By Kate Szumita, Editorial Intern
Art by Mary Davis, 15
In the United States, it is estimated that more than 10 million people of all ages struggle with the adverse effects of eating disorders every day. While the causes of these disorders vary, the effects are potentially fatal, and the National Eating Disorders Association is determined to help eliminate, or at least reduce this statistic.
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and access to treatment of disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. It strives to support affected individuals and their families and at the same time combat the causes. NEDA hopes to remove the stigma surrounding eating disorders through community-conscious activism.
For the past 25 years, NEDA has facilitated NEDAwareness Week, the collaboration of volunteers and experts in the fields of health, medicine, and social work seeking to create a nationally recognized support system. NEDAwareness week was last week, February 26th to March 3, and it helped spread the word that eating disorders are not a choice, but a disease, and there is help available. This year’s theme was “Everybody Knows Somebody.” Whether it’s you or someone you know who has battled an eating disorder, or if it’s something you’ve learned about and want to get behind the cause, NEDA wants your help in raising awareness of this widespread illness. Last year’s NEDAwareness Week recruited a record-breaking number of supporters spanning from all 50 states and 29 countries throughout the world
Like NEDA, Teen Voices wants you to love your body! In recognition of our proud partnership with NEDA, March’s theme for our Artist of the Month Contest is “Beauty is More than Skin Deep.” With the media’s perpetuation of the airbrushed, size-zero body as the standard for perfection, we realize that it can be hard to remember to “love the skin you’re in.” We’re dedicating the month of March to healthy bodies, healthy habits, and healthy attitudes in the hopes of raising awareness of body image and self-esteem issues and preventing eating disorders. Help us challenge unrealistic beauty standards and celebrate the things that make us unique—even the things we might consider “flaws.” Each month’s Artist of the Month Contest winner will be eligible to win Artist of the Year, with the prize of a full scholarship, including room and board, to the Pre-College Summer Art Studio in Boston a the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.