Artist and actress Jenna Rose Simon along with Lilly and Stacey Ketchman (Dance Moms) have collaborated in order to raise awareness of eating disorders by making available uniquely designed products by Jenna in order to support Project Heal.
Jenna and Stacey took the time from their schedules to talk with The Nerdy Girl Express about Project Heal’s mission. Jenna also discusses her design for the new cell phone cover. Read below to learn more.
Jenna Rose Simon:
Can you tell us a little about the mission of Project Heal?
“Project Heal is an organization that helps raise money for individuals diagnosed with eating disorders who cannot afford treatment.”
Why you feel this organization is so important and should be supported?
“So many organizations in the world aim to raise awareness for eating disorders and do an amazing job of that, but Project Heal is one of the very few that actually puts money directly in the hands of sufferers in need. It is still an organization that raises awareness for eating disorders, but they are able to help patients truly get well when they otherwise might not have been able to.”
You have been very vocal about your own struggles and recovery from an eating disorder. Your exquisite art speaks to finding and retaining one’s voice as a tool to fight mental and verbal abuse. Tell us how you hope that your latest project will raise awareness and funds for Project Heal?
“Stacey came to me and wanted to try to mesh mine and Lilly’s talents to help raise awareness for eating disorders. She said she’d been trying to use Lilly’s platform in a positive way for a while, and since she’d worked on an eating disorder unit years ago, this may be a good fit. I’ve developed a platform myself with my art, but it’s not of the quantity that Lilly has. My hope in partnering together is that we can raise more awareness, especially with a population of individuals who are more susceptible to the disorder. So many of Lilly’s followers are dancers, and they look up to her. I hope that drawing her in a positive light (like I did with the new phone cases we are launching) will help inspire her followers to be strong, confident and love themselves.”
Any other thoughts you would like to add about Project Heal?
“It is the best organization I have come across to date. I did an interview with them a year ago about my art and just fell in love with the mission and the way the whole system works. I hope your readers will help me help Project Heal!”
“I decided on phone covers this time because so many people use them, especially kids. I felt like it was a product that people would be interested in, and therefore may result in more sales and more money donated. The message on the case is “Love Yourself” and features a drawing I did of Lilly drawing a heart on herself. I feel like it’s a message everyone can feel connected to. We all want to feel love and affection, and the only thing we can control is the love we give to ourselves. It’s a message to treat yourself in a positive manner, and I think we can all look at a message like that and feel good.”
You’re a psychologist. How did you become acquainted with Project Heal?
“I became aware of the organization through Jenna. I have experience working with patients with Eating Disorders and I know how important proper treatment is in terms of prognosis. I am really happy to support an organization that assists individuals who have difficulty affording treatment. Treatment is necessary, and often vital.”
Your daughter Lily is well-known from her participation on Dance Moms. As a parent and psychologist, what challenges do you feel young people face when it comes to issues regarding body image?
“Young people are overwhelmed nowadays with images of “the perfect body.” They are often unaware of the editing these images undergo before being made public. As a result, they are often striving for the impossible instead of accepting and loving themselves as they are. Dancers are even more susceptible to body image issues as there is extreme attention of their bodies at all times. They wear tight fitting clothing and spend almost all of their time in front of a mirror where they can easily criticize themselves. I think it is important to make it clear to all dancers, and all young people, that there is no “perfect body.”
You’ve partnered with actress and artist Jenna Rose Simon on a campaign to benefit Project Heal. How did you become involved with this campaign?
“For a long time, I had been brainstorming ways to use Lilly’s social media in a positive way. When I saw Jenna’s art and the focus on trauma and eating disorders, I thought of my background in psychology along with Lilly being a dancer, I thought this was the perfect collaboration. We are aiming to raise money for Project Heal, but also to raise awareness to her followers, who are mostly dancers and are more prone to body image issues.”
As a parent, why do you feel an organization like Project Heal is so important?
“Simply put…if my child was suffering with an eating disorder, and I couldn’t afford treatment, I would be glad that Project Heal was there to help.”
To purchase Love Yourself products, check out the website:
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