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Raising awareness through song

February 28, 2010

Raising awareness through song


By Chris Albert

PLU students Emily Branch and Marina Pitassi found a way to creatively bring to light the realities of body image in the world today – write a song and make a music video. Then posted it on of course.

Body Fat Calculator measuring a persons waist

PLU students bring awareness to body image issues through a song on YouTube.

It may have started as just another assignment in Professor Colleen Hacker’s Physical Education 315 class, but soon it became an effort to make something unique and hopefully make a difference.

The two were partners for a final project about exposing and explaining the realities of body image in today’s society.

“For me this project hit close to home because I’ve had body image issues all my life that have seriously affected my self-esteem and every day choices,” Pitassi said. “Something I’ve also been doing all my life is writing music and making videos.”

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to create a project outside the norms of power point and really tap into a way for people to not only hear the information, but also listen to it, Branch said.

Like Pitassi, Branch found the topic of body image engaging.

“It’s something everyone struggles at one point or another,” she said.

With their song on the video, “Isn’t it Wrong,” the two went about singing and showing how the society, media and even insurance companies project unrealistic, and sometimes unhealthy, ideals of the perfect body or weight.

“Our main goal with this video is to make people aware of the stereotypes and negative body images issues that an alarming amount of people face due to pressure from the media to achieve the thin ideal (for women) or muscular ideal (for men),” Branch said.

“It’s actually a growing issue for men and most people don’t realize that,” Pitassi said.

So far, the response has been great, they said.

“Everyone we have talked to has told us that this is very informative and influential,” Branch said.

And it’s been like that from the start of production. More than a dozen students jumped in to help the two complete the video project.

“We had so much fun,” Pitassi said, “and the volunteers we had were amazing.”

The two might continue their passion for music videos and important causes by starting a club, but that’s just an idea they’re tossing back and forth right now.

They hope their video inspires more people to live healthy lives and be comfortable with how their body is meant to look, not what society says, Pitassi said.