Body Image Workshop: A Conversation on Love

Darvin Nelson, General Assignment Reporter

Valentine’s Day either serves as a reminder of those who love you, or the absence of such love. Love is something most of us feel and is displayed in infinite ways; whether it’s feelings, thoughts, flowers, chocolates, and kisses — or a night alone on the couch with a box of pizza. 

Every Friday, the Women’s Center hosts “Friday Lounge,” an open group dialogue where students and staff discuss current events and relevant topics from 2 – 4 p.m. It provides a space where students bring their authentic selves to share and listen to each other to understand a concept. “All students are welcome to join the discussion,” says the Women’s Center website. 

Photo by Darvin Nelson.

On Valentines Day, Healthy Ospreys Senior Cire Ba and Sophomore Karly Friedman held the topic of body positivity, self-love, and the definition of love for the Friday Lounge discussion. Here are some interpretations of what love means from fellow Osprey’s who participated in the discussion:

“Whether it’s my friends or my family, love is being able to be there for them and care for them […] and being able to go to a certain extent when caring for someone. Love is a big word that we throw around, and not many people get that real feeling of love.” -Cire

“Love, to an extent, is sort of expressed as an act of service to another person. Love, at its core, is just wanting something in your life, and that can be expressed towards a lot of different things.” -Danny

“Personally, I never sat down and thought about ‘What is love’ before. I thought about it in the context of how I show love, and how I receive love. It’s  kind of like a connection based on how I perceive people and how they perceive me.” -Karly

“I describe love as a sort of servitude. […] You take a look within yourself, serve yourself, pat yourself on the back, and love yourself by expressing your love for other people. Once you love yourself, you can love others too.” -Sheryl

“For me, love is seeing more than what most of the world sees in someone. […] I also think that you can fall out of love or grow out of it.” -Irma

“There are different kinds of love and for a lot of it’s showing and doing service. Also, sometimes in love, you do things that you don’t want to do without resentment because you love that person.” -Jess

“I never thought of a solid definition of love. To me, it’s more of a feeling and for most people, even if you can’t explain it, you know when you love someone and you know when you don’t.” -Anthony

“I feel like it’s an ever-changing feeling. If you feel like the more people you love, the more experiences you go through; and that changes your definition of love.” -Ama

“You are aware when you truly do love someone. It’s also a give and take relationship.” -Malesh

“I think love is a series of choices that you make for yourself. The people you love affect those choices based on how willing you are to get to know them better. If someone you loved wronged you and you start to fall out of love, you will make less and less of those choices and you would want to know them less.” -Anonymous

“When you’re not with them you miss them, and you generally want them to be okay and wish the best for them. You also care about their goals, and are being considerate, and wanting a connection with that person.” -Hannah

“Love is very layered. I think love is showing compassion to everyone and not judging them for being themselves. […] I just think compassion is the key to almost everything and getting past barriers in a way. Also, empathy and true selflessness when you want to be there for someone.” -Breanna

“I was thinking a lot about sacrificial love, […] so just putting yourself second to, like, everything.” -Rachel

“It’s a feeling that you get in touch with, its something that you sense, or that you need or want. You want to learn how to give that to another person. […] It’s a commitment overtime and there’s a maturing process.” -Dr. Love

Courtesy of the Women’s Center website.

The Friday Lounge discussions take place in Building 2, room 2100 or 1400. On Feb. 21, The Better Together team will be joining the Women’s Center in a discussion of religious diversity; and the following Friday will be a celebration of Black History Month with the Black Student Union (BSU).

Photo by Darvin Nelson.

 The last week of February is also “Love Week.” Presented by Healthy Ospreys, the week will include a chance to send a Valentine gram for free. 

Exchanging diverse ideas and perspectives through conversation can help develop and think about the values you want in life, and the virtues you want to live by. According to the Oxford Dictionary, “Love is an intense feeling of deep affection,” but we experience the layers of love in different ways, so it means something different for all of us. What does love mean to you?

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