Fat red writing on mirror and teenage girl

How often do we wake up in the morning and look in a mirror only to see flaws, such as imperfect skin, bad hair, or weighing too much?

After all, how could we expect to love everything we see in the mirror with the constant onslaught of “desirable” individuals in the media who are air brushed to perfection? Everyone deals differently with the pressure to match society’s standards of beauty and health, and it is actually NOT healthy at all.

Some will develop eating disorders — such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Eating disorders involve intense emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for both females and males. We are here to let you know that if you or a loved one suffer from an eating disorder, you are not alone.

The numbers show that 0.9 percent of women will struggle with anorexia in their lifetime, 1.5 percent of women will struggle with bulimia in their lifetime, and 3.5 percent of women will struggle with binge eating in their lifetime. How about men? 0.3 percent of men will struggle with anorexia, 0.5 percent of men will struggle with bulimia and 2 percent of men will struggle with binge eating disorder.

We all like to watch television, but there are so many commercials, shows, and movies out there that can make us feel that we’re not attractive or thin like the models and actors/actresses. One example is “The Devil Wears Prada,” which indirectly promotes eating disorders. In this movie, there are multiple references to thinness and of course fashion/style that are only designed for certain sizes. With movies like this and the images we see on a daily basis it is easy to see how people like you and me would think that we were are not good enough.  We need to stop criticizing ourselves and start to criticize the media!

We have now reached a point where people are saying that these things are not okay.  The article “Humans are not Hangers” talks about the fashion industry and how things need to change.  We applaud France and its passing of the “skinny law” which law calls for models who want to work in France to present a doctor’s note attesting to their overall health and proving a BMI of 18 or over.  This law also says that if images are “Photoshopped” that it must say so. Italy, Israel, and Spain have all passed similar “skinny model” laws since France. Denmark and UK are also cracking down.

We can all make a difference. Be mindful of how you interact with people. You are all beautiful just the way you are.  Remember to love yourself.

Find out how you can get involved. Here are some resources to get you started:

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