BY: Morgan Walker

DATE: September 22, 2015

On Tuesday, September 15th, McCall Dempsey arrived at UNC driving an SUV filled with scales and sledgehammers, ready to unload in a high-traffic area in the heart of the undergraduate campus for Southern Smash. Founded by McCall, an eating disorder survivor and passionate recovery advocate, Southern Smash is an event promoting eating disorder awareness and body positivity.


After her personal 15-year battle with her disorder, McCall pays it forward by dedicating her life’s work to spreading her message of hope and healing found only through the peace and freedom of recovery. For three years, McCall has been traveling the country, visiting mostly colleges and universities (typical breeding grounds for disordered eating behaviors), holding scale-smashing events and Smash Talk discussion panels featuring researchers and clinicians in the field of eating disorders, nutrition, and body image. In addition, McCall shares her lessons learned in recovery and life beyond her eating disorder. Attendees find Southern Smash to be an empowering event that encourages them to embrace body positivity and self-love.

I had the opportunity to spend the day with McCall and other fellow smashers at UNC’s Smash event. We literally hit the scales, and celebrated the freedom that comes from letting go of the importance of the number on the scale, your GPA, a clothing size…whatever it is that weighs you down!


In addition to being a recovery inspiration, McCall is also an Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) participant!** Pictures below show her completing the one-time only blood draw portion of the study. Participation is quick and easy, and is so helpful in our efforts to find the cause and cure for anorexia. McCall participated locally at UNC, but you can have your blood drawn even if you live somewhere else.


All of us at the UNC CEED want to thank McCall for contributing to ANGI and for getting us one step closer toward reaching our recruitment goal of 26,000 participants. More importantly, thank you for reminding us all that we are worth so much more than the number on the scale, the grade on that midterm, or the size of our jeans!

**Participation in ANGI is completely confidential. This is a special case, and McCall gave us permission to share!