On Oct. 11, Molly McElroy ’17 and 350 others traveled to Baltimore, MD to participate in a one and a half mile walk hosted by the National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) Center in response to the Beautiful Me program. Beautiful Me is a campaign created by McElroy that focuses on bringing to light the harm eating disorders and negative body images cause. The NEDA walk is one of twenty-five being held this year. Each year the walk is held in different states in order to raise money to research eating disorders. However, that is not the only way that the walk provides support. “This walk is very special. Women and men who are currently battling eating disorders get a chance to walk and show that they are not giving up. Survivors get to walk to show hope for those who think they cannot make it. Family, friends, co-workers, teammates, therapists, doctors all walk to show support and encourage people to keep fighting. Many also walk in honor of those who have lost their life to an eating disorder,” states McElroy.
Since the creation of Beautiful Me it has been a dream of McElroy’s to team up with NEDA and to help raise awareness for the battle against eating disorders. As a survivor of anorexia, she founded Beautiful Me to “help spread self-love.” She plans to one day turn Beautiful Me into a nonprofit organization. With the NEDA walk as the perfect opportunity to get involved, a team was entered for those who wished to show their support both for the cause and the people they know who are or have battled an eating disorder.
Since her recovery from her own eating disorder, McElroy wants to ensure that no one has to face the fight alone. In order to make a change she is “trying to prevent eating disorders by showing men and women that beauty isn’t always looks.” She always has an ear to lend and is willing to give advice to those who need it.
NEDA is planning on hosting another walk in Philadelphia, PA for which Beautiful Me is planning on entering a team. Donations can be made and Beautiful Me t-shirts can be bought by contacting Molly McElroy at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.