Body Acceptance Movement keynote speech kickstarts National Eating Disorder Awareness Week


Melissa Fabello, Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism, speaks at KSU on February 20, 2017. Fabello discusses self-care practices and eating disorders for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Linda Stocum

Body acceptance activist and sexuality scholar Melissa Fabello emphasized the importance of focusing on recovery in her keynote speech hosted in the Kiva on Monday for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

A key point in her speech was addressing the stigma around eating disorders.

“No one wants to talk about it,” she said to an audience of less than 20 people.

Overall, the main theme of the speech was not what an eating disorder is, but rather, how to slowly stop suffering from one.

Fabello quoted a statistic from the National Eating Disorders Association, stating that “42 percent of girls that are in the grades of first through third want to be thinner.”

Logan Lutton, a sophomore journalism major, who attended the event, said this statistic resonated with her.

“I have struggled with body image in the past,” Lutton said. “I have vivid memories as early as 4 years old where I cried because I thought I looked fat in my ballet outfits.”

In addition to addressing the stigma surrounding eating disorders, Fabello also spoke about recovery.

“(Recovery is) a daily practice. (It is) something you have to do every single day to be alright,” Fabello said.

She said recovery is all about the mindset of the person experiencing an eating disorder, and the process of recovery is not easy.

“Recovery means deconstructing all of (your) thoughts, ” Fabello said. “(It) is not ever having a bad day.”

She also emphasized the importance of self-care and addressed the negative feelings that sometimes stem from the term.

“It doesn’t have to be a vacation,” Fabello said. “It can be really small decisions that we make in a day.”

Eva Zemper, a sophomore English major, said she felt more informed about self-care after the event.

“It was interesting to see (self-care) defined and learn how important it really is,” Zemper said. “It’s true that there is a stigma around it.”

Zemper said that although she has never had to struggle with an eating disorder, she feels others should attend events like these.

The keynote speech will be followed by other events this week raising awareness for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, including eating disorder screenings in the Student Center Ballroom on Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Linda Stocum is the room and board reporter, contact her at [email protected]