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PLUS to be established at FAMU

By Alyssa King | Staff Reporter
On April 19, 2018

PLUS interest meeting. 
Photo credit: Shantel Hansbrough

 

From Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) to Florida A&M University, Pretty Ladies Unique Shapes, is making a move. What started as an idea is now becoming a reality.  

Pretty Ladies Unique Shapes is a body positivity, self-love organization that targets plus size women on campus. The motto is "Confidently Owning Your PLUS,” which provides a safe haven for women to find comfort and value in themselves. 

PLUS was established by two PVAMU students, Shantel Hansbrough and Kayla Morris. 

“I came up with the idea of PLUS when I simply wanted a day of appreciation for the plus size women on campus,” said Hansbrough, a senior business management student at PVAMU.

In the past year, the organization grew from two students to over 90 students.

“Shantel and I teamed up to put on PVAMU’s first plus size fashion show. The amazing feedback and support from the student body lead to several women asking, ‘how can we join’ and we have taken off ever since,” Morris said.

Having the reputation to pack out any auditorium PLUS has put on their third annual plus size fashion show to give women on campus who do not fit the typical body standard a chance to compete amongst their peers and showcase their beauty.

Over the past two semesters this organization hosted several events, such as body positivity seminars, community service projects and fundraisers. As a new organization on campus, PLUS aims to strongly impact the student body.

With the positivity that has spread from the organization, Sidney Fleeks hopes to bring the organization to FAMU’s campus. 

“In memory of my friend who just passed away, Kortnee Gaines, I want PLUS to come to FAMU. She was a proud member of the organization on PVAMU campus and I know I just thought it would it would just as successful at FAMU,” Fleeks explained. “Currently, I’m looking for the right woman to start it.”

Fleeks hopes to find a woman who is confident in her size and embraces self-love. She must also understand that size is only one aspect of her physical appearance and is not what makes her whole.

Fleeks has support backing him to bring PLUS to FAMU, which is expected to be established in during the upcoming fall semester. Rêcheyla Codwell, a junior healthcare management student is all aboard for the organization. 

“I think it’s a great idea. I know I will join and a few of my friends too. I feel like plus size women are overlooked and this is a good way to shine positive light on us,” Codwell said. “I don’t know of any organization on campus dedicated just for plus size women.”

From the continuous support that Fleeks has received so far he is hoping that PLUS can do great things at FAMU.

“The goal of PLUS is to make more people aware of body positivity and self-love. We not only target plus size women, but we aim to help women and men of all shapes and sizes,” Morris said. “We encourage people to get out of their comfort zones and live life without limits. Our ultimate focus is to provide a safe haven for women to be unapologetically themselves.”

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