National Eating Disorders Association
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Body positivity is an important part of who I am, since I’ve struggled with body image for most of my life. I came to learn about the body positive movement within the last couple of years, and now, instead of picking apart what I see in the mirror, I am thankful for my body because of all the things it can do. 

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On August 24, 2017, the State of Illinois enacted Public Act 100-0305, which amends the Illinois Insurance Code to afford greater protection to individuals suffering from eating disorders by expanding the mandatory health insurance coverage available to treat such conditions. The law was introduced as HB 1332 by State Representative Laura Fine (Glenview); and after passage in the Illinois House of Representatives, was sponsored in the Illinois Senate by Senator Jule Morrison (Deerfield).  

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Fitness culture is generally pretty exclusive: it thrives on fatphobia and the appearance ideal. There is generally an apprehension of participating in gym and fitness culture if you don’t look a certain way, but working out should give you a boost of confidence and allow you to appreciate your body for all it can do. Bevin Branlandingham has developed Fat Kid Dance Party: For All Sizes to Heal from Body Oppression, which is hosted by EVERYBODY gym in Los Angeles. Bevin’s class and this gym welcome people of all sizes, races, genders, and physical abilities.

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Kelvin Davis is a body-positive men’s fashion blogger. He is a model for Chubbies, an admin for Eff Your Beauty Standards, a dancer, a modern-day gentleman, a style icon, and a celebrator of body positivity on Instagram. Kelvin is now an author as well, with Notoriously Dapper: How to Be a Modern Gentleman with Manners, Style, and Body Confidence coming out on October 1st. 

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As you may have heard, the Department of Defense (DoD) recently released the announcement for the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) that permits funding for eating disorders research!  

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It seems as though I’ve been dancing almost as long as I could talk. I can still remember the days of pink tutus and ribbon-tied tap shoes. The unmistakable smell of hairspray on show days, and the adrenaline rush that a successful performance always resulted in.

Never did I think, however, that one day dance could be just as much a part of my voice as my vocal chords. Nor did I imagine that dance would become one of the ways I could share my experience about having an eating disorder with hundreds, even thousands of people.

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It’s no secret that disabled people are underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream media. Just last year, Variety reported that 95% of disabled characters in the nation’s top 10 television shows are portrayed by able-bodied actors. 

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In 2014, I was in the early days of my recovery from an eating disorder, and although it is a very personal experience, I wanted to share my story to help provide hope to others that recovery from an eating disorder is possible. I chose to work with the National Eating Disorders Association’s advocacy program to lead a legislative campaign in my home state of Pennsylvania because I believe that advocates and those in public service can foster change by working creatively to communicate the needs of individuals.

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Marcela Sabiá is a 26-year-old Brazilian illustrator who loves dogs, astrology, and creating art that makes the world a better place. She first started creating art professionally in 2015, and now, nearly three years later, she boasts an Instagram following of over 20,000. We chatted with Marcela about her art, her feminist awakening, and what she’d tell young women who are struggling with body image issues or eating disorders. Check out our interview below!

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Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, yet are among the lowest funded. As a community, we need to fight to change this. According to the NIH, research funding for eating disorders is limited to .93 cents per person affected. Further resources for eating disorder research are needed to help identify strategies to prevent and cure these complex and serious mental illnesses. 

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