Nevada students smash insecurities

Friday, March 7, 2014
Hannah Horn smashes a scale to symbollic smash body concerns during an assembly Friday at the Nevada High School in the Ella Maxwell Performing Arts Center. Ralph Pokorny/Daily Mail

Nevada Daily Mail

Nevada high school students smashed their insecurities literally Friday during the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week assembly at the Ella Maxwell Performing Arts Center.

Student Hannah Horn smashed a scale with student written insecurities on it inside a garbage bag as the culmination of the school's new spirit week.

As part of her presidential project, Cottey student Carly Schooley worked with the student council to come up with the week's activities and gather donations.

"I saw a lack of eating disorders awareness discussion held on campus," Schooley said. "I thought this would be a great way to bring up the conversation. This program was my presidential project for Cottey."

National Eating Disorders Awareness week is held Feb. 23 through March 1, to increase outreach and awareness of eating disorders and body image issues, while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment resources, according to NEDA's website.

Last Monday the high school kicked off the program with Mirror-less Monday.

"We covered all the mirrors in school and encouraged everyone not to wear make up," Maddi Gordon said.

On "Think about it Tuesday," students wore orange to "peal away insecurities" and learned about eating disorders with a myth and fact wall. On Worry-less Wednesday, a collage of positive sticky note messages encouraged students and they had the opportunity to wear sweatpants. On Talk about it Thursday, students could wear glittery clothes and filled out cards answering "I'm beautiful because."

"I think this is an important issue because more people struggle with this than people realize," Gordon said. "Everyone should know they are beautiful the way they are and should not change their body because of peer pressure."

Schooley added that Gordon told her students had come forward afterward, who had eating disorders and felt grateful for the program.

For the assembly on "Fearless Friday," students dressed as superheroes, watched videos of students' perspectives on the issue and State Representative Randy Pike presented a Missouri House of Representatives resolution about the awareness week.

"Missouri House of Representatives pauses in its diverse duties to acknowledge the significance of eating disorders and how they affect the daily lives of countless Missourians," Pike read from the resolution. "It is all together right and proper to commend the administration, faculty, staff and students of Nevada High School for raising awareness for this serious and complex illness."

Student council advisor Deidre Goins added in an email the program is important because it brings awareness to an issue that is seldom discussed in society and schools.

"We have campaigns that bring awareness about drinking or texting and driving or wearing seat belts, but little to nothing about eating disorders," she said. "So many suffer in silence because they are afraid to talk to others. The week's activities opened lines of communication for many students; as well as, educated students and teachers about eating disorders."

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