With the assistance of my good friend Marissa, I was able to volunteer for the “Revolutionizing the Runway” fashion show in Syracuse in February. The show was in honor of Ophelia’s Place, a local non-profit organization that helps those conflicted with disordered eating, distorted body image and self-esteem woes. I was elated to be immersed in fashion in such a warm environment; it reassured me that I may want to make the place something more than I blog about.
I prefer to use the term “disordered eating,” as I believe that “eating disorder” is quite stigmatized and segregates those who struggle on a less extreme level. From staring too long at the lack of space between your thighs, to starving all week due to a in a dark moment in a dressing room at H&M, few young women are without qualms about the way they look. Our society is saturated with images of how women should eat, drink and dress and I can’t imagine being completely unaffected. The shows objective was to squash the “ideal,” and explain their focus on an effort to retrain our belief about beauty being so one-dimensional.
While anorexia and bulimia are brutal diseases that require intense therapy for the victim and their loved ones, many others quietly endure detrimental dieting, compulsive exercising and damaging pills. The men and women at Syracuse ought to know that Ophelia’s Place exists fifteen minutes away from campus. If you battle with a harmful relationship with food, you are welcome – fashion show event or just a plain old Thursday.