The Renfrew Center Foundation shows its support of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 26-March 4) by introducing its social media-driven “This is ME!” campaign. Recognizing that the loss of one’s true self can often lead to or intensify unhealthy eating behaviors in an attempt to be accepted, the campaign encourages women to embrace their unique attributes and to feel motivated to share those with “the world.”
Given the current societal focus on female empowerment and providing women with the support to speak out and be strong, The Renfrew Center Foundation is introducing “This is ME!” at an opportune time.
Throughout the week of February 26th, The Foundation encourages everyone to use #ThisIsME2018 when posting their favorite “This is ME!” photo. Whether it is a photo of you crossing the finish line at a sporting event or sitting in your favorite chair with a book, Renfrew wants to see the true you.
“Far too often, individuals—especially adolescent girls and women—lose touch with their true selves to conform to the image of who others expect them to be,” said Adrienne Ressler, Vice President, Professional Development, The Renfrew Center Foundation. “The more you put aside your true self in hopes of gaining acceptance, the more you are abandoning the real you and the greater your risk of being physically and emotionally unhealthy.”
“The recent political and cultural developments in our country have been led by strong women who are encouraging others to embrace and celebrate their true selves,” said Ressler. “These efforts are supporting ‘This is ME!’ and, in turn, our campaign supports the mission of all those who are rallying for women to have their voices heard.”
In January 2018, The Renfrew Center Foundation conducted a survey in which 149 Renfrew alumni nationwide — ranging in age from 18-65 years old — participated.
- Prior to going through treatment for their eating disorders, the majority of respondents indicated that they felt like their true selves around others only 50 percent or less of the time. 20 percent said they never felt like their true selves.
- Post-treatment, more than 2/3 of alumni feel like themselves 75 percent of the time or more.
- Post-treatment, 73 percent of respondents said they now use their voice and speak up when faced with a challenge.
- When asked what they most appreciate about themselves, the majority of respondents appreciate their relationship with others, followed by their intelligence and their skills/ability. Only 2 percent appreciate their looks/their body the most.
- Nearly 75 percent would rather interact with others in person versus social media.
“We are encouraged by the responses we received from our first-ever Renfrew Center alumni survey,” said Ressler. “We still have concern for those women who have not yet embraced their true self. It is our hope that through this campaign we can provide a foundation for that support.”