'You Are Beautiful' movement becomes art on Upstate campus
Emily Brogan posted "You Are Beautiful" on a window. (Fox Carolina 2014)
Sean Thrasher created inspirational bathroom art. (Fox Carolina 2014)
GREENWOOD, SC (FOX Carolina) -
"You are beautiful" are three simple words that together have formed a worldwide movement to inspire self-confidence. This semester, Upstate art students got in on it.
A Lander University graphic design class was charged with finding a creative way to display the phrase "you are beautiful" inexpensively and in a way that could be done quickly overnight.
Their projects created quite a buzz.
As the anonymous artist of bathroom murals flipped backwards so the words read left to right when people look in the mirror, senior art student Sean Thrasher matched music notes with the phrase in the men's room in the music hall. In the foreign language hall's women's room, people will see French: "vous este belle."
Thrasher said, "I think everyone is somewhat vulnerable looking into a mirror. Even if you're really confident, a mirror is reality, for your face. I think seeing it and then having to look up and seeing that, 'You are beautiful,' it's just positive that way."
Thrasher's teacher, associate professor Jim Slagle, who's the chair of Lander's Art Department, said he came up with the assignment after seeing "You Are Beautiful" stickers in larger American cities. Through research he found the project had been around for 10 years and spanned all seven continents. He wanted his students to inspire their community to remember their worth.
"This gave the students a lot of creative freedom to kind of take a simple idea and come up with something pretty spectacular and powerful," said Slagle.
It took senior Emily Brogan about three hours to arrange Post-It notes on a window, spelling out the phrase backwards so that when students walked up to the business building, they would see the words.
Brogan was excited when a few weeks after her project was posted, a passer-by changed the words to say something else.
"I think for something like this, it being non-destructive graffiti, sort of invites people to participate, which I think is awesome," explained Brogan.
She and her classmates are enthused by the global effort being a part of something big close to home.
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