We live in a world where we are bombarded from a young age about what makes a human qualify as "beautiful." We grow up playing with perfectly sculpted Barbie dolls and G.I. Joes that affirm to our malleable mindsets that boobs and makeup and muscles are the perfect combo. Without beauty, how will we find acceptance? Will other humans like us? Will we be invited to the dance or find a partner to share our lives with?
Throughout my formative years, I was hardcore into gymnastics—a sport centered around the athletic ability of nimble and "tiny" bodies. We had weigh-ins with angry coaches informing us that we were "cutting it close" with our weight gain as we sprouted into our teen bodies. It wasn't abnormal to hear girls forcing themselves to throw-up before a meet. As I left the world of gymnastics and explored my women's studies degree, it became crystal clear to me how devastating eating disorders can be on individual humans and their families.
This month, Only Human is using our collective voice to shed light on the mental illness that is eating disorders and empower those who are in the process of recovery or have fully recovered. Only by banding together, can we support humans in this literal battle that is being waged within their very own bodies. It's a battle of the mind and the mirror, self acceptance and the acceptance of others, and the regaining of control that has been lost through it all.
According to NEDA, National surveys estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
- 0.9% of women and 0.3% of men had anorexia during their life
- 1.5% of women and 0.5% of men had bulimia during their life
- 3.5% of women and 2.0% of men had binge eating disorder during their life
In support of this cause that affects so many humans, we'll be giving 10% of all profits this month to Project HEAL. Project HEAL is an organization founded by two incredible women who met when they were just 13 years old while they were in treatment for anorexia nervosa. in 2008, at the age of 15, they founded Project HEAL to raise money for others suffering with eating disorders who want to recover but are unable to afford treatment. Unfortunately, insurance coverage for eating disorders is severely lacking, leaving many unable to get the help they need.
To read a story about overcoming an eating disorder by one of our wonderful Only Human Advocates, check out Shoshana's Story.
The struggle is hard, but the message is simple—love can't be measured. Let's love every body.