For the past two years, the women of Tau Psi Beta have used photo shoots and glitter to highlight parts of their bodies they are uncomfortable with to promote body positivity.
On Feb. 19, Tau Psi Beta held their annual body positivity event in the Shepherd Union Building.
“It seems to me that there’s always a stigma behind sorority girls about fitting a certain mold, we definitely like to break that stereotype,” Jennifer Orozco, president of Tau Psi Beta, said. “We’re a really big, diverse group of girls, and I think one of the things that sets us apart is our diversity and how well we all mesh together.”
The previous sorority president, Jazmine Gruber Allen, came up with the idea for the body positivity event two years ago.
The sorority set up a photo booth with props. If a participant felt insecure about a part of their body, they could cover it with glitter for the photo. Each participant received a Polaroid picture of themselves.
“We did a photo booth because we wanted it to be something that could be interactive,” Orozco said. “You can preach to the choir all you want, but unless people actually do it, they won’t take anything away from it, so we wanted everyone to be able to feel beautiful.”
The sorority members also displayed a slideshow from their own photo shoot.
“We have the slide show of our pictures out because we want to show that we’re vulnerable and that we’ve done it too, and that’s okay. It’s hard to let other people know about your insecurities,” Orozco said.
She talked about how glitter always brings attention to wherever it is applied.
“Every time you put on glitter, it brings attention to that area. So, by putting on glitter somewhere on your body, in an area that you may not necessarily like, the glitter shimmer ends up making it beautiful,” she said.
Tori Lambert, the social chair for the sorority, has been involved with this event since it began.
“Originally, when we were doing the photo shoot last year, I asked if I could dip my entire body in glitter. I just didn’t like myself,” Lambert said. “I ended up covering my stomach in glitter. Ever since I did that, it has really boosted my confidence, and I feel so much better.”
Lambert said that for her, the most rewarding part of the event is being able to give others a confidence boost.
“I can be so mean to myself. It’s like that old saying, ‘You wouldn’t say what you say to yourself, to your friends,’” Lambert said. “Being able to watch someone smile because I told someone else that they’re beautiful is almost like a confidence boost for me too because I was able to make them smile and feel good.”
Elyssa Stubblefield, the academic chair for the sorority, covered her thighs in glitter.
“I have some stretch marks and scars that I don’t like showing off. By covering them in glitter I made myself feel more confident about it,” Stubblefield said. “It was empowering to get in front of a camera and take pictures like that. I just felt strong, beautiful and powerful.”
Brooke Long, the sorority’s secretary, covered her back in glitter.
“I don’t really like to wear tight shirts because of the bra bulge it can create,” Long said. “It made me feel very insecure. Even though I don’t like it and can’t really help it, it’s still a part of me, and it’s beautiful because I’m beautiful.”
Long hopes people realize that despite their flaws, they’re still beautiful.
“I love watching people put glitter on themselves. It makes me smile, and I hope they realize they can shine in a beautiful way too,” she said.
Madison Huff, the sorority’s clothing chair, covered her arms in glitter.
“Before joining the sorority, I didn’t have much of a high self esteem,” Huff said. “But after meeting my sisters and doing events like this, it boosted my self confidence. It let me know that I’m not the only one who feels this way.”
Huff said she wasn’t entirely sure why she covered her arms for the the photo shoot, but said her arms made her feel self-conscious.
“The photo shoot was fun, and I realized my arms are just a part of my body,” Huff said.
Orozco said this is one event that she looks forward to every year.
“Hopefully we continue to do this every year,” she said. “This is a reminder for us too, that we are beautiful in our way, and the parts that we may not like about ourselves, others could find beautiful. So, it really is about perspective.”