The GSWS 295 class, that studies Current Topics in Women’s Studies put up art installations around Okanagan College to disrupt diet culture photo: courtesy of Okanagan College The GSWS 295 class, that studies Current Topics in Women’s Studies put up art installations around Okanagan College to disrupt diet culture photo: courtesy of Okanagan College

Okanagan College class looks to disrupt fatphobia with art

The class installed art installations around Okanagan College to break down stigma

Okanagan College students that use the women’s bathroom in the Centre for Learning building closed stall doors to find a surprise.

The GSWS 295 class, that studies Current Topics in Women’s Studies and has a focus in fat feminism, installed poster boards into the doors of the bathrooms to conduct an anonymous survey amongst students, as well as several other installations, to disrupt diet culture on campus.

Emma Lind, instructor of the class, challenged her students to install art installations through the campus to show women that all bodies are welcome in society.

“This is about expanding a lens that is traditionally underrepresented when it comes to body size,” said Lind.

“I told my students to think about the different spaces on campus where a student could experience fatphobia and then put the art installation there to disrupt that.”

Hand mirrors were installed with positive messages written on them, a thumb print poster that tells students that their bodies are just as unique as their fingerprints, a poster with photos of women of every size and colour to combat the slim bodies regularly showcased on Instagram, a scale with the numbers replaced by kind messages, a covered mirror in tinfoil with quotes written about how fat bodies are treated in society, were all installed around the college.

“How often is a mirror a sense of inspiration,” said Lind. “It brings a broader awareness to our community about the hatred and oppression of fat people. It’s something everyone is familiar with but these conversations lurk in private spaces or thoughts, and we are rarely allowed to make it a public conversation.”

“We are trying to externalize the conversation to point to the body shame and stigma that is happening all around us.”

One installation, a survey in bathrooms asked that students took a moment to flush “negative thoughts about body size, weight, fat shaming, discrimination and sexism,” and asked that they not flush “confidence, self love, strength, fearlessness, inner beauty and courage because you are beautiful.”

READ MORE: B.C. man believed to be first Canadian to get intravenous gene therapy

Students used stickers to answer the poll.

Jodie Miner, a fourth-year business administration student said it was refreshing to see a unique anonymous survey at the college.

“I like the way that they worked in flushing to reinforce flushing out negative ideas that people have about their bodies,” said Miner.

“Students are under a lot of pressure and some students feel pushed even further to have a bikini body in time for summer.”

READ MORE: Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

READ MORE: Kelowna tech company featured in Ruby Roxx documentary

The GSWS 295 students have been studying how the fear and hatred of fat bodies reinforces related systems of oppression like sexism, ableism, colonialism and homophobia, according to a statement posted in the bathroom.

“We invite you to take a moment and consider how this exhibit disrupts popular beliefs about beauty, health, idealized bodies and society,” reads the poster.

READ MORE: Case of slain Kelowna woman grows cold

Second-year marketing student, Paulina Rojas said she enjoyed how anonymous the survey was and that she was able to see other people’s honest answers who had used the stickers.

“I think that it’s a really unique way that you can survey people that really don’t want to talk about certain topics,” said Rojas.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@sydneyrmorton
sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The GSWS 295 class, that studies Current Topics in Women’s Studies put up art installations around Okanagan College to disrupt diet culture photo: courtesy of Okanagan College

The GSWS 295 class, that studies Current Topics in Women’s Studies installed poster boards into the doors of the bathrooms to conduct an anonymous survey amongst students. Photo: Jodie Miner The GSWS 295 class, that studies Current Topics in Women’s Studies installed poster boards into the doors of the bathrooms to conduct an anonymous survey amongst students. Photo: Jodie Miner The GSWS 295 class, that studies Current Topics in Women’s Studies installed poster boards into the doors of the bathrooms to conduct an anonymous survey amongst students. Photo: Jodie Miner

Just Posted

Vees have a short-handed romp over visiting West Kelowna Warriors

The Penticton Vees scored three short-handed goals to take a 1-0 series lead over West Kelowna

Penticton RCMP seek assistance locating missing man

Victor Genero has been missing since Feb. 24; he was last seen in Penticton.

Ministry grants SD67 extension to balance books, submit amended budget

The board of trustees voted Monday to acquire outside help to deal with budget concerns

Charges discontinued in 2017 shooting death of Penticton man

The manslaughter charge against Sylvain Demers has been stayed by Crown

Fire crews respond to ‘false malicious’ fire alarm at Penticton business

The Penticton Fire Department was called to a structure fire that turned out to be a false alarm

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Couple in crash on Highway 1 mistake Shuswap for Lower Mainland

Chase RCMP report Mercedes Benz collides with transport truck

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Laughing ladies and country artists sell out Okanagan venue

Alan Doyle and I Am Woman, Hear Me Laff! back to back sold out

Revelstoke mother and daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Most Read