Steph Ng Founder
I banter because...I was personally affected by an eating disorder, and after experiencing its crippling effects firsthand, I felt that it would be downright irresponsible to not play my part in making sure that more people are informed about body image issues and understand the importance of body positivity. The most important realization that I had during my recovery from my eating disorder was that a big reason why many people are ignorant to the fact that many people suffer from body image problems, or even that they themselves are suffering from negative body image is because this topic is largely viewed as "taboo" and an uncomfortable one to discuss in public. By getting more people to discuss this topic openly, I hope to shed light on this very under-acknowledged but very important issue.
Valerie Roberts Director of Arts and Media
I banter because… People are pressured by society to look and feel a certain way when it comes to their bodies. Even though these standards are arbitrary, they still can damage people’s sense of worth. In high school, I had friends who were negatively affected because they felt that their bodies weren’t good enough, and I wish there had been a Body Banter chapter then to help them through it. I think it is so important to help people love themselves and their bodies without worrying about fitting in with typical ideas of beauty.
Isabelle Van Oppen Co-Manager & Chief Advocate Officer
I banter because...as soon as I entered high school, I noticed that body image and looks were the talk of the cafeteria. Students were quick to judge and make harsh comments, and with this atmosphere a culture of body insecurity and self-doubt was quick to emerge. This is the case of many schools internationally, and experiencing the dangerous effects of this culture through my classmates, close friends, and personal experience, the topic of body confidence quickly became of importance to me. I joined body banter because I whole-heartedly support its mission - which is to raise awareness about body confidence, health, and size acceptance. My hopes are that by building a supportive online community, anyone suffering from body image issues can be helped. Furthermore, I believe that Body Banter has the potential to educate its audience about stereotypes and the harmful culture that can contribute to low body confidence, thus teaching its audience to treat others with care and respect. Finally, Body banter can work to de-stigmatize stereotypes surrounding eating disorders, thereby sharing important values to its audience.
Olivia Liu Banter Broadcast Project Leader
I banter because... body image is something that I've greatly struggled with starting from high school. In my senior year of high school, I became somewhat obsessed with living a "healthy lifestyle". In reality, this "healthy lifestyle" wasn't healthy at all - I was constantly obsessing over the number on the scale, developing a restricted and unhealthy relationship with food, and forcing myself to exercise all the time. I never thought I was doing enough. In college, my relationship with my body developed to a new low. It wasn't until I found a truly supportive person I could discuss this issue with that my mindset started to change. Having that person and those discussions were fundamental in developing a healthier relationship with myself. I want to help create a community in which these discussions can be held openly and without judgement so that others might be helped too. I want to help create a platform that spreads and grows self-love. I want people to know that they are not alone in their journeys.
Elise Brown Technology Officer
I banter because... self-love is a vital regard for one's own well-being and happiness. I espouse the Body Banter mission: to encourage and inspire people to have a positive body image and value their self-worth.
This platform is especially important for high school & college students because it spreads body positivity in contrast to the media constantly glorifying certain beauty standards. Helping more people develop a healthy relationship with food, exercise, and self-love is a mission I firmly stand by.