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Pool party empowers women to reclaim and celebrate themselves

Laura Dachenbach

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Women tend to form friendships through the intimacy of their conversations. Stef Streb, a body-positive photographer, and Julie Ohlemacher, an intuitive eating health coach realized they were having the same conversations about body image with their respective clients, and wanted to bring their voices together.

“We wanted to make that discussion bigger,” said Streb. “So we started Girls Night, our event series where we host an open discussion with about 30 women about what it really means to be body positive, and how to navigate a society that promotes the idea that there’s only one ‘right’ body to have, which most of us don’t.”

Photos: Megan Leigh Barnard

That conversation next led to “Sun’s Out, Tums Out!,” a body-positive pool party celebrating the beautiful reality that women come in all shapes and sizes. The event will also host a charity raffle to benefit ROX, a Columbus-based organization that creates programs to build confidence in girls and young women. (614) sat down with Ohlemacher to find out more.

(614): What has been the response to your events?

JO: Our Girls Night events have been incredible. … [Our] goal is simply to open up the conversation. It’s not about us lecturing. It’s about us creating and holding space for all women who come to have the opportunity to share their story, to ask a question, to be a part of this larger conversation of body image struggles and the devastating impact of living in a culture that praises one body size over another. For so long, body image struggles were our shameful little secrets. I always felt like I was the only one who had this struggle. I told no one, and of course, the more I kept it in, [the more] this shame expanded. Turns out, unfortunately, that many women feel this same shame, that many women struggle in their bodies. So by creating a space for us all to share and be open and to fight back against the cultural standards that hurt all of us, to illuminate the almost $70-billion diet industry that literally profits off of us feeling not good enough, it allows women to release that shame because they realize they’re not alone, and it’s not their fault they’ve felt the way they do. Woman after woman has come up to Stef and me thanking us for creating this space.

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Women often measure their appearance against other women. So why do you think that all-female participation in an event like this makes a di erence in self-acceptance?

This entire event is about creating space to fight back against our fatphobic culture that hurts us all, that forces us to make these damaging comparisons. This event is about celebrating all body shapes and sizes, and when we do that, comparison falls by the wayside because when there is no ideal, there’s no standard to compare yourself against. This event is about seeing the beauty, the value, the worth in all bodies of all sizes. It’s about saying, “Hey, your body is good simply because it’s your body and she allows you to experience life, and who we are as human beings is way more important than how we look.” I mean, as women we’re told the most important thing about us is our looks. This event fights against that. It says, “Hey, we’re all beautiful, but we all have much more to o er this world than our appearance.” This event creates a space for women to celebrate themselves and each other, to support and uplift each other, to bring us all together.

How do you want women to feel as they walk away from this experience?

Empowered and celebrated. My goal is for the women who come to have an experience in their bodies that maybe they’ve never had before… an experience of true acceptance, respect, love and celebration for their body and for all bodies of all shapes and sizes. But even more than that, I hope women walk away from the event feeling more grounded in their bodies so that they can be rooted in the truth that who they are as human beings is always much more important than how she looks.

Is this event going to expand in the future?

We’ll see! I could easily see this becoming an annual event. And of course, our Girls Nights will absolutely continue quarterly!

Tickets are on sale now. Click here to learn more.

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Community

Cedar Point, Kings Island are suing to get you back

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It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Columbus Zoo & Aquarium are allowed to re-open but Cedar Point and Kings Island have been snubbed in Gov. Mike DeWine’s most recent announcement that Ohio’s entertainment venues were allowed to re-open.

After being left out of the party, Cedar Point, Kalahari Resort and Kings Island sued the director of the Ohio Department of Health Thursday, arguing that Dr. Amy Acton doesn’t have the authority to keep the state’s amusement parks and waterparks shut down and in doing so is violating the park’s rights.

The lawsuit was brought by attorney Maurice Thompson, executive director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. The county health departments for both parks were also named in the lawsuit.

No word yet from the Ohio Department of Health as to when, or if, either amusement park will be allowed to open in June.

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Community

Updated hours for North Market as first Farmers’ Market of the season opens Saturday

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Get excited Columbus foodies - this Saturday marks the beginning of North Market’s Farmers’ Market season! The Farmers’ Market will tantalize your taste buds every Saturday this summer through October, from 8 a.m. until noon at the North Market outdoor plaza at 59 Spruce Street.

During the coronavirus pandemic, North Market provided customers with fresh pick-up bundles. Now they’ve updated their operating hours to give consumers who want to shop again a chance to pick their own culinary delights.

"The hope is that a gradual reopening will strike a balance between the desire to serve the public and still respect the very real health concerns still shared by merchants, public, and staff," said Rick Harrison Wolfe, North Market's executive director, in a press release Thursday.

The updated hours, which will go into effect this Sat., June 6, are as follows:

  • Monday - Tuesday: closed
  • Wednesday - Friday, Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

All of those in attendance will have to observe the following guidelines as outlined in a press release by North Market:

  • North Market's mask requirement that applies to indoor merchants and guests will also apply to all outdoor vendors and guests.
  • Access to each farmers' market booth will be limited. Markings on ground will indicate this requirement and will show the distance required between people. Only one person/group traveling together may be in each box at a time.
  • Several farms and vendors will offer contact-free shopping and pre-orders. North Market asks that guests pre-order and plan out shopping trips when possible. This helps keep crowds to a minimum and lines moving smoothly.
  • Farms and vendors will provide hand sanitizer for guest use.
  • North Market farms and vendors are committed to helping prevent the spread of illness by washing hands frequently, covering coughs/sneezes, staying home when sick, and avoiding exposure to others who are sick. We ask that all guests follow the same protocols and do not visit North Market or the Farmers' Market if feeling ill.
  • North Market farms and vendors will continue to strictly follow all local public health guidelines, safety protocols, and best practices.

If you’re interested in which merchants will be open on what days, North Market has been dedicated to providing you with that information during the pandemic. You can find the list, which is updated daily, here.

Although there are still limitations on indoor seating, outdoor seating on the porch and the farmers’ market plaza are currently available.

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Weekend Getaway: Ohio State Park lodges reopen

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Cooped up inside of our homes for the past few months, everyone could use a change of scenery. Luckily for those that love the great outdoors of Ohio, the perfect getaway is now possible once again.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on May 28 that all nine Ohio State Park lodges would be reopened by June 5.

The places where you can escape to are listed below in order of closest proximity to Columbus to furthest:

  • Deer Creek
  • Burr Oak
  • Mohican Lodge
  • Salt Fork Lodge
  • Shawnee 
  • Hueston Woods
  • Maumee Bay
  • Punderson Manor

Director of State Park Lodges Tom Arvan had this to say in the May 28 press release:

“Our staff has been working diligently to ensure that guests return to a safe and sanitized environment following the CDC safety guidelines. Our goal is for our guests to feel comfortable as they enjoy the fun activities and relax in the natural beauty of the lodges and all the state parks have to offer this summer.”

Visit https://www.greatohiolodges.com/ to secure your much-needed wilderness adventure today.

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