National Eating Disorders Association

The UK clothing company John Lewis recently announced a plan to remove gender labels on their children’s clothing. This decision was met with a large amount of controversy, with many people supporting the decision and others criticizing it. Overall, however, the move is a step in the right direction of supporting children and their ability to express themselves as they choose. 

It was my senior year of high school. I had spent countless weekends traveling up and down the east coast, auditioning for dance departments at prestigious colleges in the hopes of solidifying a plan for my future. I’d sit in the car, usually with my mom, in the Sunday afternoon traffic, feeling numb. Eventually, the novelty of performing my solo for these schools had worn off. I was exhausted, unenthused, drained. If I couldn’t get through a weekend of dancing, how could I get through the next four years and beyond?

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. 

On the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death on August 31st, 1997, her legacy is still prevalent in the mental health community. This influence has been dubbed the “Diana Effect,” and is a result of the courage she had to share her story. 

In many cases, trauma can be a trigger for an eating disorder. The Princess of Wales was involved in a complicated marriage with Prince Charles. This, combined with the intense pressure of the media, marked the beginning of the Princess’ struggle with bulimia. 

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).  

After MTV’s Video Music Awards on Sunday, a speech given by Pink has gone viral as an inspiration to young girls everywhere, as well as an example for parents. Amongst the political statements that were trending throughout the evening, Pink’s acceptance speech for the Video Vanguard Award was a refreshing reminder of the importance of positive body image. 

Many of us from minority communities, whether it be our race/ethnicity, sexual orientation/gender identity, foreign/immigration status, or any other such factor, share an unfortunately common experience moving through the world: being the only one of your group in a room.

This “room” may be a classroom, a waiting room, a workplace, a party or event, or even a terminal at an airport. It doesn’t really matter what the context is, the experience remains the same.  

“Let’s go out to eat.” The words immediately used to trigger a thousand thoughts. Which excuse do I use this time? Do I have homework? Am I busy? Maybe I don’t feel well? Or maybe this time I should just go so no one gets suspicious? 

Those were only a very few of the thoughts that went through my head when someone would ask me to go out to eat when I was in the darkest place of my eating disorder.

Just like every other human emotion and experience, eating disorders are full of color, chemicals, and different combinations. No two experiences are the same.

I am a self-described overachieving perfectionist, who has cared far too much about everything my entire life. The expectations of my generation are that you’ll be brilliant at everything and it’s terribly important to look wonderful. I have always tackled numerous projects and tasks that would prove me worthy of respect and admiration amongst my family, friends, acquaintances, and society. 

My adolescence and teenage years were rocky, to say the least. 

On the surface, I fought to project an image of a person in control, a person who strived for perfection: I was the valedictorian of my high school class, I studied at Brown University, and I maintained plenty of friendships.