Alex Koszeghy was known as the glitter girl of the University of North Carolina at the time she was here. Many remembered her glittering presence in the football and basketball games, but few knew the story behind her glitter.
Senior psychology major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Alex Koszeghy is covered in glitter for the watch party of NACC Men’s Basketball National Championship game. This was not the first time Koszeghy had glitter on her face: Since Koszeghy was inspired by the Garnet and Gold guys at the Florida State University football game on Oct 1. 2016, Koszeghy had been painting her face in glitter for UNC games. Koszeghy soon became popular among Carolina sports fans, and became known as the Glitter Girl. To Koszeghy, glitter had become an expression of her confidence, her identity, and her freedom. “You will go from trying to hide from the world to letting the world see your literal sparkle,” wrote Koszeghy in her letter to herself, Dear younger Alex, I wish you knew what the future holds: A letter from Glitter Girl, in March 2017.
The platform at Kenan Stadium is Koszeghy’s dance stage. A former dancer, Koszeghy had battled anorexia, a form of eating disorder that results in a loss of appetite. At the age of 16, Koszeghy was shy, insecure, and struggled with how others thought about her. With the love of Christ, Koszeghy had won the battle and had learned to love herself. “Before I could radiate my light to the world, I had to first experience what it was like to live in darkness,” wrote Koszeghy in her blog post. “But had it never been for that dark period, I would have never found my inner strength and sparkle. ”As the Glitter Girl, Koszeghy used her visibility in social media to voice for de-stigmatizing eating disorder and to advocate for self-love. “I like who I am and I like being me,” wrote Koszeghy, “I’m my own biggest fan and supporter. ”
In the room filled with the scent of cinnamon and sugar, Koszeghy laughs with her resident, Isabelle McCormack, about the fruits that Koszeghy has brought. A residential assistant of the Manly Residential Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill, Koszeghy made cinnamon rolls and brought strawberries, watermelons and grapes for her residents during an event in the dorm. Almost all the girls on the hall knew Koszeghy personally and had loved to come to her events. “I feel like I've been able to make a difference in some of my residents’ lives and that's been a rewarding experience,” Koszeghy said
Koszeghy spends her time along with God by reading her Bible at Kenan Stadium. “Reading my Bible in the stadium is just a perfect way to be in my happy place with God,” said Koszeghy. “It's kind of my little place to reflect on the verse that says ‘be still and know that I am God.’” Faith had helped Koszeghy to beat anorexia, and to be set free from the constant worry that she would never be pretty enough, skinny enough, or just good enough. "You have searched for your worth in your dancing ability, in a number on a scale and in what others think about you. But those things will never satisfy you, Al,” wrote Koszeghy in her letter to herself.“You will eventually come to realize this truth and you will be set free by the amazing grace of your Savior.”
Before going to the watch party, Koszeghy puts her makeup on with facial paint and glitter in the restroom in Manly dorm. This year, the glitter had multiplied: Koszeghy’s friend, Erin Cox, and her resident, Rachel Spillane, joined Koszeghy in putting glitter on their faces. “We need to have a name,” Koszeghy said. “Something like sparkling sisters.”
For the final touch, Koszeghy pinches a little bit of glitter, and carefully drops them on her cheeks, her forehead, her nose and her chin. For the outfit of the Glitter Girl, the paint and the glitter was the huge part. Koszeghy designed her own face pattern, the classic poke-dots on blue face paint. After finishing the painting process, Koszeghy applied the glitter on her face. Insider Tip: The glitter wasn’t all cheap; according to Koszeghy, every time she washed away the glitter that was left in the sink she felt like she’d washed down five dollars.
Koszeghy transforms into the glitter girl and shows up at the game watch party for the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship at Dean E. Smith Student Activities Center, UNC-Chapel Hill. “With glitter on I’m completely free,” Koszeghy said on the way to the game. “I’m not insecure anymore; I can do anything.” With her admirable self-assurance, Koszeghy did express a considerate amount of frustration for the tiny chance that the Tar Heels might lose the National Championship game.
Koszeghy is the star at the gathering of celebration for the Tar Heels’ victory at the Franklin Street, Chapel Hill. The street was a party. There were crowds, fires, shouting and chanting of “Tar! Heels!” and all the other forms of craziness. Carolina fans recognized Koszeghy to applaud for her glitter and to take selfies with her. A girl came and shouted “I love this!” and kissed the glitter. Koszeghy shouted out in the crowd:“I feel so good! Today is perfect. It’s the best end for my years as the Glitter Girl.”
Tears come to Koszeghy’s eyes as she recalls all the moments she has spent in the Kenan Stadium at UNC-Chapel Hill. The stadium had been Koszeghy’s favorite place during her fours years in Carolina. She studied in the stadium, worked out in the stadium, read her bible in the stadium and danced in the stadium. Crying a little bit, Koszeghy pointed to place in the stadium where she had first appeared in glitter, the seats on which she dated her boyfriend, and the section where she had met her best friends. “From watching games and cheering on my heels, to praying over the school, I've spent days laughing with friends in here and have made memories I will treasure forever,” said Koszeghy.
After the years at college, Koszeghy was proud to had been the Glitter Girl at UNC-Chapel Hill. Koszeghy had dreamed to be a ballerina to shine and sparkle before thousands of people, now her dream had come true in the most unexacting way. As the end of her Glitter Girl time came —the graduation from UNC-Chapel Hill— Koszeghy had come to understand what being Glitter Girl meant to her: The vivacious, charismatic, weird and different and awkward and fabulous and not have the slightest care in the world Glitter Girl, the shelter of all the insecurities and fears, is really just Alex with a layer of glitter on. “The same girl who acts silly and goofy and crazy and weird while cheering on her tar heels, is the same girl that walks around campus every day with a smile on her face,” wrote Koszeghy. “I can shine my light for the world to see without needing to hide behind my glitter.”