We live in a world of media. We are bombarded with advertisements of airbrushed models that are a size zero and dying to be fed a steak.
We live in a world of fat blaster and biceps on top of biceps where thin is in and fat is well, just straight f’ugly or so we’re told.
Then at some point this crazy adult obsession of obtaining idealistic beauty in the 21st century rubbed off onto the next generation of women so that right now 40 percent of nine to 10-year-old girls are already weight worried and trying to shed their biological puppy fat.
Scary hey? But unfortunately true.
In the US, eating disorders affect five to 10 million females and they’re not alone.
I’m sure you know at least one woman who has at some point in her life been ashamed of her figure – we all have, but you know what?
We’re all human and we’re all made up of the same cellular structures, chemical reactions and atomic matter.
But we think that isn't good enough that one size must fit all, so it’s easy to be swept under the idealistic unrealistic sizes we constantly see and take an unhealthy path to be that size zero.
Whether its guilt and gluttony, eating then throwing it back up, crash dieting, refusing carbs or eating zero calories and existing on vapour, women (in particular) will do extreme damage in the pursuit of happiness to fit into those skinny jeans often killing their spirit and cells in the process.
Step in Shelley Jensen, a woman who says “I was bullied at school and food became my best friend. At the age of eight, I was over 100lbs.”
After dealing with several years in between stages of anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating Shelley began to recover at the age of 22 following a divorce and becoming a single parent. But it wasn’t easy.
“I sought help through counselling and as my self-esteem began to rise; my eating began to return to normal. Recovery is a long road, but with perseverance I was finally able to reclaim my lost self and discover I was not alone, I was not helpless and I didn't have the right to give up on myself” said Shelley.
Fast forward to the present day and Shelley is a professional counsellor, nutritional consultant and eating disorder specialist running both "S" Team Counselling Services and Shelley's Angels Society, a nonprofit organization that helps provide bursaries to those with eating disorders unable to afford counselling.
When asked about eating disorders and the fashion industry Shelley commented that “We definitely need to see real women in fashion. We need to stop being ashamed of our bodies and their differences and we need to work together as women to create safety and to care for one another rather than pit against each other.”
However, instead of fighting the industry as one might expect, Shelley and her organization harnesses and collaborates with designers and events that promote the natural feminine form to “celebrate healthy bodies and women’s sensuality and femininity at all sizes together.”
No better is this movement toward real fashion to be seen than tonight with a lingerie show at the Caprice Lounge, featuring the risqué and sexually empowering designs of Shea Couturiere Lingerie using realistic-sized models with proceeds donated to Shelley’s Angels.
If you want to come down check some booty and support your sister, wife, aunt, fiancée, girlfriend, niece, granddaughter, friend, mother or daughter dealing with her weight and self esteem, then bring her along tonight and support a cause to help her and every other woman.
Look out for a follow-up as I go to the show and bring a photographic bonanza, blow by blow.