Brianna Mulligan

At the start of a new semester and the beginning of a new calendar year, many people’s New Year’s resolutions will concentrate on exercise and dieting.

However, Miami University’s Panhellenic Association (Panhel) and Greek community are doing what they can to combat a potential obsession with physical appearance.

Panhel, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Delta and Kappa Alpha Theta sororities will be co-hosting motivational speaker Stacy Nadeau, a former model for the Dove “True Beauty” campaign, with her program “Embracing Real Beauty.”

“Nadeau wants to spread her message about how she knows that she is not perfect and there are parts of her that she is unhappy about, but the message is that all women are beautiful and there is not just one body type we should all be striving for,” Panhel President Brittany Martin said.

The program will address the media’s effect on how people perceive the perfect physical image, according to Martin.

Nadeau will discuss how being comfortable with oneself is more important than feeling the need to represent the perfect body type.

“It’s really about healthy body image,” Martin said. “The media is not always right.”

The event will take place less than two weeks after the start of 2009, hopefully helping reach people who dedicate their New Year’s resolutions to shedding pounds, according to Martin.

“I think that it is the start of a new semester and it’s a New Year’s resolution for a lot of people to start losing weight,” Martin said.

“People need to understand they can be comfortable with themselves.”

The timing of the lecture will also coincide with sorority recruitment.

Martin said Panhel is hoping for a value-based recruitment in 2009, and this event will help spread the message.

“It is the week before the end of sorority recruitment,” Martin said.

“As much as recruitment is so fun, you are going through hoping you like people and they like you (and) a lot of time that focuses on a physical image. We want to show that this is not what the Greek community is about. We want people to be comfortable being themselves.”

Kappa Delta president Jaqueline Grody agreed that the timing of the event will help spread a positive message about recruitment.

“Every year Panhel strives to have a value-based recruitment,” Grody said.

“This event is in the middle of recruitment and promotes positive self-image. Stacy Nadeau is going to promote positive self-image and self-esteem.”

Grody said Panhel and the sponsoring sororities believe that the event will be a positive experience for all who attend.

“I hope when people who go leave they feel that they can find an image for themselves and be happy with it, completely comfortable in their own body,” Martin said.

Grody agreed.

“There is so much media influence and we want to influence young girls to appreciate who they are as a person instead of just how they look,” she said. 

The program will be open to all students and will take place at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 in Hall Auditorium.