Today marks the start of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, an annual event aimed not only at bringing this vital issue into the spotlight, but getting resources to those in need of help. For some, that may mean finding treatment or a support group. For others — for almost everyone, in fact — one of the most important resources is simply the knowledge that you're not alone.
Project HEAL, a nonprofit organization which raises funds for those who can't afford treatment, is aiming to do just that. This morning, they're launching a new social campaign, featuring a diverse range of women sharing simple statements on what they believe defines their own worth and beauty. Coming hot on the heels of Fashion Week, the #WhatMakesMeBeautiful campaign is also a direct response to the widespread promotion of traditional beauty standards — and the typical lack of diversity.
"It really was sparked by the frustration I have felt as a result of my simultaneous involvement in both the fashion industry and the eating disorder field," says Christina Grasso, Project HEAL's Director of Public Relations. "I have never met a woman who doesn’t struggle with some sort of insecurity, no matter what she looks like — myself included. But upon further introspection, I realized that the most beautiful people in my life are those with big hearts, fiery minds, and warm spirits. And as I went on to discover, that is far from an unpopular opinion."
Fashion photographer Arthur Belebeau shot a diverse group of women selected for the campaign, including supermodel Emme, DJ Jenny Albright, and style blogger Kellie Brown, who each offered her own individual statement on personal beauty. It's a simple message, yet a loud-and-clear reminder that beauty is at its best when it expresses who we are — not what anyone else wants us to be.