By Sarah Stubbs
Living in an American culture that is so concerned about image, a group of girls in the Midwest are emerging from the shadows of unattainable perfection – the girls of CHAARG.
CHAARG stands for changing health attitudes and actions to recreate girls. It’s a movement that was started at The Ohio State University and is quickly spreading to other universities across the Midwest and beyond.
Paige Kinsinger, sophomore marketing and business management double major, is in the process of bringing CHAARG to UF.
CHAARG is a university-based organization that meets once a week for an exercise event that can involve anything from yoga to salsa dancing. To put on such events, CHAARG teams up with local studios and gyms.
“I want to be a part of CHAARG not only because it would keep me accountable for staying fit, but also so that I can partake in fitness workouts that I have never experienced before,” said Tonee Weaver, sophomore occupational therapy major.
Not only is CHAARG getting girls to exercise, it is also encouraging an overall healthy lifestyle. Kinsinger has ideas to bring in local experts like farmers and juicers to teach girls how to eat right.
However, in order for Kinsinger to start CHAARG at UF, she has to apply to be an ambassador.
“I have to have at least 20 girls interested, ten local fitness studios that would be willing to put on a workout event and submit a short video about why I want to be an ambassador,” said Kinsinger.
After Kinsinger applies, and if she gets selected, there is a Skype interview, a face-to-face interview and six weeks of training to seal the deal.
Although she’s known about CHAARG for a year, Kinsinger only decided to do this about a week ago. For her, this program is about building a community on campus.
“To me, CHAARG is most importantly about bringing people together. Sometimes I feel like it’s hard to meet people at our school because, even though there are events, there aren’t many that are interactive. CHAARG is about making fitness friends. Girls who are passionate about being healthy and fit, as well as keeping each other accountable,” said Kinsinger.
Kinsinger isn’t the only one who sees accountability and fitness friends as the biggest driving factors to bring CHAARG to UF.
“I want to be a part of CHAARG because I have always been involved in sports, and since I decided not to play a sport in college. Having a support system of multiple girls to keep each other accountable would be great,” said Delaney Reinke, sophomore nursing major. “My biggest thing is to meet new people, since I am a transfer student and don’t know many yet, and bond over something I love which is exercise.”
Those interested in CHAARG can contact Paige Kinsinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.