A province-wide mural contest held by the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign and the Vancouver Graffiti Management Team has just announced the top three winners.
The contest explored the question, What does love our bodies, love ourselves mean to you?
Vancouver resident Jessica Terezakis placed first. Terezakis’s art will be painted on a container mural in Vancouver by a professional lead artist. Her art will also be displayed at the October 2014 Eating Disorders Association of Canada (EDAC) Conference taking place in Vancouver, and she will receive free admission to the EDAC Pre-Conference, October 5, 2014.
In a description submitted with her artwork, Terezakis said: "The cage bars represent the confines of our histories, cultures, and lies that the eating disorder has created to keep our authentic selves imprisoned. Only when we willingly open the cage door will we really learn to love our bodies and love ourselves.”
As the second place winner, Megan from Prince George, will have her art displayed at the October 2014 Eating Disorders Association of Canada (EDAC) Conference taking place in Vancouver and will receive free admission to the EDAC Pre-Conference, October 5, 2014.
"To me,” wrote Megan in a description with her artwork, "love my body extends across all ages, shapes, sizes and points in life.”
Her illustrations include a number of subjects: grandmother, best friends, a man, a teen mother and child, and a pregnant woman, each with an accompanying narrative. In Megan's words:
"Grandmother: Aged. A lifetime is on her shoulders. Has kids and grandchildren. Grew up in the depression where food was hard to come by. Now, after years of ready food, sees herself as no longer thin and smooth but as old, drooped and wrinkled. But she has a heart of gold. Her grandchildren love to bake with her and this helps give her purpose. It is her strong skilled hands that teach them how to kneed dough and form perfect buns. She loves that she can love.
Best Friends: Same age. Different body types. Neither girl is upset or stressed. They both stand tall and look forward to their future as the other girl guards her back for her. Both women are equally confident.
Man: Thinks he is slowly gaining a gut. He is not fat. He makes jokes about himself being obese so that people will automatically reassure him that he is not. He is looking past that and has come to love his grey shirt because he thinks it shows off his muscles. His friends love him for his humour.
Teen Mother and Child: She is 16. Her stomach has stretch marks that no one else in her high school has. Her hips are wider since childbirth so she no longer fits her favorite jeans. But she wouldn't exchange her baby for anything in the world. Her child grabs at some excess skin but when she looks down into their big eyes she smiles and knows that she is perfectly content.
Pregnant Woman: She planned her pregnancy. Her changing body shape is confusing and frustrating but also very interesting. When she hears the fetus hiccup it makes her laugh and when a foot kicks against her stomach she is fascinated by the feel. Her family and friends say, 'You're looking great! You're simply glowing!' She beams but also knows that she is confident on her own and is ready to raise her baby to be the best that it can be just like her mother did for her."
Amy Guenther of Abbotsford placed third with her submission and will have her art displayed at the October 2014 Eating Disorders Association of Canada (EDAC) Conference taking place in Vancouver and will receive free admission to the EDAC Pre-Conference, October 5, 2014.
In a description submitted with her artwork, Guenther said:
"Self-image is not just about looking in the mirror and not hating your reflection. Having a good self-image is about opening your mind to see your potential in life, seeing the beauty inside and outside of you. We are here on purpose and for a purpose, we are the hope and beauty of tomorrow. I believe that my painting illustrates how we can surround ourselves with positivity to overcome any darkness. The colors and chaos surrounding my character show the beauty you can see in yourself when you search to find it. We must accept our individuality, and in doing so embrace every flaw that makes us who we are! It is in the chaos of our minds that we find perfection. Beautiful perfection is not about society’s standards; it is about valuing our individuality.”
The Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign is a BC Province wide effort to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders as well as media literacy, resiliency, building healthy body image and self-esteem. The initiative is led by Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Prevention Program at Family Services of the North Shore in collaboration with Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, Looking Glass Foundation, St. Paul ’s Specialized Adult Eating Disorder Program, BC Children’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program, Healthy Minds, Healthy Campuses and Project True. PEDAW is launched the first full week in February with activities and events taking place throughout the year.
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