Julie, Age 17
Remember back when you were a teenager?
What was your confidence and level of self-esteem when you were 17?
Were you under the pressure to be a good girl and to always look good. Perhaps you didn’t feel that pressure- thank God, but the majority of teen girls feel the pressure so strongly that they commit a slow suicide by starvation and binging/purging. We all know it’s not about the food- it’s about feeling so out-of-control that the one thing they can control is their weight. There are many layers to an eating disorder. As a teen, I experimented and swung between bouts of starving myself and binging/purging. Many of the women in my family were overweight and constantly dieting so at an early age I learned what a laxative was and how to abuse it. At around 16, I had a Japanese modeling agent tell me that my legs were too big & muscular and if I wanted to have any kind of modeling career, I needed to have thinner legs. The self-loathing was amped up to a new level at this point. Even at my age and so many years passing since the go-see with that agent, I still have to keep myself ‘in check’ from disliking my legs. Luckily, around age 20- after a few years of experimenting with hard core diet pills from Mexico, starving and working out for hours, I couldn’t keep it up and decided I enjoyed good food more than I enjoyed modeling. I was never that super thin, gaunt model and was on the shorter side at 5’7″ so bikini and fitness modeling was the niche I worked best in. My curves and muscles were embraced and I could give up the diet pills!
Now, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of this generation of teen girls and how they are bombarded with Instagram images and size zero celebrities to compare themselves to. I can’t begin to imagine the battle for perfection they are killing themselves to achieve. Because of my tumultuous teen years and knowing the pain girls suffer in silence, I began mentoring young girls who are dealing with issues from eating disorders, cancer, abuse, early pregnancy, drugs and more.
Now that I’m in Dallas, I was introduced to The Elisa Project– founded in 1999 by Rick and Leslie McCall in memory of their daughter Elisa, who suffered from an eating disorder and ultimately took her own life. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Elisa Project is dedicated to the prevention and effective treatment of eating disorders through support, awareness, education, and advocacy. We strive to be the premier knowledge resource on eating disorders and a proactive agent of change to ensure that all those affected by these diseases receive the treatment and support they need. via http://www.theelisaproject.org
Dallas sistas, I invite you to join us for the ESTEEM Fashion Show —now in its 5th year—is a celebration of positive body image and self-esteem. Local celebrities will join girls and women, of all ages and sizes, to embrace healthy, balanced lifestyles and self-acceptance. By helping to increase awareness about eating disorders and the importance of positive body image, ESTEEM encourages people to love themselves while striving to be healthy.
I am thrilled to be walking in the show in honor of my sweet Julie who is on the road to recovery from heart complications due to anorexia. Hope to see you there! Invite your friends!
Saturday, September 13, 2014
10:30am // Doors Open
8300 Preston Center Plaza
Dallas, TX 75225
$75 VIP Front Row Seating