Sunday, December 4, 2022

Jeans drive helps boost self-respect

April 25, 2001
Donated blue jeans hang from a clothesline on a tree by the rock on Farm Lane on Tuesday. As part of National Size Acceptance Day, people were donating jeans they would normally have to diet to fit into and giving them to charity —

People were tearing off their blue jeans and saying goodbye to their clothes Tuesday afternoon at the rock on Farm Lane.

As part of National Size Acceptance Day, members of the campus groups Respecting and Understanding Body Image and Greek Life joined together for the Great Jeans Giveaway. Group members collected clothing people would normally be dieting to fit into, but instead it will be donated to charity.

Kristy Tippen, Panhellenic Council president and an organizer of the event, said she was happy with the result of the jeans drive.

“This is the first year we’ve done this so it’s kind of like a trial run,” the psychology junior said. “We’ve had a lot of good response and some people bringing clothes over, which is all we can really ask for.”

The clothing will be donated to Lansing’s SUCCESS Place, a home for unwed mothers. Merchandise management junior Nina Rosenblum, who worked at Tuesday’s event, said the home usually provides clothing and services to young women.

“The clothing is in style and still nice but people are just getting rid of it because they are cleaning out their closets,” she said. “It’s stuff we would take for granted but things they need and will appreciate.”

The day is sponsored worldwide by the International Size Acceptance Association. The organization fights size discrimination throughout the world through advocacy and education.

Ronda Bokram, an Olin Health Center nutritionist said it is important to recognize a day where people can learn about positive body image.

“It’s not like you should never think about your body and being healthy,” she said. “But when it starts to take over your life and you make decisions based on what you feel about your body, there is a problem.”

If a person is thinking positively there is usually not a problem, but even something like counting fat grams can be a negative way to approach eating, Bokram said.

She said she went to the rock Tuesday to see how the drive was going. While there were not a lot of people stopping to donate, she said the student groups were still getting their message out. The two groups painted “Change Your Jeans not your Genes” on the rock Tuesday.

“People were reading the rock as they walked by and saw what was going on,” Bokram said. “If you can even just make people think for a second about positive body image then it’s successful.”

To donate clothing, bring it to the Health Advocates office in Olin or the Greek Life office in 326 Student Services.

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