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

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.

 

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

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

Just Posted

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

Okanagan’s oldest mayor shows no sign of slowing down

Mayor James Baker has decades of history in his political career

The hunt is on: Lake Country egg hunt kicks off Easter weekend

It’s the biggest Easter egg hunt in Lake Country

Rollover in West Kelowna

An SUV rollover was reported just after 8:30 a.m. on Boucherie Road.… Continue reading

Support for Penticton shooting victim

A GoFundMe has been started for one of the four people killed April 15

Annual Nk’maplqs Challenge Cup returns easter weekend

The goal of the Vernon-based event is to revitalize the game and the tradition of an all-native hockey tournament in the Interior.

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Traffic flagger ‘pushed’ by vehicle in Osoyoos on April 18

Aimee Attig is looking for witnesses of the incident that took place on Highway 3 near the AG Foods

Shuswap dancer stays across street from Penticton shooting day after Salmon Arm tragedy

Dancers come for festival, put in lockdown in rec centre, watch police response from Airbnb window

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Vernon-raised BC Was Awesome producer returns home for filming of episode

The topic of this Vernon-featured episode has not yet been revealed.

COLUMN: Bunnies, sexuality and the freedom to read

A book about a gay bunny has been the subject of challenges

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Most Read