National Eating Disorders Association
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Activism

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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Colleen Werner, a professional ballerina in New York City, first got involved with dance when she was only three years old. Today, after overcoming body hatred and an eating disorder, Werner hopes to inspire others to stand up to an industry that pressures dancers to meet often-impossible body standards. The creator of #BopoBallerina, Werner has inspired other dancers to unite and share their stories. 

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When I was still living with the shame, secrecy, and fear surrounding my history with binge eating disorder (BED), I never could have imagined sitting across from anyone—let alone my Congressman—to share my story.

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I'm joining advocates from across the country on Capitol Hill today and we need your help. We're asking for increased funding for eating disorders research and in just five minutes, you can help amplify our voices.

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We’re working hard to get more money allocated for eating disorders research, but we need your help.

A letter asking for $10 million in funding is circulating around the House of Representatives right now and we need to get YOUR representative's name on it by the end of the day on Friday, March 31.

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NEDAwareness Week 2017 had a great turnout! This year, 68 colleges and universities signed on as official partners and many more hosted events and posted to social media. Around the country, students, faculty, and staff shared the online screening tool, organized panel discussions, and provided information and resources to their communities.  

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