"I Am Enough" Campaign Kicks Off Monday At UTC

Monday, March 03, 2014

Kjerstin Gruys, who has appeared on 20/20The Colbert Report, and Good Morning America, will be presenting a public lecture, “Beauty: Bodies from the Personal to the Political” on Monday, at 7:30 p.m. in the UTC University Center Auditorium. The event will be free and open to the public.

Officials said, "If you’ve had problems with body image, you’re not alone. Kjerstin Gruys experienced the same feelings, which led her to live without mirrors for a year and to write a memoir about the experience, Mirror Mirror off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year. If you’re wondering how this changed her self-perception, or just how she put her makeup on without a mirror, come out to see her lecture."

This is the fourth year that UTC has sponsored an event for Eating Disorder Awareness. Ms. Gruys is also the keynote speaker for 2014 Women’s History Month.

“I think that self-image is a constant problem for women in our society and I think that by offering programing like this we’re really going to reach a lot of women about this issue and let them know that they really are perfect just the way they are. We want them to think more about their holistic health and not the number on the scale or their reflection in the mirror,” said Cassie Nice, assistant director of the Women’s Center.

This program brings a unique perspective to the subject of body image. Ms. Gruys worked in the fashion industry at Abercrombie & Fitch Corporate and later at GAP Inc. She is now pursuing the Ph.D. in sociology at UCLA.  Her research explores the relationship between physical appearance and social inequity. She is a feminist, an academic, a fashionista, and a recovered anorexic. As Ms. Gruys put it, she was a “a body-image expert with a body-image problem.”

“A lot of men and women struggle with image issues, feeling like they’re not accepted for the way they look. We always want to correlate self-image with weight, but it comes in many forms, from facial features to fashion, and we critique ourselves harshly on these things. And that’s what I liked about the book and the concept about this woman who spent a year without looking at herself in a mirror for a year. If we all did that, I wonder if we would stop judging ourselves and others aesthetically and be more kind,” said Tricia Henderson, the assistant director of the UTC Counseling and Personal Development Center.

In 2011 while shopping for a wedding dress, Ms. Gruys felt the crushing influence of beauty expectations – and that’s when she decided to live without mirrors for a year. Mirror Mirror off the Wall is her poignant, humorous memoir of how she lived for twelve months without looking into a reflective surface.

“I think the tone of her book is really relatable, and really connects well with this generation and gets her point across in an enjoyable way,” said Ms. Nice.

“Gruys has a unique perspective, coming from the fashion industry to the sociological perspective. Her personal experience is fascinating. She makes it humorous as well and I think that students can really identify with it because it’s something that she’s lived,” said Ms. Henderson.

The lecture will cover not only Mirror Mirror off the Wall, but also Ms. Gruys’ experience researching the issue, working in the fashion industry, political aspects of beauty ideals, and how we all buy into the image of beauty that the media sells us.

This program was brought to UTC through a joint effort from the Women’s Center, the Women’s Studies Program, the Counseling Center, the Campus Activities Board, Student Health Services, Development, and Panhellenic.

“I think it’s really great that we have so many groups that are stepping up to sponsor such a big event and I think it speaks loudly to how needed programing is like this on the UTC campus,” said Ms. Nice.

For anyone struggling with body image issues or eating disorders, help is available at UTC in the Student Health Services http://www.utc.edu/student-health-services/  and the Women’s Center  http://www.utc.edu/womens-center/ .

Here is the full schedule for the week:

March 3
Campaign Kick-Off from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Heritage Plaza
Kjerstin Gruys speaks at 7:30 p.m., UC Auditorium

March 4
Power Yoga at 12 noon in the Multicultural Center
“Food for Thought” from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Center
Self-Harm Awareness Photo Exhibit 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Chattanooga Room

March 5
Self-Defense Class from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Center

March 6
The I Am Enough Pledge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the UC Lobby

GNTC’s Graceful Beam Completes 2014 Georgia Master Teacher Experience

Graceful Beam, instructor of Business Management, was the Georgia Northwestern Technical College representative for the first annual Georgia Master Teacher Experience; an intensive week of focus on instructional innovations, motivational techniques, situational problem-solving, contextual learning, and information exchange.  The event took place at Southwest Georgia Technical ... (click for more)

New Communications Arts Building Nearing Completion At Lee University

Main Street Cleveland members got a preview tour of Lee University's nearly-finished Communications Arts Building Monday. "We wanted it to look great all the way around," Dr. Jerome Hammond, vice president for university relations, told those touring the 41,000 square foot building. The structure will be a prominent part of downtown. One foyer opens onto the Ocoee St. and Central ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

WTCI Says Fleischmann Ad Included Unauthorized Use Of Logo

Officials of WTCI TV said a Chuck Fleischmann TV ad contained an unauthorized use of the public TV station's logo. Officials stated in a letter to WTCI viewers: "We understand that members of our community may have received a printed communication from the Chuck Fleischmann for Congress Committee featuring the headline "Weston Wamp Supports Amnesty for Illegal Immigration." ... (click for more)

Cell Phones And Roundabouts

I read the article written by Chris Morgan about the use of cell phones in vehicles and the Chattanooga Roundabouts. Cell phone use in vehicles especially in crisis intersection situations is extremely dangerous. I also agree with his assessment about the roundabouts. One problem I see with roundabouts is that on the two-lane roundabouts where they are coming in from ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The NCAA’s “Division IV”

Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner are two very smart guys. Not long ago the two sports researchers at Ohio State authored a story that appeared in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports that focused on the most successful college football teams in the country and, earlier this week, a writer named Ben Cohen broke it down in understandable terms for a fascinating Wall Street ... (click for more)