Women, Eating Disorders, The Media

By Katia Milazzo

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week begins today and runs through the whole of this week. Here at the Women’s Center, we have two events in honor of NEDA Week called Operation Beautiful and Every Body is Beautiful.

We always hear of physical disorders, but many women and men suffer with internal disorders that we do not see. Eating disorders are mental illnesses that do in fact revolve around food, but it does not necessarily mean it is just about food. Eating disorders are more about emotions, body image, and self-consciousness. The two most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia is the loss or lack of appetite for eating food and bulimia is according to the Oxford Dictionary, “an emotional disorder involving distortion of body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting.”

Society has engraved certain standards that are plastered on social media and billboards that especially girls and women take to heart. These standards are taught at such a young age. Social media is now popular in girls starting at eight years old, possibly younger. This means they are exposed to impossible body and beauty expectations before they start their teenage years. Middle school is a tough place but when they open Instagram or Tik Tok, they immediately see who they should/need to be and how to look. This is where I believe eating disorders come in. We constantly look for the next diet plan to lose weight but when do we look for a plan for healthy mental nourishment?

All through middle school and high school, there was always this thought that I wasn’t good enough since I never fit the “perfect” body type. I had the amazing opportunity to attend Notre Dame de Sion High School for girls and that is where I found the nourishment I needed to succeed. I spent my time on education and not my next outfit or post. Girls and women should be encouraged to focus on their studies and careers, not the next fashion trend. Every single human being is worthy and beautiful in their own ways. That is the message that needs to be spread. I encourage you to follow and check all our social media sites daily during NEDA week (and every day!) for informative posts, infographics and articles. It takes all of us.

February 22 – 26

Every Body is Beautiful Week

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Location: Social Media

Facebook: @umkcwomenc

Instagram: @umkcwomenc

Twitter: @UMKC_Womenc

Check out our social media pages for information on eating disorders and body image and learn to appreciate how every body is beautiful.

February 22 – 26

Operation Beautiful Campaign

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Location: Social Media

Facebook: @umkcwomenc

Instagram: @umkcwomenc

Twitter: @UMKC_Womenc

Check out our social media pages to find out how you can participate in the Operation Beautiful campaign and help spread the message across campus and in your community that every body is beautiful.