Jungle-themed human art show hits Pacific during Love Your Body Week

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Eighteen Pacific University students, including emcee Janae Sargent (far right) performed as human canvases in Tom Miles Theater Friday, celebrating the power, strength and beauty of the human body. Artists posed with the canvases during the evening event.Painted bodies were all the rage inside Tom Miles Theater Friday night, when more than 100 people showed up to celebrate the human body at Pacific University with a jungle-themed art show of a different stripe.

The “Human Canvas Project” — in which student volunteers brought their bare-but-covered-in-color bodies onstage and shared stories about why they love the skin they’re in — closed out the annual Love Your Body Week sponsored by Pacific’s Center for Gender Equity.

“I have been up to 280 pounds and lost that weight in an extreme manner,” said senior Janelle Del Castillo. “I am proud to say I have overcome my personal issues dealing with food and the negative thoughts in my head.”

Michael Monahan, a competitive distance runner, said the “he-man male body stereotype that’s so pervasive in our culture” made him self-conscious of his body, but “with the help of my friends and other support groups I’m past all that now.”

Sophomore biology major Jacqline Rosa said she was “the girl that was thick and curvy” while growing up. “Now I have learned to own it and I live to inspire women to own their bodies.”

Love Your Body Week co-chairwoman Esbeida Ramos said activities ran March 31 to April 4, and promoted healthy body images and lifestyles. by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Artists mingled with canvases on stage at Pacific Universitys Tom Miles Theater for the Human Canvas Project, part of Love Your Body Week.

“Every year we have a week where each day is dedicated to the appreciation of the human body,” said Ramos, a sophomore math major from Nampa, Idaho. “The idea is to show that the human body is so beautiful and so powerful, regardless of shape, size or perceived imperfections.”

Borrowing a “Bare Necessities” theme from the Disney’s “Jungle Book” movie, 14 human canvases formed a tapestry showing “everyone is part of a bigger picture,” noted Ramos.

To preserve a modicum of modesty, students were required to wear underwear on their lower torsos, said Ramos, but bras were optional for females. The audience “got to mingle with the canvases” after their mini-speeches, she added.

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