This Eating Disorder Survivor Is Making A Difference
“There’s beauty in everything and everyone, and that shouldn’t be decided by the media or anyone,” Dayna Altman — a 24-year-old eating disorder survivor, graduate student, and mental health activist from the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) — told me in a recent interview.
Dayna, who agreed to share her story with the FBomb for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, is from Massachusetts, and grew up dancing. As early as elementary school, she told me, she started experiencing and depression, anxiety, OCD and eating disorder habits. She wasn’t diagnosed with anxiety and major depression until her first year at Providence College, however. At that point, she received several months of clinical treatment, which in turn informs her work as an activist today.
These Eating Disorder Activists Shared Incredible Advice About Recovery
#NEDAwareness took on ED recovery.
20 million women and 10 million men in the United States will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their life. Our culture has come a long way in terms of demanding that the public pay attention to this widespread issue, but much of this awareness is focused on the experience of having an eating disorder itself. Comparatively little attention has been devoted to the difficult work of moving beyond an eating disorder, of what it’s really like to recover.
I remember hearing the truth about Barbie when I was in Middle School. I have no idea what the context was, but I remember feeling shocked at the fact that if Barbie were real, she'd have a 39-inch bust, an 18-inch waist and 33-inch hips. Of course, it's hard to convert those measurements directly to a mental image, but it's safe to assume that it's pretty unattainable.
But "easy enough" to imagine wasn't good enough for college student Galia Slayen. In honor of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Galia recently decided to create a real, life size Barbie, based on these measurements. Watch her tell her story in this week's Saturday Vid: