Monday, July 18, 2011

Fighting Back!

Although the eating disorders battle is an uphill one, it is not helpless nor is it as hidden as it was in the past. More and more campaigns are brought forth in order to raise awareness, change the way the media alters images, and change the way people think about body image. NEDIC’s campaign “Cast responsibly. Retouch minimally” encouraged the fashion industry to pay attention to what kind of messaging they are sending out into the world. Read about it more here:

Another campaign is by Dove – Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty is a huge project dedicated to build confidence and sending out a message to embrace all definitions of beauty. The Dove Self-Esteem Fund has reached 7 million so far, and they’re going for more. Check it out here:

EDOYR’s own efforts include school presentations and this very blog! Through our school presentations we hope to raise awareness, decrease stigma, and prevent eating disorders by encouraging a discussion around healthy body image and teaching about media literacy. It is important for kids to learn from an early age to embrace their true selves and continue showing their true colours throughout their whole life! This includes being on alert for distorted images and messaging from media and society. Our blog is here to converse with anyone who is interested in EDOYR and wants to support us!

Eating disorders can be healed, and they can be prevented. Every little bit helps. Just changing the dialogue around us, stopping people from discussing negative body narratives, and staying true to yourself are some of the ways individuals can help!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Looking Beyond the Mirror

The media is huge issue and a huge contributing factor for eating disorders, because what people see is not reality. The extremely thin people they see on the billboards are a. airbrushed and b. are not leading a healthy lifestyle. The National Eating Disorder Information Centre informs us that 1.5% of Canadian women aged 15-24 had eating disorders in 2002. That number has not gone down, if anything, it has been climbing. That is not counting unreported cases – which is common, due to the still prevalent stigma associated with eating disorders. It is sad to see the magazine covers and realize that girls are striving to be something unrealistic. That is why it is refreshing to see something like this Newsweek report on “Unattainable Beauty” – where they reveal all the photoshopping and editing that goes into making a magazine or a billboard. Sometimes the celebrity/model is not even aware that they are going to be airbrushed into an impossible ideal.

Eating disorders affect both men and women, and make them inclined to go to extreme measures in order to attain the unattainable. Who defines what is beautiful? The media has the most power, because when we are exposed to hundreds of ads each day, we are taking in subliminal messaging about what we should look like, what we should eat, what we should buy. If you are a beautiful person inside, you are a beautiful person outside as well. Looks are not everything, but this value is one that is not taught in school. It is up to parents to make sure their children are not pulled into the darkness of this shallow, shadow world that is shaped by television and Internet images of unattainable “beauty” standards. 
Jean Kilbourne is a sociologist who has made 4 movies up to date, “Killing Us Softly” being the first one. Her insight into society and media explains for women are portrayed and what that does to how women treat themselves, and how they are treated by everyone around them. It is an eye-opening and shocking movie, but we must remember that despite what the imaging does, we can still fight back. Campaigns such as Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty (View a model’s make up video here – also eye-opening are an inspiration and a relief that all is not lost, and if perhaps, more companies took on this approach, we could change the way the media portrays beauty.
Please find the “Killing Us Softly” video on YouTube below:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Joanne Shinwell,  co-ordinator of  this year's Cedar  Brae Ladies '  Member/Guest Day ,   presenting Janice Morgante, Executive Director of Eating Disorders of York Region (EDOYR) , with a cheque for $525.00 raised  through the sale of mulligans.  Thank you to our Friends and Friend-Raisers for your support!!!