Let's Get Real
Tomorrow marks the start of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2018, a nationwide effort to advocate for those who have and are currently suffering with all types of eating disorders. With this year’s theme, Let’s Get Real, NEDA aims “to expand the conversation and highlight stories we don't often hear.”
Let’s Get Real. These three words as singular components are so simple, merely one syllable each rolling off the tip of a tongue. Yet, when viewed as an entity, as a single command or suggestion, the inherent meaning of the phrase becomes so hard to execute. Let’s Get Real. Easy enough, right? Yet, in a world that is quick to judge, that magnifies flaws, and that literally profits off the insecurities of others, telling us what we “should” weigh and how we “should” appear and act, this invitation for genuineness seems impossible and terrifying to accept. As pushing against societal currents takes immense courage and strength, “being real,” an act unfortunately not part of the collective norm, is synonymous with being bold, being daring, and being unfathomably brave.
This week symbolizes not only a huge effort to highlight the pervasiveness of eating disorders, but is a nationwide resolution to foster an environment in which “being real” is part of the norm, and thus doesn’t seem as unbelievably scary to enact. So, this week (and hopefully, when you see that the idea isn’t all that crazy, every week after that), let a depth of you usually kept hidden from the external world shine. Show us who you truly are and aspire to be, for authenticity is an irrevocably beautiful and inspiring mark of fortitude.
Take the conscious effort to let the real you be present in your actions and words. Instead of the one that has been heavily filtered and purged of all the blemishes so as to be considered “acceptable” under the judging, watchful eye of society, share your true story, the amazingly raw and messy one. I am not only proud that I have had the fearlessness to share my complicated journey on the sadly taboo subject of anorexia, but I am relieved and freed. For when we unleash our inner selves, we will inadvertently feel lighter as all the “secrets” that have been maturing and bubbling inside our minds ooze out. So, please, join me and NEDA in our effort to be purely genuine—to be defiant warriors.
Let’s Get Real. So seemingly simple. So inexplicably difficult. So absolutely essential. So inherently beautiful and brave.