Socking it to eating disorders

Catwalk models
Socking it to eating disorders

Did you know that this week is National Eating Disorders Week? No, most people probably don’t unless they or a loved one have suffered from disordered eating or food issues. I have to confess I do find it quite ironic that the week dedicated to raising awareness of eating disorders (the title of this blog post comes from this year’s slogan) and challenging stereotypes is overlapped by London Fashion Week! I can imagine which of the two events is likely to be getting more media attention, and it’s not going to be a campaign to raise funds for eating disorder charities…

Obviously, there’s a whole lot more to eating disorders than banning underweight models, but the media are likely to be out in force complaining (a) the models are too skinny and (b) the designers have included a few ‘plus size’ models, and when I say plus size, I mean size 12 instead of size 6. It’s the same every year.

At the same time, though, anyone (like most of us) who hasn’t been anywhere near catwalk slim since somewhere back in junior school might be interested in an alternative event also taking place next weekend – London Plus Size Fashion Weekend. Sponsored by Simply Be and featuring designers like Anna Scholz and plus size diva Velvet D’Amour, it’s going to be a big party (excuse the pun) complete with a glamorous plus size fashion show.

Although spas are often thought of as being dedicated to the pursuit of beauty, this perception is actually quite out of date because the trend in UK spas especially in more recent years has been more about embracing wellness and making people feel good than punishing them into losing weight. There’s not so much emphasis on slimming treatments, although they will always be available as long as there’s a demand for them, but spas are no longer the sort of place you go for a lettuce leaf and lemon juice fast (although I must confess to being starved on a regime like that as recently as 2001, in a Suffolk spa that’s long been closed.) Even the scary-sounding Boot Camp programmes are more about fitness and good nutrition rather than starving you and working you out until you faint.

Campaign for Body Confidence Ambassador and Central YMCA CEO, Rosi Prescott agreed last year that spas could be good for body confidence, encouraging people to listen to and value our bodies and also ‘promote a positive sense of self’ – do you agree?

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