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[This post first appeared on Proud2BmeUS]

 

My name is Benjamin O’Keefe. I am 18 years old and I have quite a few titles. I am professional stage and film actor, an activist, a political consultant and a public speaker. Oh, and I am me.

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When First Lady Michelle Obama began the Let's Move! campaign, a lot of eating disorders activists and organizations were concerned about its focus on obesity and comments made by Mrs. Obama about putting her child on a diet. Many of you wrote to her to vocalize concerns about these messages and, lately, there appears to be a shift in messaging toward language that emphasizes overall wellness, as opposed to weight or size.

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The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and The Model Alliance (MA), a non-profit dedicated to improving working conditions in the American fashion industry, co-hosted the panel event, Inside The Modeling Industry: A Conversation About Health & Beauty In Fashion at Pace University for 2013 NEDAwareness Week. MA founder, Sara Ziff, moderated the panel discussion which featured models Crystal Renn, Katharine Schuette and Amy Lemons, modeling agent Chris Gay, eating disorder specialist Dr.

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