Eating disorders affect up to 70 million people globally with the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. With this in mind, Family Services of the North Shore is marking Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness week (PEDAW), by hosting an exclusive film screening of The Illusionists at Centennial Theatre on Tuesday February 5th. The Illusionists exposes how multi-billion dollar industries saturate our lives with images of unattainable beauty, fueling insecurity and body hatred. The film will be followed by a discussion with leading experts and Italian filmmaker, Elena Rossini, who is traveling to Vancouver from Paris specifically for this event. The discussion will focus on how to support a healthy body image and balanced tech use in the face of media manipulation.
Current research demonstrates that mass media exposure can negatively impact individuals' body image and lead to disordered eating (Holland & Tiggeman, 2016). The use of highly visual social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram leaves young people particularly vulnerable to its negative effects (Morengo et al., 2018). These platforms enable users to compare themselves to images of friends and strangers with seemingly chiseled bodies, perfect skin and happy lives.
While most images show an unrealistic snapshot of a highly edited and filtered reality, many users are left feeling like they don't measure up. Feeling inadequate can make people feel insecure, depressed, and anxious, known risk factors for engaging in unhealthy weight control behaviours. But, social media and body-focused advertising is here to stay, and we need to learn how to cope in a changing world.
"The focus of this campaign is to raise awareness of how tech use impacts our mental health and body image" states Joanna Zelichowska, Manager of Jessie's Legacy Eating Disorder Prevention, a Program of Family Services of the North Shore. "We want to encourage people to begin having these conversations at home, at work, online, and in our communities. We believe this is the first step in restoring balance and mental wellness in the digital world."
PEDAW raises awareness for eating disorders and provides education about media literacy, resiliency, building healthy body image, and self-esteem. This year communities across BC will be uniting to share the #showpurplelove message on social media through 'purple lightings' of landmarks, wearing purple, and the Love Our Bodies Love Ourselves signature wristbands.
Free Moving Screening of The Illusionists – Raising Resilient Teens in the Digital Age:
WHEN: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
WHERE: Centennial Theatre, 2300 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
TIME: 6:00 pm doors open, 7:00 pm screening
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