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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU creates awareness of weight prejudice against women

In today's American society, invisible guidelines are attached to women that make them incredibly conscious about their appearance. The average 5-foot-4-inch, 140-pound American woman is in constant competition with the average American fashion model, who is 5 feet 11 inches and 117 pounds, thinner than 98 percent of American women.

ico State University's Women Studies Program is attempting to create awareness of weight prejudice in the university and Las Cruces communities by sponsoring brown bag luncheons with presentations about important image-related issues.

Weight prejudice, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, has such a great impact that approximately 7 million girls and women in the United States have eating disorders, 45 percent of women are dieting on any given day and 80 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance.

"We need to have an ongoing discourse within this society about this prejudice and its effects," says Jana Cooke, a women's studies student who organized the luncheons.

The luncheons will be in the Science Hall Conference Room 286A. Those who attend bring their own lunch, but soft drinks and cookies will be provided.

From noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, "Learning to Love Our Hungers: Food, Sex and Self-Esteem" will be presented followed by open discussion concerning body image, weight and dieting in American society.

The presentation of "What Do Women (YOU) Want: Making the Most of the Women's Studies Program" will be from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9. This will be a planning session for programming throughout the year, including Women's History Month 2006, and all ideas and input are welcome.