Ever since my personal struggle with an eating disorder, I became impassioned to find a way to help others, or somehow raise awareness about this poorly understood and highly stigmatized disease. Throughout my junior and senior years of high school, I was searching the internet for ways that I could get involved with volunteering or join a non-profit organization. As much as I researched day in and day out, I could not find ANYTHING. This really upset me, because I realized that there really is not much being done to change society’s view on eating disorders. I knew that if I had typed in something having to do with cancer, depression, or any other widely understood disease that there would be plenty of options to get involved and make a difference. By no means am I downplaying those terrible diseases, but it was so disheartening to not see the same level of advocacy out there for eating disorders. Eventually though, I came across a non-profit organization called “Southern Smash”. This organization raises eating disorder awareness and spreads body love by traveling to different college campuses throughout the south and holding “scale-smashing sessions.” The sweet and beautiful founder, McCall Dempsey, came up with the empowering idea to have college kids just grab a sledgehammer and smash some scales on their way to or from class. It seems simple and maybe a bit silly, but there is always an incredible turnout of people that want to show that scales, numbers, and other meaningless things do not and CAN NOT qualify who you are as a person.

No matter what background a person comes from; their gender, race, sexual orientation, or even age, it is likely that they have faced some sort of body image insecurity. Men’s football and wrestling revolves around the scale and numbers as they have to bulk up to be socially accepted within their team. Women and girls are expected to somehow be thin, tall, and have curves at the same time which is virtually impossible. Beauty standards are so different across the globe which proves that there is not one set body type that should be considered beautiful or accepted. Southern Smash is an organization that truly shows people that a number can’t define them, and that their self-worth should not be based upon their outward appearance. 

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