On today’s episode, Lauren Dow joins us as an eating disorder advocate and educator from Denver, Co. Together, we discuss how body dysmorphia impacts her relationships while she does not want a label but rather to be treated as normal. We finish up our conversation with a question around social media and how much transparency is too much when sharing our life’s purpose publicly.
Lauren’s community is built around the concept of trust and vulnerability. She believes that society has been placing body image and the idea of what ‘perfect’ is for so long.
Lauren says that whether it’s through the media, what someone ‘should’ look like on Instagram, how a person needs to ‘come out of quarantine better or more in shape.’ She reminds us that there is also a stigma around having an eating disorder or a mental illness, and a lot has to do with misinformation or lack of education around them.
Secondly, if you are viewed as ‘sick’ then you come with baggage. If you share your true self, which isn’t perfect, there is the main initial fear that you will be viewed differently, others will walk on egg shells when they speak or interact with you.
In her words, if there is no authenticity, there is never an opportunity to build trust and with an eating disorder, there is always an underlying issue; if you can’t trust or feel like you are in a safe space then authenticity will not exist. They go hand in hand which ultimately isolates a person with mental illness or an eating disorder, never feeling like they can be an accurate depiction of themselves.
Lauren’s mission is to provide a trusting community of support and empowerment for those who suffer from eating disorders and mental illness.
She also wishes to provide education to those who have been misguided on these issues and provide an open dialogue to break down the walls of stigma surrounding these disorders and to find connection through a loving, accepting, and safe space so others will no longer have to hide behind their disorders so they can live their life freely as their vulnerable and authentic selves.