Kent State is ‘Be-You-Tiful’


The audience claps and sings along to singer/speaker Johnathan Celestin in the Kiva on Feb. 25, 2015 during Nation Eating Disorders Awareness week. Celestin presented his Beauty Redefined: Be-You-Tiful campaign. The event was presented by Body Acceptance Movement and funded by Undergraduate Student Government.

Lydia Taylor

“Beauty Redefined: Be-You-Tiful,” an event that supported National Eating Disorders Awareness week, left sophomore fashion design student Monie Lewis saying, “I am beautiful and I’m going to say that every day in the mirror before I go to school.”

Body Acceptance Movement and Undergraduate Student Government sponsored the event Wednesday night in the Kiva.

The event consisted of a performance by singer Johnathan Celestin, who encouraged Kent State to “rise above” all the negativity in social media about body image through his music.

“They (social media) are teaching our little beautiful girls and our little beautiful boys that they aren’t good enough, that they aren’t pretty enough, that they aren’t worth enough,” Celestin said during the performance.

He said he wanted to show the world just how beautiful everyone is.

More than 50 people attended the event and connected to the heartfelt songs he performed, such as “Skin Deep” and “12 Steps.”

Emily Creque, director of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and coordinator of the event, said she wanted to have a fun, optimistic environment for students to understand the struggles of eating disorders.

The goal of the event is to help students recognize it is OK to find help and to take advantage of the many services Kent State has to offer when dealing with eating disorders, Creque said.

She said even if people feel uncomfortable going to a professional, she encourages students to turn to their friends and family so they feel more comfortable talking about problems they are facing. She also encouraged family and friends to help their loved ones seek help and to raise awareness of eating disorders.

“It’s kind of hard to talk about that (eating disorders) because it gets touchy and awkward, but I feel like having a fun place to be uplifted helps raise the awareness in the community,” Creque said.

Freshman public relations major Haley Maxwell said she connected with Celestin’s songs because she has experienced and struggled with issues in the past relating to the event.

I could tell the crowd as well as myself was moved by his influential music, especially his song ‘Skin Deep,’” Maxwell said. “He seemed really passionate about the subject which I connected to.”

Celestin performed songs off his own album as well as current songs to get the students singing and dancing in their seats.

“Body acceptance is an empowerment in self-love and I love it,” Lewis said.

“My favorite part was (Celestin) singing about things that really do make a difference in other people’s lives that other people don’t know about,” India Dove, freshman digital science major, said.

Contact Lydia Taylor at [email protected].