Women sharing their voices during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

In support of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Feb. 26 – March 4, or NEDAW, the Renfrew Center Foundation in Miami has launched the “This is Me” social media campaign in an effort to show women that everybody and every body is acceptable.

Since 1985, the Renfrew Center Foundation has helped more than 75,000 girls and women move towards recovery from their disorders, according to their website.

“There is so much pressure on women to, really, not be who they are. It’s like you’re supposed to develop another whole self and another whole body. The ‘This is Me’ campaign is really designed to say ‘this is me, and I am okay.’ This is me, and I want to look good, but I don’t need to be perfect,” said Adrienne Ressler, vice president of professional development at the Renfrew Center Foundation. “It’s to normalize [the idea] that being who you are is the most important thing.”

“The ‘This is Me’ campaign is really designed to say ‘this is me, and I am okay.” -Adrienne Ressler, vice president of professional development at the Renfrew Center Foundation

The goal of “This is Me” is to help women be their most unapologetic, genuine selves. Throughout NEDAW, Renfrew is encouraging women to post a photo that describes the “true you,” and hashtag it with #ThisIsME2018.

Ressler said a large part of the issue around body image stems from how the media portrays women, and how the photoshopping and retouching of females’ bodies should really be considered false advertisement as it provides viewers with an unhealthy image of how they feel they should look.

“Most of the supermodels don’t even look how they look after the digital retouching,” she explained.

While the goal of the campaign is to empower women, the Renfrew Center Foundation does not seek to erase the male experience of eating disorders. The facility treats only females for the time being, which has sparked the purpose behind the movement.

“We’re seeing younger and younger populations and older and older women at both ends of the continuum develop eating disorders,” Ressler explained. “Eating disorders are a risk for males, [but] women develop eating disorders at two and a half times [the rate of] men.”

“It rallies people who have the disease and supporters of … parents or friends of people who have the disease,” expressed Ressler. “It’s just a heartwarming show of support for how everybody is acceptable, and every body is acceptable. People should feel that way year round.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, would like to speak to a professional or want more information about the “This is Me” campaign, you reach out to the Renfrew Center at 800-736-3739. Students at NSU can also reach out to Henderson Counseling at 954-424-6911.

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