Body positivity is something we can all learn from. What better way to do that than running around campus naked?

For those who do not know (looking at you first-years), Naked Week is exactly what it sounds like. A group of students participate in runs around campus without wearing any clothing to promote body positivity. This year, naked week will take place on campus from Monday, February 25 until Saturday, March 2.

“The runs correlate with that of National Eating Disorder Week, so we follow the same schedule as they do,” Lexi Seward ‘19, a communication and international studies double major from Naperville, Illinois who will be serving as this year’s Naked Queen.

The whole week centers around body positivity, something very important to those who participate. Maya Hodson ‘19, a member of the embodied wellness team that partners with Naked Week described why body positivity is so important.

“Body positivity is contagious. You don’t always expect certain people to have negative views of their bodies, but even the people with ripped abs and perfect skin often see themselves differently,” Hodson said. “It’s important to remember that anyone can have terrible anxiety about their bodies.”

Seward echoed those thoughts and expanded on how Naked Week can help. “I don’t know one person who has not been worried about other people judging their bodies. But that’s the great thing about Naked Week, as people do it that fear slowly diminishes away,” Seward said. “If I do something wrong in class, I don’t get stressed about it because I have already run around this school naked.
As for advice for those who are hesitant about participating in Naked Week, Seward says you aren’t alone, but encourages you to participate because it is so empowering.

“When I was a first year, I thought there was no way I could ever do it, but I’m really glad I did,” Seward said. “If you have an inkling that you would like to do this, that doing so would add to your confidence or help you get over something, then please come out. You won’t regret it. Everyone runs for a different reason, and if you can find that reason to run, usually that gets people out there and running.”

Seward also explained how it has allowed for her to grow all the way from someone hesitant about participating to Naked Queen.

“There are not too many things out there that will make you feel on top of the world, like you can do anything or be whoever you want to be, but doing something like Naked Week does exactly that.”

For those who do not participate, it does not mean they can’t promote body positivity during Naked Week. Just by showing up and supporting those who are running does an active job. After all, if there was no crowd, the run would not feel so empowering.