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Michigan Artists Collaborate to Tackle Eating Disorders

by Lisa Diggs

Michigan native, and star of the MTV original comedy Awkward, Jillian Rose Reed is taking on a new project that aims to use art as a means of unmasking the stigma associated with eating disorders.

The global campaign is called Breaking The Chains, and Reed is a celebrity spokesperson for the initiative.

Founded and created in 2012 by another native Michigander, Debra Hopkins, Breaking The Chains is launching its first artistic project, an "Alice in Wonderland"-themed music video starring Reed. The song, entitled My Worst Enemy, includes lyrics drawn directly from Hopkins’ personal journals written twenty five years ago as the former dancer suffered from disordered eating herself. She is not alone.

In a nation obsessed with appearance, it should come as no surprise that nearly 24 million Americans of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. In fact, more than 335,000 people in Michigan are said to have an eating disorder, and it may come as a surprise that nearly a third of that number are men.

Sadly, 95% of those afflicted are between the ages of 12 and 25, a demographic that is hopefully ideally suited to the project’s message of self-love, self-acceptance, and respect, being delivered by a young starlet.

A fundraising campaign is now underway to bring the project to fruition.  People interested in backing the initiative are asked to visit Indiegogo to watch a video detailing the project and to pledge financial support. Special perks are available to contributors ranging from copies of the video to a Skype session with its star.

In another Michigan twist, Reed is also teaming up with Nafas Fitness of Royal Oak. Owner, Janel Calka-Assaf, is hosting a health and fitness evening which will include free classes followed by refreshments and sharing stories. Attendees are asked to make a donation toward the campaign.

The fundraiser takes place August 9th, 2014 from 6:00pm-8:00pm

Schedule for the Evening

6:00pm – 6:30pm Booty Bunz Class,

6:30pm – 7:00pm Zumba Class, followed by refreshments & sharing stories

Nafas Fitness is at 811 N. Main, Suite 101, Royal Oak, MI 48072.


Photo by: Minh Bui, Styling by: The Style Brothers, Hair & Makeup by: Hallie Dunbar


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