New Campaign Promotes Body Image Acceptance and Emphasizes the Power of Influence

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National eating disorder week begins February 22nd, a new awareness campaign, Real Body Story ( promotes externalizing body image contentment to break the cycle of disease.

A professor trying to turn a tragedy into a triumph is raising awareness about the influence mothers, sisters and peers have on body image. The Real Body Story campaign is targeted to women of all ages asking, "Without saying a word, what message are we communicating about body image acceptance?" The timely launch of Real Body Story ( addresses a nation largely preoccupied with body image perfection.

Aesthetic plastic surgery is gaining popularity and changing the look of our culture. In 2007, 11.7 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States and Americans spent $413.2 billion on aesthetic plastic surgery. Today more than 10 million females struggle with eating disorders trying to obtain the perfect body. Researchers believe "children will be less likely to inherit disordered behaviors if parents refrain from externalizing their own body image discontent." And sadly, children as young as six exhibit signs of body image dissatisfaction. Real Body Story's mission is to disseminate information about a woman's influence on body image and to encourage women to share their Real Body Story. The aim of the campaign is to embolden women--- because a Real Body Story is a powerful legacy.

"I learned the hard way; I regret the time spent preoccupied with perfection, trying to reach that ideal image that can never be attained. I know my children are watching now and it's important for me to break the cycle of dis-ease," said Christy Magnani, founder of Real Body Story.

Magnani, a college professor and mother of two daughters, created Real Body Story while helplessly watching her sister's life or death struggle with anorexia. Her sister revealed she learned how to be an anorexic 18 years ago by mimicking Magnani's disordered behavior. Determined to share the story, Magnani hopes the message about influence resonates with every woman. Today her sister's health remains in serious condition and family and doctors fear for the inevitable end to the anorexic's life.

"If only I knew then what I know now, I may have made better choices about the message I was sending to my sister about body image acceptance. I didn't realize my reckless preoccupation and behavior was being imitated by a sister who only knew how to look up to me," reflects Magnani, "Real Body Story is my way of making something positive come from a very depressing and seemingly hopeless situation."

"Our sisters, our daughters, our peers are the imitators and it's time to give them something healthy to imitate." To learn more about Real Body Story or to share a story visit

Christy Magnani
Real Body Story
(916) 233-8821
christy @


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