National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

February 23, 2012 1:54:12 PM PST
We have a question for the ladies. Do you feel comfortable going to work or out for the entire day without makeup?

A new local survey shows many women do not. But the Renfrew Center is asking women to do just that -- go without makeup -- this on Monday as part of an effort to promote positive self image and inner beauty.

Twenty-nine-year-old Aimee Gilmore now wears half the amount of makeup she used to wear. She feels comfortable in her own skin thanks to treatment she received at the Renfrew Center.

But Aimee says she struggled in high school and got worse in college.

"I was so unsure of myself and I felt so badly about the way I looked," Gilmore says, "I never felt good enough."

To hide her feelings inside, she says she wore a lot makeup. Her negative feelings also lead her to over-exercise and restrict calories. It turned into a full-blown eating disorder that controlled her life for five years.

Leslie Toomer of the Renfrew Center says makeup is not a red flag for an impending eating disorder but "what I can say is that young women who begin to wear makeup to mask insecurities or blanket some type of emotional issue they may be having can develop negative body image."

So to promote healthy body image, the Renfrew Center has launched the "Barefaced and Beautiful, Without and Within" campaign. On Monday, February 27th women are asked to go without makeup and post pictures on social media sites.

"We hope to create a dialogue about body image, self esteem and self acceptance and to also a greater understanding that real beauty is developed within," Toomer says.

It's a message Aimee now truly believes. She's overcome her eating disorder, is now happily married and living her dream: She's become an artist.

"I feel amazing, I feel like my life is just beginning again."