Negative self talk, or “Fat Talk,” has become more prevalent in the minds of young women today.
In response to this negativity, inspirational sticky notes have plastered bathroom mirrors across campus in support of Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
The toxicity of a negative body image hurts individuals emotionally, spiritually and physically which motivated students at Keene State College.
Active Minds, KSCs mental health support group, has joined the Operation Beautiful campaign to help promote positive self talk, as well as positive body image by anonymously posting notes and encouraging people to see themselves in a more positive light.
KSC junior psychology major and Active Minds President Allison Sonia said her group just wants to spread a message of self love and care.
“Mostly, we just hope to accomplish making people happy on such a basic level. Like you’re walking to the bathroom and you see a positive note and you think, ‘Oh, maybe I am awesome,’” Sonia said.
Sonia continued to say she has been checking the social network Yik Yak constantly and it’s been rewarding to see people posting that the post-it notes have turned their day around. “I’ve really enjoyed the fact that it made an impact on the campus,” Sonia said. Sonia said Active Minds recognizes that the whole aspect of body image isn’t a main factor in eating disorders, but it is one of them, making it a main focus of the project.
KSC junior and secondary education and history major Phoebe Buckman is the secretary of Active Minds and said this is the second year they’ve participated in the project.
“I think inserting a little bit of positivity into people’s days [is what we hope to accomplish] and it’s nice to be recognized for doing it on yik yak, but it’s also nice just to know that they’re there for people who need them,” Buckman said.
Buckman added that there has been collaboration with The Counseling Center and Delta Phi Epsilon to make Eating Disorder Awareness Week a campus-wide event.
She also said that there has been more of a chance for student interaction this year.
“Last year we just kind of posted them and it [posting sticky notes] was all on us, but this year we have a board in the Student Center that has sticky notes so we are trying to encourage other people to do something as well,” Buckman said.
Buckman said she and other Active Minds members camped out in Rhodes to create all of the sticky notes together, as well as share quotes and ideas.
“We really enjoy reaching the campus community, but we’re also really close in our group and we welcome new members, but it’s definitely fun to just sit down and write sticky notes and have a great time. It was really positive just for the individuals in our group,” Sonia said.
KSC sophomore and elementary education and geography major Brittany LaFleur said the sticky notes were a really great way to show others that they matter.
The sticky notes said things like ‘You’re fabulous,’ and ‘You’re unique,’ and she said it was a good opportunity to put a little act of kindness into someone’s day.
“They’re meant to be little friendly reminders about how every person is unique and every person has something that really makes them who they are and it’s just a gentle reminder to turn your day around and be positive,” LaFleur said.
Jessica Ricard can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org