‘Top Model’ becomes model spokesperson for National Eating Disorders Association

America’s Next Top Model Winner Whitney Thompson Joins NEDA’s Mission to Promote Positive Body Image and Awareness of Eating Disorders. National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Feb. 21-27th.

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LOS ANGELES, CA, February 11, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ — Whitney Thompson, winner of Cycle 10, America’s Next Top Model – and the show’s first “full-figured” victor – has become an official ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), joining the battle against eating disorders and unrealistic “body-perfect” ideals.

Selected by MSNBC as one of 2008’s “12 Most Influential Women of the Year,” Thompson has graced the covers of numerous magazines including Seventeen and Plus. Now under contract with the prestigious Wilhelmina Model Management, she has been a spokesperson for Cover Girl Cosmetics, Fashion Bug Right Fit Jeans and Olitsky Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry, and has modeled for Forever 21, J.C. Penney, Saks Fifth Avenue and Woman Within, among others. She was also a spokesperson for Multiple Sclerosis in 2009 and is a motivational speaker for the promotion of positive body image.

Commented Thompson, “I am thrilled to be an ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association. Since winning Top Model, I have heard from thousands of people all over the world who are dealing with eating disorders. I want to support those people affected and their families and I want to help people identify and resist the social stereotypes and images that lead to unhealthy behavioral patterns.”

Commented Lynn Grefe, CEO of NEDA. “We welcome the enthusiasm and energy of Whitney to our cause and the ability of her celebrity to bring a spotlight to a very serious and deadly subject. It is a particular concern within the modeling and fashion industries and the support of Whitney and our other ambassadors are key to changing the way people think about body image.”

Thompson joins other NEDA Ambassadors Emme, supermodel, TV personality, author and women’s advocate; fashion designer Bradley Bayou; celebrity jewelry designer Elizabeth Showers; actress Karla Mosley (Guiding Light); former professional tennis player Zina Garrison; motivational speaker and author Jenni Schaefer; author, documentarian and social theorist Jean Kilbourne, Ed. D.; “actionist,” author and advice columnist Jessica Weiner; personal life coach Kristen Moeller; and Matan Uziel, senior executive of Israeli modeling agency Verbmodels and founder of Warmhome Media Group, an international advertising network.

The announcement comes just prior to observance of the 23rd annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Feb. 21-27, and Thompson is supporting the outreach with motivational speaking engagements on college campuses across the country. Additionally, Thompson recently launched Supermodel (www.shopsupermodel.com), a line of scented, soy-based massage oil candles and jewelry, and has committed $1 from each sale as a donation to NEDA.

Themed “It’s Time to Talk About it!” this year, NEDAwareness Week is the non-profit group’s largest public outreach campaign, held each year to raise consciousness across the country about the potentially life-threatening seriousness of eating disorders and the societal pressures, attitudes and behaviors which contribute to them. Also to spread a message of hope: Help is available, recovery is possible and those affected are not alone in their struggle!

Continues Grefe, “It really is time to talk about eating disorders, because people die, with anorexia having the highest death rate of any mental illness. You wouldn’t be ashamed of developing asthma, diabetes, cancer or hundreds of other medical conditions. The sooner we get people to talk about it, the sooner we can get people to the help they need. It is necessary to educate upcoming generations about the issues that surround and lead to eating disorders. And to do that, we also need to address the societal pressures and the unrealistic images we are bombarded with in the media that have been irrefutably and scientifically proven a contributing factor among people who develop eating disorders, depression and other esteem issues.”

NEDAwareness Week 2010 is already generating interest nationwide, with volunteers coordinating events throughout the country using their local media muscle to spread the word about eating disorders. During this week, hundreds of events will be held in communities coast to coast, offering an opportunity for people to gather information and learn how to support those with eating disorders.

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