Elon student publishes op-ed in The Huffington Post
Gabrielle Jasper ’17 examines the issue of body image and Sports Illustrated’s inclusion of a ‘plus-sized’ model in its latest swimsuit edition.
Elon University sophomore Gabrielle Jasper published an op-ed essay, titled "She's a Size 12, Not Plus-Sized,” in The Huffington Post on Friday, Feb. 20. The column discusses issues relating to body image, as well as the Sports Illustrated’s recent use of a “plus-sized” swimsuit model.
A cinema & television arts and psychology double major, Jasper wrote the op-ed as part of her first assignment for the School of Communications’ “Entertainment Media” course. Naeemah Clark, associate professor and director of the Communications Fellows Program, teaches the course and requires all students to submit an op-ed to a print or online publication. Jasper’s essay was the first essay to be published this semester. Columns do not have to be published to earn credit.
“The topic was easy for me to write about,” Jasper said following the column’s online publication. “I think body image, self-esteem, confidence, etc. are something that many people have had problems with – now or in the past – and I think it is so important to talk about it.”
Clark commended Jasper for putting herself into the assignment. “She was really great at tapping into her emotions,” the professor said. “Her last paragraph was so salient. Being published in The Huffington Post is such an honor for her, and I'm so excited for Gabrielle.”
The professor asks students to write about any media topic they feel strongly about. Clark enjoys the process because it allows her to get to know her new students. “I assign it so I can learn a little about what they care about,” she said, adding that issues relating to body image are a common topic for the class assignment.
Jasper is an on-air host of a weekly radio show at WSOE 89.3 FM and a crewmember of “Elon Tonight.” Additionally, she is a tutor for America Reads and a mentor for Elon University’s Transfer Student Organization, as well as a committee member for Elon’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer.