There’s more to Saint Louis Fashion Week than runways, cocktail parties and shopping. While those are all wonderful things, I’m so glad I was invited to dinner at Central Table with the Missouri Eating Disorder Council and a group of fabulous bloggers to focus on some deeper issues.
The evening was filled with inspiring guest speakers and meaningful conversation over drinks and shared plates. Partnering with MOEDC was such a smart move. It can be easy to get carried away with the glamor Fashion Week dazzles us all with, but it’s important to remember the dark side of the industry. I saw a pale teenage model straight-up pass out during a presentation at Fashion Week last year. It’s irresponsible to revel in the fun side of fashion without looking critically at the industry and working to improve it.
As bloggers, I think we serve an important purpose in today’s media landscape. For decades, we’ve had curated magazines sell us images and ideas that portray a very narrow, mainstream ideal of what beauty and power are. The internet evens the playing field and we can now make our own spaces to express ourselves and present an alternative. I might sometimes feel silly posting photos of my outfits online, but I feel a sense of strength knowing that I can present myself as a stylish, confident woman who’s worthy of being seen. I love knowing that just by existing through this blog, I’m making other women like me feel a little bit more comfortable seeing their bodies. I love having that control over my presentation.
To me, if you’re trying to be the thinnest, whitest, prettiest, wealthiest version of yourself on your blog, you’re contributing nothing. Why bother putting yourself out there if you’re not presenting an alternative to the mainstream media we’re already bombarded with? It’s much more interesting for me to look at blogs featuring people of all backgrounds and sizes. It may sound petty, but surrounding myself with diverse images online has really shaped how I view people in real life; how I appreciate beauty; how I dress myself. Diversity is beautiful!
MOEDC just launched their powerful new Myths campaign. Eating disorders are one of the most misunderstood mental disorders. They’re also the mostly deadly and disproportionally affect women. Chances are, someone in your life is struggling with an eating disorder, maybe in silence. You can get involved by educating yourself and others in recognizing the signs and symptoms, and correcting the myths. Connect with the cause using #feedthefacts to show your support. Visit nedawareness.org to learn how you can get involved.
Thanks again to Midwest Influencer Network for always making STLFW an amazing experience and for making my participation possible. Thanks to Central Table and MOEDC for hosting a fabulous event.
Photos by Ashley Kuenstler