Hill community. By focusing on inclusion and intersectionality, the program aims to educate students about identifying and supporting those who suffer from these disorders. In addition to Southern Smash, Embody sponsors a gamut of activities during National Eating Disorders Awareness(NEDA) Week along with public trainings for those interested in advocacy. Click here to get involved.

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