Today marks the start of the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, an annual weeklong initiative aimed to increase awareness and advocacy around these prevalent and deadly illnesses. Today is also the day Project HEAL launches their latest campaign #WhatMakesMeBeautiful Campaign featuring women of all sizes, shapes and paths of Life. I am honored to be one of them.
This year is the year of the diversity for Fashion and for Women in general. We have seen tremendous efforts from all parts in promoting diversity in the perception of beauty. From Lane Bryant to VOGUE to TARGET and Sports Illustrated, everyone is finally realizing that diversity and self love are absolutely vital and beneficial for all of us.
Project HEAL got that years ago when their extremely young founders, Liana Rosenman and Kristina Saffran,decided to talk about what most people in their circles refused to even admit. A lot of Women suffered from severe eating disorder, mostly due to pressure from the society towards their body, and most of them did not have the power (or finances) to find a cure. They then decided to create The Project HEAL and raise money to offer grants to those who couldn’t afford to get treatment.
“In the past few years, we have seen a number of campaigns aimed to make a statement about ideal female beauty in today’s society. These initiatives have succeeded at portraying a specific idea of beauty, but really fall short in exemplifying and celebrating diversity and idiosyncrasy in an inclusive way,” says Christina Grasso, a Project HEAL board member.
Project HEAL has partnered with Fast Ashleys Studio in Brooklyn, and premiere eating disorder treatment provider, Monte Nido & Affiliates, to encourage the conversation regarding female beauty and health on a spectrum with a diversely beautiful campaign shot by renowned fashion photographer, Arthur Belebeau. The campaign features supermodel Emme; style and beauty expert, Mary Alice Stephenson; French model Clémentine Desseaux; style blogger Dylana Suarez; and Project HEAL founders Liana Rosenman and Kristina Saffran, among others.
“In our opinion, this pits women against one another and only further suggests that for women, beauty is only skin deep, and can only mean one thing.” says Christina Grasso
Since its inception in 2008, Project HEAL has raised over $1 million, sent 42 applicants to treatment, and opened over 40 chapters worldwide. Project Heal will host its next charity gala in June and I will have the pleasure to host it and make another step towards helping so many more young women achieving stability and full recovery. Please join us!