Oakland students share stories on struggles with body image


At the Body Monologues event, a display showed what students at OU love about their bodies. 

Melissa Deatsch

Oakland University participated in National Eating Disorder Awareness week, with a variety of events around campus.  

On Thursday, Mar. 3, five performers took part in an event called Body Monologues. 

Each performer shared a monologue written by someone struggling with body image or  an eating disorder.

Here are three quotes from the performances and insight following them.



“It is our action and our thinking that need to be made over.” — “Makeover” performed by Charlie Rinehart.

In the performance “Makeover”, Rinehart expressed anger and detest at the world in which the author is raising a child.

He stated that “54 percent of women would rather be hit by a truck than be fat.”

It is that sort of self-talk that the author think needs a makeover.  It is not our appearance.  It is not our hair or our fingernails or our face that needs the makeover.

The change needs to happen in our minds.  Negative self-talk will always stand in the way of living up to our full potential. We can’t stand in our own way.  



“I’m tired of having to apologize for the way that I naturally look.” — “Confrontation” performed by Courtney Stockman.   

In “Confrontation” Stockman conveyed the author’s discovery of her own voice.  She realized she had spent too much of her life keeping the way she felt to herself because of a fear of being disliked.  

All too often people forget to use the voice they are given.  When people make negative comments about our appearance it tends to generate an inward action and change the way we think about ourselves.  It should be directed outward back at them.  

We don’t have to stay silent when someone points at our flaws.  In those moments, it is okay to find that voice and use it to express what we feel.


“For My Own Good”

“I thought that if he wanted me I could get him to act the way I wanted him to.” — “For My Own Good”performed by Alysa Piering.

This performer spoke a lot about a series of experiences the author had with a boy.  A boy whose words she let dictate the way she felt about her body.  

When he complimented her, she was pleased with herself, but spent most of her time trying to figure out a way to earn more compliments from him.  

Too often, people look to the person they have feelings for to give them approval.  It leaves them feeling like they aren’t good enough unless that one specific person says they are.  

We cannot let anyone define our own self-worth.  We should decide on a significant other based on who agrees with us on how awesome we are.  

The performances were followed by a discussion.  Audience members learned about the most common eating disorders and the signs someone might exhibit if they are struggling with an eating disorder.  

If you or someone you know needs help with an eating disorder, call the OU Counseling Center at 248-370-3465 to schedule an appointment or to ask questions and seek advice on how to handle the situation.