In an open drawing room, in the midst of easels and half-finished artwork, 30 women milled about in various stages of undress. Many were coated with white plaster from neck to waist; others dried friends' plastered torsos with hair dryers. Within an hour, the body casts would be done.
The creation of body casts on Tuesday night, March 22, was just one of the various activities planned for Healthy Bodies Week, a week-long celebration of body awareness and empowerment.
"Once the clothes come off, you realize how similar bodies are," said Julia Baker, a senior.
The events of Healthy Bodies week (which began on Monday, March 21 and will end on Saturday, March 26) have been sponsored and coordinated by Goshen Student Women's Association (GSWA). The group has planned Healthy Bodies Week for the last few years.
"The week is for talking about certain things to do with body image and sexuality," said Molly Kellogg, a senior and member of GSWA.
Events earlier this week included a Taize worship service on the feminine divine, a demonstration booth for alternative menstrual products (complete with red jello), a yoga session and a gender and sexuality group discussion. Body casting was the only event solely designed for women.
"The activities are great venues for discussions that don't normally happen," said Nora Miller, a junior. "It provides opportunity for students to share opinions, questions and receive helpful information."
The celebration will continue on Thursday evening, March 24, with a documentary, "Killing Us Softly," which will explore the effects of advertising on body image. The movie will be shown in NC 17. Healthy Bodies Week will conclude with Safe Zone Training on LGBTQ issues on Saturday, March 26, at 2 p.m. in NC 17.
Kessa Frantz, a junior, "It's all about appreciating our bodies together."