Body positivity for men is just as serious as women’s

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells The argument can be made that millennials are the generation of change.  In this day and age, millennials are standing up for equality, race, gender, sexuality, sexual consent, representation and body positivity.  I feel as if all these categories are being discussed and changes are happening.The changes are slow, but change is happening nonetheless. There is one issue that I feel is not being discussed. That situation is the inclusiveness of males in the body positivity movement. Body positivity for women has been a top discussion for about five years. Actresses such as Lena Dunham, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Mindy Kaling, and Amy Schumer have spoken out and promoted plus sized women in the media.  But where are the men included in this? Shouldn’t men also have a say in their media depictions? Studies show that males have higher pay, are treated better, and are viewed as individuals. As the famous words of the late James Brown says, “This is a man’s world,” and honestly, it is a man’s world. But in this case, males need to be included. In the media, a handsome man is tall, fit, and has a smile of a god. Now think of what is considered the unattractive males in the media. This guy is normally the comic relief— a chubby and short man who isn’t given a second look. Why is that guy not promoted as beautiful as well? For example, earlier this year, Amy Schumer posed nude and supporters cheered her on. But, when a picture of Rob Kardashian surfaced earlier this year, he was ridiculed and labeled as an ugly fatso. Another example of this is the actor Chris Pratt and his weight loss in 2014. Before his weight loss, he was the chubby comic relief and after the weight loss he landed the lead in three films. Nothing about him changed besides his weight. What kind of message does that send? Obviously, the message that it sends is a negative one and does not show inclusiveness of males in this movement. While the media is responsible for perpetuating this image, the exclusivity of males in this movement can also be seen in everyday life.  I have personally been in situations where I have pointed out an attractive male that is vertically challenged and I will be viewed as strange for even giving this short guy a second glance. He is not seen as handsome because he doesn’t “fit” the attractive narrative that is projected in society. I have also experienced a situation where a guy called a girl fat and...

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Sports Spotlight: Soccer player Caleb Latson takes the field
Sep28

Sports Spotlight: Soccer player Caleb Latson takes the field

Caleb Latson is a senior transfer student from St. Edward’s University who is majoring in Business Management and playing soccer for the school. Business Management may be his major, but his passion is for overseas mission work. Latson said, “If I end up using my degree then great, but if not…it’s a backup plan”. Caleb seems like a person who wants to do what he loves rather than make money from something he hates. His carefree attitude is a trait that the majority of college students would love to obtain. Latson is a transfer student and explains that he transfered because he had friends that attended UMHB and decided to give UMHB a shot as well. His soccer career did not start late in life, Caleb has been playing soccer for most of his life, and knows the game pretty well. When asked why he loves soccer, he says that “[he] loves to win!” Latson plays forward and his strengths are knowing the game, being fast, being technical with the ball, making good passes, and overall having a passion for the sport. Obviously, he is very passionate for the sport, but also depends on his team. He certainly is not a showboat and believes his team has great teamwork and sportsmanship. Latson said, “We are a very good team and they have a lot of heart for the game. We have each other’s backs and we want to win!” In their recent game they won 6-0. He believes that his team has lots of heart and that is how they work so well together. Caleb has dabbled in other sports in his life for fun such as football, tennis, and baseball, but soccer is his passion. The life of a college athlete seems as if it should be difficult, but for Caleb, it is a simple task. He states that “it’s really not that hard,” and he refuses to stress out about it too much. He realizes that he is able to handle the pressure and have great time management skills. He is not only an athlete and student, but he also works for C-Life a few hours a week. When asked what keeps him going in college life he states, “Well, it’s the most logical thing to do. I do not want to dedicate all this time and not receive my degree. Plus, my relationship with the Lord. I look to him for my strength and my purpose. I truly believe that He has me here for a reason and a good purpose”. All in all, Caleb is a carefree guy and has a clear vision of what...

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Why I won’t go to Africa to help fight Ebola

As a nursing student, I participate in interdisciplinary ethics meetings with healthcare professionals and students. At the last meeting, the question posed was: “Would you go to Africa to help with the Ebola crisis?”   Some people said no, with reasons ranging from “I don’t feel qualified” to “We don’t know enough about the virus’ transmission.” Some said yes, because as healthcare professionals, we are to help other people. I said I would consider it.   When asked to explain, my heartbeat quickened; my face grew warm; my voice wavered. Not because of nerves but because this topic is emotional for me.   You see, I volunteered at a Cambodian hospital this summer and learned a lot about caring for health needs in other countries. Upon returning to the United States, I had more than dirty socks to unpack. With some nudging from a counselor, I delved into unpacking complex emotions and wrestling with the “why’s” of preventable suffering and death. Why did God want me to witness such suffering?   After many prayers the Lord showed me that he allowed me to see the suffering because He sees each person’s pain, too. He grieves compassionately for each of them, and He has invited me into that part of His heart. Though I never would have asked to be ushered into this part of God’s heart, He chose to bring me in anyway — and I know Him more intimately for it.   So when people asked about my response to Ebola, my voice wavered, my heart pounded and face flushed because talking about healthcare in other countries stirs up emotions. The reason I would not consider going is because seeing people suffer and die in a developing country is extremely hard emotionally, mentally and spiritually. When you know just as much as physicians about medical care for a disease, and you still do not know what to do to treat someone — that is one of the most helpless and overwhelming feelings that exists.   I have prayed about going, yet for now, I will not travel to help with the Ebola crisis because my heart is not ready for it. After a summer in Cambodia, there is unfinished grieving and healing for my heart to finish.   Perhaps, when we talk about going to Africa and the reasons we would or would not go, we are mistaken about the hardest parts of being there. Perhaps the hardest part would not be the fear of contracting the virus or not feeling qualified to treat a patient. Perhaps the hardest part would be the grieving it would demand from...

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Oh my gosh, look at her video
Sep17

Oh my gosh, look at her video

Any music video featuring a parental advisory disclaimer begs for attention on all forms of media. But Nicki Minaj’s new music video “Anaconda” makes viewers question where our generation is headed in terms of entertainment.   The almost-five minute, grueling production needs a parental advisory warning to limit the ages of viewers — that’s how raunchy Nicki gets for an otherwise catchy song.  So what is all the buzz about that’s making celebrities and YouTube stars jump to make a parody?   The content of the video is nothing short of horrendous and disrespectful to women. The introduction shows scantily-clad dancers in their underwear, while Nicki is in chain links, leaving nothing to the imagination.   To make matters worse, the short shorts are followed by a meaningless workout portion where again, Minaj wears close to nothing.  As a whole, there is no central theme, adding to the pointless and provocative chaos.   If videos like this become so popular, with over a hundred million views, what have our values as a society come to?   Famous funny woman Ellen Degeneres capitalized on the video’s success, making her own hilarious version of the song while mocking its raciness. Ellen appears in short jean shorts and tights, trying her best to twerk without laughing. This is probably the only version worth watching, though.   Minaj herself viewed the spoof while the audience on the live talk show laughed and enjoyed the lighthearted video, which provides a stark contrast with the actual VEVO version.   This questionable behavior turned viral video isn’t a first for Minaj. She has released numerous videos that advertise sex, drug usage and superficial values. Whether she admits it or not, her videos are degrading to women as well as men.   “Anaconda” implies that it is okay for men to value women based on the size of their butts, something that our culture has begun accepting and promoting. Women with insecurities and interest for attention create these “music” videos, showcasing their assets. The sad thing is, Minaj has grown in popularity over the years.   Maybe it’s time for our culture to re-evaluate our standards of beauty, and the dynamic between male and female interactions. Why are we accepting such crude, explicit behavior as normal and desired?   Save yourself the time and “oh my gosh, look at” something other than her butt and music...

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Saddle up with Cru Riding Association
Sep17

Saddle up with Cru Riding Association

Owning your own horse is not required. On Sept. 3, the Cru Riding Association held their first meeting of the fall semester. Many UMHB students were in attendance. When asked why she was interested in becoming a member, freshman biology major Grace Gibson said, “I rode horses almost eight years ago at a camp and fell in love. It is just too expensive to own and maintain a horse by myself.”   The riding club has been an unofficial association for four years at UMHB, but this year is its first year as an active organization. The riding club president and senior nursing major Kelsey Kunk said, “We are now able to receive funding, which enabled us to become an active association.” Vice President and sophomore nursing major Erica Lowe said, “Members are limited to UMHB. Family members are welcome to accompany students, but are not able to ride the horses.”   Members are required to do three hours of community service and participate in riding days. Riding days are pre-arranged days designed for the group to ride for three hours. There are between 10 and 12 riding days for this school year, ranging from free to $15 per student. Price is determined by how many members RSVP for that particular scheduled riding day. Saturday, Oct. 4 is the first riding day. Water and snacks will be provided. Plus, the association participates in horse-related attractions, seminars, movies, performances and shows to as a club.   The group has partnered with Anne’s Barn in Holland to provide six to seven horses for the members to ride. Members may also utilize their own horse with prior permission. All levels of riders are invited, from beginners to the most experienced. Transportation to and from riding days and required equipment are provided by UMHB.   In October the association will be searching for members who are interested in holding an office in the club. Positions available include president, historian and public relations. Current advisers for the club are Heath Cox from the physical plant department and Megan Owen of the records...

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