Local college students are getting a bit of a reality check this week as Virginia Tech's Annual Eating Issues and Body Image Awareness Week gets underway.
It's part of a national campaign promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy eating and fitness habits. Part of this week's activities, which will educate the community about how to recognize eating and body image disorders, is a life-size Barbie display.
The paper drawing of the popular doll many girls grew up with depicts what Barbie would look like if she were a real woman. "Most little girls grow up with the image of Barbie as this unattainable figure, slim legs and just the right dimensions, supposedly, that they want to emulate that body," said Linda Davis, RD with Schiffert Health Center. "It's not the body of anyone, really. That's what we are trying to display is that those dimensions are way off, nobody could ever have those dimensions."
The display will be up all week in McComas Hall. It's part of a series of events designed to help students deal with stressors and learn to build healthful attitudes about themselves. Organizers say it is especially important to get the message out on college campuses where eating and body disorder rates are high due to stress and social pressure.