In support of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, taking place Feb. 20-26, 2011, the National Organization for Women Foundation’s Love Your Body campaign is encouraging women to speak up and speak out about body image — on camera. A unique video campaign, Let’s Talk About It, provides a space for women and girls to talk about struggles and success with body image.
“The airbrushed body type portrayed as ideal is naturally possessed by less than five percent of women, so if anyone should feel bad about the pervasiveness of eating disorders and low self-esteem in women and girls, it’s advertisers and the media,” says NOW Foundation Education Vice President Erin Matson. “Let’s talk about why it’s so important to put an end to this madness with the most powerful tool we have: Our own stories.”
For more than a decade, NOW Foundation’s Love Your Body Campaign has been calling out the fashion, cosmetics and advertising industries for promoting unrealistic images of women. The campaign encourages women and girls to celebrate their bodies and reject the impossibly unhealthy measuring stick displayed on billboards, magazines and screens.
“NOW Foundation is partnering with the National Eating Disorders Association this week because we know that impossible ideals are strongly connected with eating disorders,” says Matson. “Having overcome anorexia myself, it’s deeply important to me that we do everything we can to stop other women and girls from having to go through what I did.”
Ford models Kate Dillon, Amy Lemons and Crystal Renn are intimately familiar with the struggles related to body image. In an industry that covets skinny and rewards thinness with multi-million dollar contracts, these trailblazers are changing the modeling industry just by being who they are.
“Women and girls spend far too much time and energy worrying about their physical appearances when they have so much more to give to the world — I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish as we overcome this unnecessary diversion,” said model Kate Dillon.
Dillon, Lemons, and Renn are lending their stories and voices to help launch the Let’s Talk About It project, along with actor Lynn Chen, editor Lisa Lee, model and Hollywood NOW President Chenese Lewis, author Nancy Redd, activist Shelby Knox and editor Sunny Gold.
“I encourage everyone to make a video and post it online,” said Matson. “Your voice might be the one that reaches a girl or woman who is struggling with her self-image. And together, the more videos we create, the more we become part of the solution.”