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Black Mental Health Matters: 6 Must-Read Pieces for Black History Month

Eating disorders have historically been associated with heterosexual, young, white females, but in reality, they affect people from all demographics and they are not caused by any single factor. Misconceptions about who eating disorders affect have real consequences, leading to fewer diagnoses, treatment options, and pathways to help for those who don’t fit the stereotype.

This Black History Month, we acknowledge how far the field still has to go in recognizing and treating eating disorders in people of color. Despite similar rates of eating disorders among all races in the United States, people of color – especially Black people – are significantly less likely to receive help for their eating issues.

Through educating ourselves and speaking out about these issues, we can begin to create needed change. Below, here are six important pieces that discuss eating disorders and marginalization.  

The Problematic Whitewashing of Eating Disorder Recovery

Although eating disorders can affect anyone, the “rich white girl trope” continues to dominate public thinking and media images. Eating disorder survivor Lakesha Lafayett discusses why this is so problematic. 

Unlearning “Perfect” As a Woman of Color in a Racist World

Lakesha Lafayett shares how she overcame perfectionism and embraced the bumpy journey of eating disorder recovery. 

Filmmaker Tchaiko Omawale is Opening a Conversation about Black Women and Eating Disorders

Tchaiko Omawale actively took part in a binge eating disorder, self-harm, and body dysmorphic behaviors until the age of 30. Read this powerful and inspiring interview to learn more about her story. 

‘I Want Black Disabled Girls to be Seen and Heard in Mainstream Media: An Interview with Keah Brown, Creator of #DisabledandCute

Black disabled activist Keah Brown created a viral hashtag called #DisabledandCute. Learn more about her story and some of the specific struggles that multiply-marginalized people face in body positive and recovery communities.

Don’t Go the Journey Alone: This is How You Can Develop the Ultimate Support System in Recovery

Don’t miss Ashley Michelle Williams tips on forming a support system in eating disorder recovery. 

Thank You, Martin Luther King, Jr., for Inspiring Me to Live Fearlessly

Learn how civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired Ashley Michelle Williams’ to make the most of her time and create positive change. 

For recovery resources and treatment options, call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 800-931-2237 or click to chat. In crisis situations, text "NEDA" to 741741 to be connected with a trained volunteer from Crisis Text Line.