[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A group of women on campus hope to change the way people see themselves and raise awareness about eating disorders this week.
Delta Phi Epsilon is hosting its second annual Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders awareness week, one of the main philanthropic focuses of the national sorority.
About 7 percent of Truman students have experienced an eating disorder during the past year, according to the 2015 Missouri College Health Behavior Survey.
The sorority hosted activities such as “Makeupless Monday” where women were encouraged to remove their makeup as they passed by Delta Phi Epsilon’s table and “Turn It Around Tuesday,” where students could write their insecurities on a piece of paper then throw them away and pin up a positive thing about themselves on a board.
In addition, there was a candlelight vigil at the Kirk Memorial Wednesday, “Pie-A-DPhi” event to raise money and awareness for ANAD on Thursday, and ANAD pledge-signing on Friday.
Among the speakers at the vigil was DPhiE member sophomore Delaney Swanson who said she has dealt with anorexia and bulimia nervosa since 2013. Swanson says when she was diagnosed with her eating disorder she felt alone, but after opening up to her sorority sisters she realized that was far from the case.
“I thought I was alone, but by realizing I’m not, I found so much strength in that,” Swanson says. “These sisters and these wonderful women won’t judge me, but they want to build me up … and love me despite the messiness.”
Swanson says she hopes the ANAD activities this week will give people with eating disorders hope and confidence.
“Collectively, this week’s going to hold a lot of weight and hopefully make great strides and give a lot of women and men hope and show the community of Truman that . . . everyone in their own way is beautiful, and that there is hope beyond an eating disorder and beyond bad body image.”
Sophomore Lara Pfeiffer, Delta Phi Epsilon vice president of programming, says she hopes ANAD awareness week will give an uplifting outlook about eating disorders so people feel more willing to talk about them. Pfeiffer says the purpose of the week is to open the discussion about eating disorders because a lot of people don’t talk about it. She says Delta Phi Epsilon wants men and women to join the discussion. Pfeiffer says the events for the week will be colorful and bright to help show people eating disorders are okay to talk about.
Pfeiffer says while she personally has not had an eating disorder, it is still something that impacts her life.
“I have sisters that have struggled with eating disorders, and I have friends that have, so it’s something that affects my life in the sense that it affects the people around me. My job … is to be a support for those women who feel like they aren’t beautiful and who feel like they can’t find themselves in their own body.”
– Sophomore Lara Pfeiffer, Delta Phi Epsilon vice president of programming