It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and YouBeauty is publishing articles to educate our readers on eating disorders and how to get help. 

In a society dominated by the media, unreasonable standards of beauty are set in a way that defines “the perfect body” as one that is simply unattainable for 99.99% of us. Our unrealistic body type goals can lead to severe body image issues and a devastating decline in self-confidence levels. In order to combat the media’s effects on body image, several campaigns have evolved to assist in inspiring woman and girls alike to have a realistic perspective on their body image. Here’s just a few that we’d like to highlight:

1.    RAW Beauty Talks

Image courtesy of Raw Beauty Talks

The supernatural power known as Photoshop is a wrinkle-smoothing, cellulite-eliminating, waist-slimming source of insecurity and self-doubt. Millions of images in the media have our perception of attainable physical standards greatly skewed.

Enter Erin Treloar, a 29-year-old anorexia survivor who began an online platform called RAW Beauty Talks to stimulate conversation around these unrealistic perceptions of beauty caused by Photoshopped celebrity images. In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Erin launched the campaign #LessIsMore which is an online petition in response to the overuse of Photoshop and filtered images that are damaging to women’s self esteem.

2.    Dove

With many beauty campaigns under their belt, Dove has been a driving force in self-esteem boosting movements. The Dove Real Beauty Campaign has been an ongoing venture since 2004, with the intention for starting global discourse about needing a wider definition of standard beauty.

In a study done by Dove, they found only 4% of women around the world would describe themselves as beautiful. To demonstrate this, Dove conducted a social experiment in which women described their appearance to a sketch artist, and then a second person described their appearance and the artist sketched a second version. After comparing the two versions, women were shocked to find they are more beautiful than they believe. Their perception of their own appearance is dramatically misaligned to that of others’ view of them.

In it’s latest extension of the Campaign for Real Beauty, #SpeakBeautiful is the newest movement to change the digital dialogue on social media regarding body image for women and girls. By partnering with Twitter, Dove is using a new technology that uses Twitter data to identify negative social media conversations about beauty and body image. When a negative tweet is posted, the know-all technology recognizes it and sends a response to real women, encouraging more positive language.

3.    Love is Louder

Love is Louder was started by The Jed Foundation, MTV, and “Pitch Perfect” actress Brittany Snow to support those who feel mistreated, misunderstood, or alone. In 2012, Demi Lovato partnered with this campaign to fight the misconception that eating disorders are solely about food. After her own struggle with an eating disorder and self-harming, Demi became a proactive advocate for anti-eating disorder organizations. With a focus on addressing negative self-image and depression, this campaign works to promote the message that love is louder than any internal or external negative voices.

 4.    Body Gossip

Tthe UK-based campaign Body Gossip, works to empower people to be their “own brand of gorgeous” through the power of art. The campaign works to give everyone, regardless of shape, size or color, a say by sharing their experiences, opinions and confessions in live theatre shows and short films. People submit stories and share their experiences to promote self-acceptance and body positive rhetoric. Body Gossip’s Education Program offers self-esteem classes to boost confidence among teenagers.

If you need information, referrals or support contact the National Eating Disorders Association at (800) 931-2237

Read More From Eating Disorders Awareness Week:  

A Day in the Life of My Eating Disorder 

Facebook Has ‘I Feel Fat’ & ‘I Feel Ugly’ Status Options — And It’s Awful

Could Your Diet Be an Eating Disorder? 

Five Eating Disorder Terms You Should Know 

Picky Eating vs. An Eating Disorder: What’s The Difference?