Women of Lipscomb: Hannah Neese

Women of Lipscomb: Hannah Neese

Hannah Neese makes things happen. Consider what she has accomplished in the last year alone: she reached 12.1k followers on Instagram, advocated for body positivity throughout National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and started a YouTube channel as an extension of her popular blog, “Closed Lines.” Despite all of this success, Neese, a Lipscomb psychology major, is just getting started. What is a woman supposed to look like? Neese says she was certain she knew when her freshman year of high school she overheard a boy say, “That girl is so hot. She has such a great body.” This is when she first became aware of the “ideal body type” and began her complicated relationship with food and exercise. “You do not have to be skin-and-bone to have an eating disorder,” Neese said. “You can have a really hard relationship with food and a really bad outlook on exercise where you think your unhealthy habits are healthy choices, and it’s a disorder.” With Neese’s realization of this problem, she was able to actively work toward goals that lead to a healthier body and mind rather than aiming to be a size two. She now works out because it makes her feel good, and she still eats brownies because they make her feel good, too. “When I’m a grandma telling stories to my grandkids, will I be telling them that the best days of my life were when I got to be a size two,” asked Neese. “No, I won’t. So, I’m not going to waste my mindset or my energy on it anymore.” She now uses Instagram, YouTube and her...
Lipscomb alumna takes stand against bullying with daughter

Lipscomb alumna takes stand against bullying with daughter

Lauren Williams’ life was thrust into the mainstream media following a bullying incident at Franklin High School. The 16 year-old daughter of Lipscomb alumna Myckelle Williams suffers from eczema and psoriasis and, as a result, chose to wear a wig. While L. Williams was speaking with a friend at school, a male student ripped her wig from her head. Williams ran into the bathroom to cry while a female student followed her with a camera, placing it above the bathroom stall door to videotape her. “I was really defeated and down,” Williams said. “My own safe place where I felt beautiful was taken from me.” Following the bullying incident, Williams chose to shave her head as a stance of advocacy. She has since adopted the motto “shame free” to promote self-acceptance. “I wanted to stop hiding under a wig to feel beautiful,” Williams said. “Beauty is not defined by the number of strands on your head. It is what’s within. Williams story and subsequent actions have sparked a response from people nationwide, including model and television host Tyra Banks who contacted the teen via Instagram and Twitter. “Girls around the world need warrior queens like you,” Banks tweeted. “TyTy loves you LuLu! And so do so many people. Let’s all spread love to LuLu. She and so many young ladies around the world need and deserve that love. Now everyone remove your fake hair & post pics for LuLu! #Love2LuLu” Williams has since attended the first annual BET Social Media Awards in Atlanta and hosted an anti-bullying rally. She plans on hosting other rallies and diversifying her #shamefree movement...
How to report sexual misconduct on campus

How to report sexual misconduct on campus

The revelations of USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar’s widespread sexual assault and the lack of actions taken by his employer, Michigan State University, have catapulted the “Time’s Up” movement into college athletic departments and campuses. More than 265 women accused Nassar of sexually assaulting them under the pretense of medical treatment. His accusers include Olympic medalists Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney. The doctor was sentenced in January to 40 to 125 years in prison. He is already serving  60 years on federal child pornography charges. MSU’s president and athletic director stepped down in January amid revelations that they may have stifled earlier reports of Nassar’s abuse. A special prosecutor appointed by the Michigan Attorney General is investigating the university “from the president’s office down.” The entire board of USA Gymnastics resigned under pressure from the U.S. Olympic Committee. This story has highlighted the need for universities to protect college athletes from abuse. When they fail to do so, school officials have the responsibility to report misconduct. The NCAA requires trainers and coaches to undergo Title IX training. The entire athletic department, including athletes, will receive an in-depth training session on Feb. 12. Reporting sexual misconduct at Lipscomb Lipscomb’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy says any sexual misconduct should be reported to Title IX Coordinator Kathy Hargis, Chief of Security Darrin Bellows or any Title IX team member. There is also an option in the lower right-hand corner of the Lipscomb website to file an anonymous report. After filing a report, the complainant gives an initial statement to Hargis, the Title IX Coordinator, then decides...
“The King and I” brings message of female empowerment

“The King and I” brings message of female empowerment

Richard Rodgers’ and Oscar Hammerstein’s The King and I is a joyful hit. The prestigious cast consists of Broadway veterans Laura Michelle Kelly and Jose Llana as the lead characters Anna Leonowens and King Mongkut of Saim. Kelly and Llana excel in their dynamic and challenging roles while the supporting cast offers an impressive performance. Their choreography and vocal abilities are unparalleled and keep the audience engaged and uplifted. The 1951-era musical conveys a positive message of female empowerment, a rare narrative in the time of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Anna Leonowens, a Welsh schoolteacher, is hired to teach the favored wives of King Mongkut and their children, including the heir to the Saim throne. King Mongkut is attempting to educate the members of his royal family on proper English and knowledge of the world outside of Saim. This is done as an attempt to westernize the underdeveloped eastern country. Upon Leonowens arrival, she is notified that King Mongkut has backed out of his promise to provide her and her young son with a house, insisting they live within the palace walls. Leonowens reluctantly obliges and begins her duties as governess to the royal children and teacher to their mothers. Her empathetic and kind demeanor gain her favor among all those in the palace, including King Mongkut. King Mongkut is hesitant to admit his need for Leonowens’ help. His misogynistic view of the world hinders him from accepting her valuable insight into the modernization and education of Saim. With time, Leonowens learns to reframe her opinions to make him believe the ideas were his own. She stands up for an...
MLK Day chapel focuses on privilege

MLK Day chapel focuses on privilege

Deion Sims, a senior biology major at the University, spoke at the Gathering Tuesday in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Sims opened his message with a personal story from his life that pinpointed the exact moment he realized his privilege. He saw a boy and a pig rummaging through the trash in a third-world country and realized he was put in a position of opportunity from the time he was born. Sims said this privilege was not something he earned. It was freely given to him by chance. He highlighted the fact that each Lipscomb student is privileged and each student has a choice on how to use his or her privilege. “Dr. King used his privilege to put himself in the mess,” Sims said. He offered an unexpected viewpoint to the audience: our privilege comes with a purpose and if we choose to not acknowledge the blessing we have been given, we may not be able to impact the world to our fullest potential. “To deny our privilege is to forfeit our purpose,” Sims said. He then said there were three points students must recognize in relation to their privilege. The first point is to recognize we are privileged. The second is to recognize our privilege is not earned. Lastly, we must realize we have a choice of what to do with our privilege. Once Sims ended his message, Cyrus Eaton offered his own words of encouragement. “The Kingdom of Heaven is locked inside each of you and it is waiting to get out,” Eaton said. Eaton closed with prayer, thanking Jesus that He did not...