By CHRISTINE PEAT
Published: March 4, 2014
Though much work remains to be done to progress the treatment and prevention of eating disorders, it’s important to take time to recognize the efforts of those out there who have dedicated their lives to the cause. We are so often inundated with anecdotes about people suffering without help for too long or with images and news bulletins that serve to perpetuate a culture that is hyperfocused on image. Such a constant stream of negative reminders can sometimes leave us feeling a little frustrated, so we thought it prudent to take this opportunity to highlight some of the important work being done to help make progress in the eating disorders community. A similar blog was posted here several months ago and now we’re rounding up another group of shout outs to help increase awareness about their awesome work!
- Embody Carolina is a student organization and peer-to-peer training dedicated to helping loved ones identify and support someone struggling with an eating disorder. Founded here at UNC, Embody is helping bridge the gap between those struggling with an eating disorder and necessary treatment both here at Carolina and beyond.
- Adios Barbie is a body image website that seeks to broaden the definition and scope of positive body image represented in the media.
- Love Your Selfie is a weeklong campaign launched by the Today Show to encourage women and men to “celebrate every shape, size, and age” on various social media outlets.
- Verily is a lifestyle magazine that has boldly broken the mold by refusing to alter the face or bodies of any of their models through Photoshop. During a recent interview, creators Kara Eschbach and Janet Sahm state, “We try and show a really wide variety of women and body types and ethnicities, things that really show the diverse beauty of women. I think that the imagery we create is so powerful.”
- Southern Smash is a non-profit organization geared toward “smashing” the cultural norm of negative body image and disordered eating. Founded by passionate eating disorder recovery advocate McCall Dempsey, Southern Smash has travelled around the country hosting smash events to empower women to not limit their self worth to a number on a scale.
- Natalie Patterson and her incredible spoken word piece (scroll to minute 5:30) in the SoulPancake series “That’s What She Said.” The episode featuring Patterson’s work is titled “Beauty and Body Image” and is definitely worth a watch!
- The powerful acceptance speech Lupita Nyong’o gave at this year’s Essence Awards served as a reminder reconstructing the narrow definition of beauty requires bravery and authentic self-acceptance.
- This cool video turns photoshop on its head.
We hope this post gives you resources you might find useful in your own personal journey or perhaps in some educational or professional capacity. Support these individuals and organizations by spreading the word about their hard work! Check out resources like these in your local area and get involved to help make a difference in your own community. Together with resources like those mentioned above, we can work to create a community of empowerment and positive change.