Story and photo by Tricia O’Donnell

Around 30 brave and inspiring women and men showed up at Newcomb’s Commonwealth Room for Perfect Illusions, an open-mic style forum for discussion about body image, eating, and exercise concerns at the University and within the community.

Community members and U.Va. students alike came together on Nov. 5 to break the silence surrounding these often “taboo” topics. The event focused on providing a place of support and comfort for those struggling with any body, food, or exercise-related concerns, and through the courage and vulnerability of the attendees, it turned out to be so much more.

As a Body-Positive intern at the Maxine Platzer Lynn’s Women’s Center and the Vice President of Hoos Open to Preventing Eating Disorders, I am accustomed to being exposed to stories of struggles with eating disorders, statistics regarding those suffering and the inspiration that comes from those in recovery.

Body Positive Interns at Tea

(Left to Right) Body Positive interns Samantha Karp, Katelyn Hebel and Tricia O’Donnell pose at the photo booth for the third annual Mother-Daughter Tea at the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center. This event was the week prior to the Perfect Illusions event.

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Let’s Talk About Sex (Ed)

Sex Ed Board

An exercise during the class offered this semester called “Men and Masculinities” taught by Dr. Lisa Speidel, in which students called aloud what they were taught as kids about sex. My personal favorite: “Sex causes babies.”

Story and photos by: Michelle Cho

I was scarred in the fifth grade.

One fine and unassuming day, I walked to class and took my usual seat. The bell rang, we said the pledge of allegiance, and heard some announcements before an unidentified lady that I hadn’t noticed standing in front of the room, explained that our class would be splitting up by boys and girls that day for a special activity.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month Comes to a Close with Red Flag Week

Red Flag Week Overall

The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at U.Va. and Sigma Psi Zeta table in front of the Clothesline Project on the Lawn.

 Story and photo by: Alaina Segura

Dozens of T-shirts lined the perimeter of the Lawn  during the last week of October, designed with messages like, “It’s my childhood.  Don’t rush me.” and “Love shouldn’t hurt.”

These were displayed as part of U.Va.’s chapter of the Clothesline Project, a national program where victims of domestic violence design T-shirts sharing their stories and expressing their feelings. The t-shirts are displayed anonymously in public as a testimony to the prevalence of this issue in today’s society.

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Story by: Katelyn Hebel

Katelyn Hebel

Katelyn Hebel

You may have heard that Katie Couric, successful news anchor and former Wahoo, will be coming this November to talk about Fed Up, her star-studded documentary about obesity in America, which will be screened at the Virginia Film Festival this year.

As an intern in the Body Positive program of the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at U.Va., this film caught my attention because of its focus on weight. I decided to watch the documentary for myself to find out what Couric had to say, and to try and frame the discussion from a body positive perspective.

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The Community Investment Collaborative office is an open and creative space, located on 401 E. Market Street, across from the Downtown Mall.

Story and photos by: Michelle Cho

For the past few weeks, Iris Magazine has been introducing you to some of Charlottesville’s best and brightest female entrepreneurial minds. Fighting some pretty steep odds, these women have taken us through the highs and lows, the failures and successes, of their personal journeys of starting their own businesses. Although each woman and each idea are quite distinct, the common thread that unites all of these very different stories together is the group that has been cheering hardest for them

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