As part of the many free events that University Programming Council (UPC) puts on each year for University of Massachusetts students, UMass and UPC hosted Camille Kostek as the Spring Speaker for 2019. Kostek is best known for her work as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, as well as famously dating New England Patriots football player Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski.
As a professional model, Kostek spoke on her experiences of being constantly judged solely by her body measurements and physical appearance. As a result of anger and frustration at being so often diminished to just the circumference of her waist or thighs, Camille has used her increasing social media presence to speak out on the topics of self-love and body positivity in the modeling industry and beyond. As an audience member, I could tell how passionate she was on the subject of helping people build their self-confidence in all areas of their lives.
About halfway through her speech, she did a demonstration that involved her asking the audience to think of three things they would like to change about themselves if they had the chance. After giving us some time to think, she had us raise our hands if the changes we would make were all changes to our body/appearance. Probably 75 percent of the room, myself included, raised their hands. It definitely left the audience thinking seriously about how we view ourselves and where we place our self-worth!
As stated above, the Spring Speaker Event is just one of the many annual events that University Programming Council hosts. Coming up at the end of this month, for example, is the Spring Concert held at the Mullins Center. If you have any interest in working with an event programming agency during your time at UMass, UPC is the perfect club for you to get involved with! All of the UPC members involved with the Spring Speaker event even got to meet and speak with Camille before the event began, so there are tons perks to getting involved with such a great group on campus!