This past weekend I had the pleasure of directing our second fashion show for Ophelia's Place called "Revolutionizing the Runway". Every time I have anything to do with this organization I am overwhelmed but the response that I get and how much I am moved by the people I come in contact with. Eating disorders touch millions of people's lives everyday and yet so little is knows. Ophelia's Place's motto and message is "Hope in the midst of a struggle". They are there to help and support people with eating disorders and because they don't charge for their services they need help as well.
The modeling industry has a reputation of perpetuating the problem of eating disorders. I am going to do everything in my power to break that cycle in whatever way I can. I don't tell models to lose weight- and I never have. This is not an industry norm. I know I am one person but I believe that change starts with one person. Even if I am the ONLY person I will still stand proud in my conviction. I am working with OP director Mary Ellen Clausen to start a new self esteem program at OP. We aren't sure what it is yet but I know that this problem won't get solved or even smaller unless people step up and out of what's considered expected and do something radical. That is what the fashion show was about. It's why I am so proud of my models that gave up time for fittings, rehearsals and a whole Sunday to put on an amazing show. I'm even more proud of the people from OP who stepped out of their comfort zones and took a walk on a runway to enlighten people to the struggles of those with eating disorders. We all struggle with something. It is part of who we are. It is how we choose to deal with our struggles that truly shapes us. Philosopher Kahlil Gibran said: "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest of souls, the most massive characters are seared with scars."