The National Organization for Women is hosting its annual â€œLove Your Body Dayâ€ today, Oct. 18, on campuses across the country. At first glance, this self-image campaign fighting against unrealistic body image is something anyone might be able to support. In an age when anorexia is affecting girls as young as 7, who doesnâ€™t want to see young women acquire a healthy self-esteem?
But while college women may be aware of NOWâ€™s clear feminist agenda, they might not be so privy to the underground message â€œLove Your Body Dayâ€ is sending. In previous years, the day has been heralded by a week of campus activities promoting contraceptives, Planned Parenthood and sex toy sales.
Since its birth in 1998, Love Your Body Day has grown far from NOWâ€™s public mission statement to free women from media distortions. Today the event is a rally for extreme feminism and a breeding ground of activities that do more to imprison young women than to liberate them.
NOW Publication Coordinator Holly Manning told me that the organization suggests several activities for the national day--including "Indulgence Parties," where college women get together in their pajamas and eat decadent food, or a "Mock Beauty Pageant," which may include a tire-changing competition as part of the talent portion.
What you won't find is an official call to hold masturbation workshops, which is what has happened at Grinell University in year's past. But when I asked Manning about activities--such as sex toy sales--that often coincide with Love Your Body Day, she told me: "I think however our groups decide to celebrate Love Your Body Day is fine." (Manning did say someone else in NOW would need to comment specifically on these activities, but after two requests, I still did not talk to anyone.) Some of this year's Love Your Body Day highlights include free condoms at Colorado State University, a sex toy "workshop" and sex pictionary at Smith College and safe sex seminars across the country that feature Planned Parenthood.
Not only is NOW deceiving college women, but they are trying to get young girls involved too! Their website includes information for elementary through high school students on how to get involved. One suggestion for middle/high school students is to get their peers to sign petitions against advertisers' inaccurate portrayal of women. Fair enough...until you read the petition: "COUNT ON MY VOICE IN THE CHORUS OF FEMINISTS WHO ARE SAYING 'NO' TO YOUR TWISTED BEAUTY STANDARDS."