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Undergraduate Research Center

Emilie Conners

  • SOAR Position: Member; Alumni
  • Major: Marketing
  • Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Lucy Matthews

Current Focus: The Body Positivity Movement: Bettering College Women’s Body Image and Health

Project Description

My research project is focused on the body positivity movement and it’s impact on college women. Through my research, I will be analyzing the movement and it’s many components including but not limited to advertisements, influencer and company social media posts, and campaigns. I will be surveying MTSU’s college women and investigating their awareness of the movement, how it has affected them (if at all) and ultimately how they feel about their body image. The goal of my research is to develop recommendations for companies regarding how they can support the body positivity movement focusing specifically on how they can market their products. My hope with this is to further the strides being made by the body positivity movement by bettering the relationships that women have with their bodies. Learning how to promote empowerment, authenticity and wellness in a way that breaks down the beauty standards that women face is critical in bettering the health of women.

Why does this topic interest you?

I’m passionate about this project because of how relevant it is to my generation. I’ve experienced it as well as watched my friends struggle with body image and I don’t want this issue to continue to cause harm to the next generation of women. There are ways to break down the unattainable beauty standards that women and young girls are subject to. I believe companies have a responsibility to market their products truthfully. Showing authentic women that haven’t been photoshopped or airbrushed for the advertisement is a huge part of this. By mixing my passion for marketing and this cause, this research project has become really special to me.

What are your professional aspirations?

I’m hoping to begin a career in sales after graduating in May of 2024. I enjoy both marketing and sales, so I would be happy to gain experience in both fields throughout my career. I’m passionate about helping others reach their goals and become the best versions of themselves that they can be. With this, I’m hoping to focus on building relationships and making other people’s lives easier.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

I would just say that you are capable and you have a seat at the research table! I remember questioning whether or not I was capable of carrying out a research project like this and having a lot of self doubt at the beginning of my project, however, it is so unnecessary and it only slows you down. If you are passionate about your research and you take the time to give it your best work, you will be proud of the results. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance along the way and you’ll learn as you go!

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Thursday, September 5th, 4:30pm

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Jamie Burriss, Ph.D., Director
(615) 494-7669

Casey Penston, Coordinator
(615) 809-4588

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