By Samantha Pulley
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week began worldwide on Feb. 21.
Various organizations, schools and news outlets held events in order to educate and inform people about the signs and dangers or eating disorders.
The annual event was created to raise awareness of eating disorders like bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating.
At William Peace University, several events during Love Your Body Week brought awareness to eating disorders all over the world as well as promoting positive body image. Events included an eating disorder screening, an information table with facts about disorders, and a fashion show.
Of all the events offered, Chalkfest, a chalk drawing contest held on the patio of Belk, is a favorite for Sydney Febres, a junior liberal studies major.
“It got to show everybody’s creative side and it let everyone express themselves in their own way,” said Febres.
The fashion show called “The EveryBody Fashion Show” took place on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. The show invited members of any sex, race, shape or size to participate and allowed their peers to see and understand what makes them beautiful.
Participants chose two or three categories to dress up for, including Bring Back the 90’s, Business Casual, Athletic Wear, New York Fashion Week, Spring and Summer Preview, and a category where they can wear something that expresses who they are.
“I like that anybody can do it,” said Catherine Hewitt, a sophomore communications major who participated in the fashion show, “no matter what your figure is or body size.”
Emily Frazier participated in the New York Fashion Week portion of the show.
“It was so much fun being able to dress up and walk on that stage,” said Frazier. “Having my hair and makeup done prior to the start made me feel like a real model.”
Nicole Davis, William Peace University’s counselor, who headed up the events during Love Your Body Week, said her favorite event was the fashion show.
“It involves so many students, both who participated in the show and were the audience,” said Davis.
Kelsey Garner, a counseling intern from N.C. State University, also attended the various events on campus this week.
“It was really encouraging and exciting to see so many students get so excited about such an important cause,” said Garner, when discussing the EveryBODY fashion show.
After the show, one of the audience members, Ashley Chubbuck, a sophomore communications major, shared her feelings about her favorite part of the show.
“My favorite part was seeing all the girls of all body types embracing their figures and being proud to show them off to the world,” said Chubbuck. “You could tell the girls really enjoyed it and it was encouraging to see young women embrace their bodies, especially in this culture today where most of the models are size 0 and unrealistically skinny.”
Nationally, Aerie, a clothing line from American Eagle that sells lingerie, introduced a limited edition t-shirt with the words “Strong, Beautiful, Me” written on the front, in support of eating disorders.
All of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales will be donated to the National Eating Disorders Association – an association that specifically helps with providing treatment and raising awareness of eating disorders nationwide.
Project HEAL, a non-profit organization that raises money for people suffering from disorders who can’t afford treatment, introduced a new social campaign: “#WhatMakesMeBeautiful” on Feb. 21.
Fashion photographer Arthur Belebeau took pictures of several women varying in age, race, shape and size and then asked them to say what they believe makes them beautiful.
Learn more about eating disorders including signs to look for and treatment at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.