We’ve featured the girls of Project HEAL (Help to Eat, Accept and Live) on our site before, but today they let us know about one of their newest crusades. They’re petitioning designer Alexander Wang to take down one of his Spring 2013 billboards in New York City.
For those who don’t know, Project HEAL’s goal is to “raise money for others suffering with eating disorders who want to recover but are unable to afford treatment.” The girls are also working to diminish the societal obsession with body image that often contributes to eating disorders, which brings us back to the billboard.
Photo: This ad though. (Alexander Wang)
Model Malgosia Bela is the star of Wang’s Spring 2013 campaign, so she appears in several different ads. This one, however, features a mostly nude (but covered in white body paint) Bela sitting hunched over in a chair. The boots she’s wearing are, in my opinion, gorgeous, but it’s hard to look at them when all of my attention is focused on the very thin model wearing them. The fashion industry is no stranger to poor body image and very thin models, but the girls are Project HEAL don’t think we should be subjected to it in this case.
The petition, hosted on change.org, addresses the designer and asks him to remove the billboard. It calls attention to the millions of Americans suffering from eating disorders, also noting that “eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses.” The girls understand that the media does not cause the disorders but believes the promotion of unhealthy images “inevitably causes many of them to engage in damaging self-comparisons.”
If you want to help Project HEAL take down the ad, you can sign the petition. You can show your support online by reposting it to Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #healthyimage.
What do you think of the ad? Do you think it would be a step in the right direction for Wang to remove the billboard?
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Follow Project HEAL on Twitter and spread its self-acceptance message on social media!