UVA Kicks off ‘Celebrate Every Body Week’ with Jeans Exchange - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVA Kicks off ‘Celebrate Every Body Week’ with Jeans Exchange

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A University of Virginia campaign is partnering with a Charlottesville business to promote healthy body image this week. Students kicked off their annual Celebrate Every Body Week with a jeans exchange Monday.

Most people have a pair of too-tight jeans they hope to squeeze into one day. The UVA Women's Center Body Positive initiative and Charlottesville's Jean Theory store are encouraging people to trade those in for a good cause.

UVA Women's Center intern Lauren Williams helped collect the first pair of jeans for this year's weeklong body positive campaign. "Even though your body is changing, it's still healthy, it's still okay and a size doesn't necessarily correlate to health," she said.

The center is working with UVA's Coalition on Eating Disorders and Exercise Concerns to put on Celebrate Every Body Week. The campaign has been held every spring for almost a decade. Williams says the effort is timely.

She said, "We kind of base it around, we try to keep it close to spring break because that's when a lot of body issues come up around grounds."

People will get a free T-shirt if they donate a pair of jeans. They'll also receive a 20 percent-off coupon from Charlottesville's Jean Theory store.

"Our concept is that women have such a hard time finding a pair of jeans that fit," said Abby Skolits, a sales associate at Jean Theory. "They think it's them, it's their body type and really it's all about the style."

The business joined the body positive campaign this year. Jean Theory says their concept goes hand-in-hand with the university's efforts.

Skolits said, "The fit of each single pair means it's going to be different on every single woman. So kind of our motto it's not you, it's the jeans."

The jeans collected this week will be donated to Charlottesville's Shelter for Help in Emergency's Clothing Center Corner in Belmont. Last year, volunteers gave the shelter about 180 pairs of jeans. They say it's a gift that makes you feel good all around.

"People hold onto their old jeans as a measuring stick for what they want to weigh now," Williams said. "I always say you should never define yourself based on any size - whether that's a weight, or a BMI, or a jean size in particular."

Volunteers will hold more jeans exchanges and events focusing on positive body image throughout this week. Click here for more information.

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