Student aims to challenge social media

Lilly Casolaro

Staff Writer

One of this year’s senior thesis projects, #theilovemeproject, aims to use social media to spread positive self-esteem and body image among the student population.

The creator of this project, Ashley Crowe, a senior graphic design major from Montgomery, began it for males and females on Troy University’s campus.

“Everybody talks about how social media can be very negative, and I’m trying to show that the entirety of social media is not just a place where people are cruel to you,” Crowe said.

Each student in the course was tasked to create a different project, ,and Crowe chose to encourage random Troy students to share what they love about themselves.

“Some people know right away, and, for others, it takes a while to name one characteristic they like about themselves,” Crowe said.

The participant’s picture is then taken with a cutout heart that displays the characteristic he described about himself.

“It’s easy for people to tell you ‘you’re pretty’ or ‘you’re smart,’ but it’s another thing for you to think about what you like about yourself,” Crowe said.

Kirra Merriweather, a freshman broadcast journalism major from Tuscaloosa, said that the project allowed her to value herself despite societal labels.

“I gained a sense of worth from this experience because I realized that there are actually a lot of things I love about myself,” Merriweather said.

“We are so quick to bash our weight or our appearance because of what society thinks we should look like. But when I encountered this project, I saw a lot of individuals just like me finally realizing that we love ourselves no matter what society says.”

Crowe shares the photo of the participant on the #theilovemeproject social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.

Amanda Branson, a junior marine biology major from Cape Coral, Florida, said participating in the project was a refreshing approach to redefining what is typically considered the norm on social media.

“It was really cool to see inclusion promoted rather than exclusion and negative thoughts, which is what society typically considers as ‘normal or acceptable’ on social media,” Branson said.

The goal for Crowe is for this project to create a positive ripple effect.

“If you can get one person to name one positive thing about themself and they can show it, then they can show someone else, who will show someone else, and so on,” Crowe said.

The cutout hearts are available by contacting Crowe.

“I would recommend all Troy students participate and get involved in this project to see all the great that they are able to offer to themselves and this campus,” Merriweather said.

For more information, please contact Ashley Crowe at 334-590-1579 or acrowe39703@troy.edu.

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