It’s a Wrap: 2012 UNC NEDAwareness Week Recap

This year, UNC Eating Disorders Program joined forces with UNC’s Counseling and Wellness Services, Campus Dining Services, and Panhellenic Council to do more than “just one thing” (NEDAW motto) during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week) February 26th-March 3rd.

Moved by the number of individuals (students, community members, eating disorder survivors) who so ardently supported this cause, here we showcase the events and “thank” those who generously contributed.

Miss Representation Film Screening

Kick starting the week was a public screening and animated panel discussion of the documentary, “Miss Representation.” Offering unique perspectives, backed by experiences in the industry, each panelist invigorated the 200 (plus) audience members to raise their voice and take action against the misrepresentation of women in the media. Here are the highlights:

  • Setting the tone for open, honest discussion, Ms. Stephanie Crayton, Panelist and UNC Media Relations Manager, read a truly inspiring poem on authenticity—it was so touching (many of us teared up!) that we had to share it here.
  • In response to the epigraph by Alice Walker, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any,” second panelist Mr. Frank Stasio, host of NPR’s The State of Things, commented “It is a deliberate effort on Corporate America…to make you feel powerless. They make you think you need to buy things to gain power.” He reminded us that as we refuse to “buy in” to degrading, misogynistic advertisements, we’re strategically using our checkbook to show our opposition to the current system. Use your checkbook as your voice, and we may see change!
  • With an initial exclamation, “I’m enraged,” Dr. Cynthia Bulik, Director of our program, told us to burn our bras instead of buying push-ups—to stop buying into Corporate America! Propelling the fourth wave of feminism, which she says needs to occur (in part) in our own minds, Dr. Bulik fervently stated, “We have to remain utterly convinced that we are worthy of equality…[and] stop caving in to Big Fashion, Big Diet, Big Cosmetics, and all the other ‘Bigs’ that tell us we are powerless and that there is something wrong with us.” One word to describe Dr. Bulik’s message—empowering!

Stimulating discussion followed panelist statements. Missed the discussion, don’t fret! All was filmed and uploaded on YouTube and iTunesU.

UNC Panhellenic Greek Groove 2012

 The UNC Panhellenic Council hosted the second annual Greek Groove, a large-scale sorority dance competition that donated all proceeds to the UNC Eating Disorders Program. This nearly sold out event was emceed by three of the UNC basketball team’s players, Stewart Cooper, Patrick Crouch, and David DuPont, and members of the UNC EDP team sat among the other 500+ audience members cheering on the teams. EDP therapists, dietitians, and researchers also staffed booths full of informational resources & giveaways before and during the event.

ImageWith eleven talented sorority competitors, the judges (Dr. Cynthia Bulik, Patti Thorp, Amber Rogers Woody, Jermisha Dodson, and Jack Partain) faced a tough decision. Who of the eleven had an extra kick to their step? The winners were Kappa Delta (first place) and Zeta Tau Alpha (runner-up). The two champs donated earnings to a charity of choice and had the opportunity to be part of Dr. Bulik’s Mirror Project.

The event raised a whopping $11,800 for the UNC Eating Disorders Program!

The Mirror Event: Dr. Bulik Book Reading & Signing

ImageIn The UNC Pit, we had music, food, and a plethora of activities geared to educate students about eating disorders and jumpstart their new (healthy) relationship with their reflection. Creative juices flowed during a “chalk party,” where students outlined their silhouette in colored chalk and decorated it with positive, uplifting messages and pictures (see image left). Other activities included a “Great Jeans Giveaway,” mirror reflections, and “spin the wheel” eating disorders myth-debunking game.Image

In the Ram’s Head Bookstore, Dr. Bulik gave a motivating, scientifically-informed presentation on body esteem and self-esteem, drawing from concepts in her book, The Woman in the Mirror: How to Stop Confusing What You Look Like with Who You AreWhile Dr. Bulik signed books, a live band (Elysse Thebner and Jason Kutchma of JKutchma and the 5 Fifths) captivated the audience, community members took pictures with The Mirror, and raffle prizes were drawn.

Ongoing Activities Throughout The Week

Informational Booth On Campus: UNC Eating Disorder Program outreach student helpers tended a booth outside UNC’s Lenor Hall throughout the week. The booth had informational resources and a “trash your negative thoughts” and “myth busters” activity.

Messages During Gym Class: We worked with Lauren Mangili, Associate Director, with Campus Recreation to develop a short blurb for all fitness instructors at the Student Rec Center to read before every gym class. Within the blurb, we briefly described NEDAW and provided tips and techniques for how students could improve body esteem starting in gym class that day. Members were encouraged to use exercise for the three F’s: Fun, Fitness, and Friendship!

Daily Blog Posts: We also posted blogs daily here on our website (just scroll down).

Special Thanks

 A special thanks to UNC Eating Disorder Program team members: Dr. Christine Peat, Sara Hofmeier (master organizers), Lauren Janson, Susan Kleiman (videographer), Colie Taico, Dr. Jessica Baker, Dr. Sara Trace; Very Helpful People (VHPs): Katie Joa, Brienne Poole, Katie Weinel, Jasmyn Nicolas, Camille Davis, William Chapman, Lindsey Zink, Ellen Cowherd, and Kathryn Olivieri; and Student Outreach Helpers: Bella Bellitto, Emma Rosenthal, Corinne Proudfoot, Mallory Perez, Mary Stewart Robins, Lisa Hopkins, Ally Tilley, and Natalie Bulik-Sullivan.

Additional thanks to Elysse Thebner and Jason Kutchma, of JKutchma & The 5 Fifths, for playing live at The Mirror Event, Jessica Laine for capturing NEDAW moments on camera, and Kyle McKay at Rams Head Bookstore for setting the stage at Dr. Bulik’s book reading.

Lastly, thanks to Mark Howard with TCBY for the delicious yogurt, and all the organizations who donated to our raffle: Chapel Hill Sports Wear, Salon 135, and Aveda.

Although NEDAW has come to a close, we encourage all to continue with their efforts towards raising awareness about eating disorders and to continue to tackle their own body image demons!

We look forward to next year, 2013 NEDAwareness Week!

(to see even more photos from the week, please click here.)

By: Dr. Cristin Runfola