For the second year in a row, photographer Steve Rosenfeld will visit Boston College as part of his ‘What I Be’ project. This project involves taking pictures of students with their biggest insecurities written across their faces and various other parts of their bodies. It is meant to act as a tool for confronting these issues and declaring that they do not define you. By broadcasting an unsmiling picture of yourself with your deepest fear or insecurity written on your body, you subvert the expectations of social media and instead portray an uncomfortable and personal revelation about yourself.
By bringing this project to BC for a second year, the Undergraduate Government of Boston College continues to promote programs that address issues of mental wellness. With increasing rates of students seeking counseling services and various mental health issues plaguing colleges across the country, planning events, projects, and campaigns that address this is a positive step for UGBC. The ‘What I Be’ project provides a possible outlet for many people suffering from personal issues and is a good use of UGBC’s effort.
A way for UGBC to build on the success of last year’s ‘What I Be’ project and take advantage of the interest generated by this upcoming year’s would be to craft a follow-up campaign that plays off these already addressed themes. The campaign allows participants to confront their insecurities, but confrontation is more effective when paired with a solution. This follow-up could approach the issues brought to light by the project and present possible solutions and ways of improving upon or dealing with the insecurities that have just been broadcast across the Internet. By adding this to the growing list of mental health campaigns and events, UGBC would take further advantage of the ‘What I Be’ project and not allow the important issues it brings up to be forgotten as time passes.
The ‘What I Be’ project is a raw and discomfiting way for a student to address their problems and refuse to be defined by them. Its return marks another admirable effort by UGBC to confront mental health problems on campus. The problems are still ongoing though, and even further steps can be taken. While the project is a worthwhile and important part of addressing mental health as a whole, a complementary campaign that continues to address the problems it brings to light would act as a beneficial addition to UGBC’s mental health efforts. Giving students the tools and support needed to overcome these insecurities could help to continue decreasing the impact they have on each student’s confidence and success.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor