Walking with Confidence

April 10, 2014
WalkingConfidence3 Photo courtesy of Amy Chestnutt, director of the Body Positive Eating Disorders Education Initiative
After the Kappa Delta Confidence Campaign 1.5 mile walk, students signed boards pledging to end fat talk.

The following has been re-printed from the April 6, 2014 edition of WUVAOnline with permission from the writer.

On Sunday morning, the Beta Alpha chapter of Kappa Delta held their first annual Eliminate Fat Talk Walk as a part of their Confidence Campaign week. Proceeds to The Eliminate Fat Talk Walk benefited the Shelter for Help in Emergency or SHE. This organization is dedicated to providing support for survivors of domestic abuse. The walk’s largest goal matches the whole intent of their campaign week–to promote confidence and end the negative talk that several women, especially of college age, use when describing how they feel about themselves.

WalkingWithConfidence1 Photo courtesy of Amy Chestnutt
Prior to the walk, the Women's Center distributed body positive materials.

Before the walk, several women’s organizations around the UVA and Charlottesville community set up tables to add to the general goal. For instance, the UVA Women’s Center set up a table with reminders to stay body positive in the form of a door hanger. A sister of Kappa Delta led the walk through Grounds, and as participants walked, other Kappa Delta sisters held up signs with encouraging messages on them. There were also encouraging messages drawn in chalk to line the route. One of the best mementos from the walk was the tank that Kappa Delta gave out to participants with a Henry David Thoreau quote, which reads, “Go confidently in the directions of your dreams.” Perhaps this quote is something that we all should memorize as it is a reminder of the confidence that we should all take with us no matter where we go.

As someone who has struggled with body confidence and “fat talk,” it was such a positive event to attend. Last fall, I wrote an article called Battling Perfection; since that article, I have come even further in my own struggle to be more confident. I ended the article with the declaration that we should believe that we are perfect just the way we are. However, I have to admit that at the time, I  believed those words to be true, but did not feel them myself. And, I’m still struggling to believe it. It really is a struggle to be confident. I had a good friend tell me once that admitting to yourself that you are perfect in the way you look is not conceded; it’s confidence. The two often get conflated. However, sometimes it’s necessary to be conceded for a short time in order to gain the confidence. This walk was a great reminder of just how important confidence really is, and that we are all truly beautiful individuals inside and out.

Events like Kappa Delta’s Eliminate Fat Talk Walk and Confidence Campaign spur conversation, and create dialogue, which is necessary to making a difference. We need more campaigns like these especially at a school where confidence gets overlooked, forgotten or lost in the mix of stress, school, and social life. As this semester comes to a close in a few weeks, it is important that we keep moving forward into the future, towards our dreams, just don’t forget to walk with confidence.

By Sarahbeth Vernon

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