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Those Post-It Notes in the Bathroom Didn’t Come From A Nice, Bored Girl After All…

“The pressure to be perfect is purely for profit.”

“Smile! You are worth it.”

“You’re rockin’ that outfit today!”

No, I’m not hitting on you.

But you do look great today.

You may recognize these words of encouragement from the 3×3, pink, yellow, blue, and green sticky notes plastered all over the mirrors and hand dryers of the girls’ bathrooms on campus.

(PS- do guys’ bathrooms have these?)

Healthy Noles, Florida State University’s Health Service Department, has implemented these little gems into their #FSUnique campaign, which started earlier this semester. On a daily basis, the department’s mission is to maximize campus wellness through health and sex awareness, education, and hands-on activities promoting positive choices. This past week was National Eating Disorders Awareness week, and it sure was a busy one for the department.

This week, the health department took on the task of spreading the word about the National Organization for Women Foundation’s “Love Your Body” campaign. 

The campaign sprouted from a shared concern with the media’s portrayal of beauty standards, womanhood, and women’s value. The ladies over at NOW decided that they were unhappy with the idea that the media portrays in their messages: that the only way to be a true woman is to be envied, praised, and desired because of her looks.

Photoshopped advertisements, “reality” TV shows, and other forms of media often sexualize young, white, thin women—women of color, women with curves, and transgender women are almost never represented in media. This false representation is changing the way we view ourselves and what exactly we perceive to be “beautiful.” If we keep seeing stick-thin models on TV (all of whom are also beautiful, by the way), we’re eventually going to come to believe that we should all look like that.

As much as I’d love to hope so, I will never look like Adriana Lima. And that’s totally fine.

Thanks to movements and organizations such as Florida State’s “Healthy Noles,” this mentality is changing.

On Thursday, February 26, 2015, Healthy Noles teamed up with other campus organizations such as Campus Rec, The Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement, and the Oglesby Union’s Market Wednesday to set up activities for students to voice their opinions on body image and self-love.

One of the most popular was a big banner decorated in beautiful, handmade letters reading, “Love Your Body Day #FSUnique,” a hashtag coined by Healthy Noles to help spread their message on social media. Students who approached the banner were asked what made them, or their body, unique, and then handed a white board to scribble their thoughts on. They then posed for a photo with the white board and the banner, where they wrote their favorite thing about themselves.

The media aspect of the Healthy Noles project is quite important, seeing as though the problem being addressed lies mainly in the hands of those controlling the media in our world. The photographs taken at the Union on Thursday were posted on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter—basically, anywhere with an upload button—in hopes of reaching circulation and normalizing the representation of women of all different shapes and sizes in the media.

Apart from the events held at the union on Thursday, Healthy Noles distributed compliments on little slips of papers to students on their way to class, provided frozen yogurt to those looking for a yummy (and healthy!) snack, and recruited students for the FSU Yoga Club. All of these activities support the Healthy Noles mission.

Check out their website here and follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @fsuhealthynoles, where they will be posting updates about future events and activities. If you’re interested in getting involved with Healthy Noles, go ahead and fill out this application. And remember Collegiettes, you’re all beautiful, just the way you are.

Bruno Mars said it, so it must be true…

Hi! I 'm Sara. You can find me roaming the streets of Tallahassee, Florida, in hopes of finding some cool people, places, and things to write about. Originally from Coral Springs, Florida, I've ventured 8 hours away from home to study Public Relations and Creative Writing at Florida State University. I like creativity, dance parties, writing, traveling, reading, and having a good time, all the time. 
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