HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 22, 2013 – Stacy Nadeau wants everyone to start feeling better about their bodies and themselves.
Nadeau was one of the women featured in Dove’s original “Real Women” Beauty Campaign, which aimed to celebrate the diversity of body shapes and sizes. On Wednesday, she met with HPU students at a lunch on campus before giving presentation to hundreds of students in the Hayworth Fine Arts Center. The event was co-sponsored by the department of Women’s and Gender Studies and Greek Life.
“My main goal is for everyone in my audience to get up the next day and feel a little bit better about themselves,” said Nadeau. “I don’t expect major changes in one day, but hopefully they take one small step towards a happier and healthier life.”
One topic Nadeau focuses on is to get women and men to stop comparing themselves to body images in the media.
“We all know images in the media are fake in some way. It seems like common sense, but most people don’t know the extremes it goes to,” said Nadeau.
“I think her message reached a lot of people, and I really hope that many of the men and women in attendance will start implementing those small steps to better mental and physical health,” said junior Cristina Burchette. “What I hope they understood was that health is not about the physical. I think Stacy meant that mental health (i.e. not obsessing about your body) is also extremely important to one’s happiness.”
“Stacy’s presentation really hits home the idea that healthy bodies come in a diversity of shapes, sizes and colors,” said Dr. Jenn Brandt, director of Women’s and Gender Studies and assistant professor of English at HPU. “She also stressed to students that they have the power to resist unhealthy stereotypes and images regarding bodies, whether these messages come from friends, family or the media.”
Nadeau has delivered her message all over the country at a variety of locations from middle schools to corporations.
“I love talking to everyone, but I think colleges are my favorite,” she said. “When we’re in college we’re open and ready to explore different ideas and work on ourselves. We’re more open to changing our opinions toward a happy and healthy lifestyle.”
“I have heard Stacy’s presentation prior to this event but her raw honesty and emotion regarding her experience with body image strikes a powerful chord with me each time I hear her,” said Teri Cugliari, director of Greek Life. “The message of health, positive self-image and love of self and others that Stacy presents is something we all can benefit from.”