Body Image & Eating Disorder Awareness Week | Eating Disorders Victoria
Home ~ Get involved ~ BIEDAW


Home ~ Get involved ~ BIEDAW

This page contains information about Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week (BIEDAW). BIEDAW is a national awareness week in Australia and is celebrated during the first week of September each year.

Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week at EDV


Respect is described as ‘politeness, honour, and care shown towards someone or something that is considered important.’ (Cambridge Dictionary)

This BIEDAW we are calling on the community to acknowledge that all bodies are important, and all bodies deserve politeness, honour and care from ourselves and from others. This is true in all circumstances, but particularly in spaces where people are affected by eating disorders.

Why is Respecting All Bodies so important?

Learning to respect your body is a key component of recovery from an eating disorder and the foundation for an ongoing healthy relationship with your body. This also extends to how we respect other people’s bodies, and calls on all of us to be advocates for inclusion and diversity in the eating disorder space.

We acknowledge the broad range of factors that can impact a person’s ability to feel respectful of their own and other’s bodies, including but not limited to, appearance ideals, patriarchy, weight stigma, racism, poverty, classism and homophobia. We believe that when we understand how these factors may intersect with our own personal experience and the way we perceive others, we are better placed to begin the journey to respecting all bodies. We will be bringing attention to a number of these factors during BEIDAW this year

Show your support for BIEDAW in 3 key ways:

1. Reject diet culture

Diet culture refers to the prominent belief that small/thin bodies are more valuable. It often involves a pre-occupation with dieting and exercise to alter body size, and can extend to cosmetic procedures to achieve these goals. Failing to adhere to the standards of diet culture can cause anxiety, shame, worthlessness and in some cases, eating disorders. It can be hard to disentangle yourself from diet culture because it can be everywhere, from movies, TV, social media, advertisements, to health professional advice, family and social beliefs.

Our friends at The Butterfly Foundation are sharing a lots of information and resources about diet culture during BIEDAW 2021. 

  • Say ‘no’ to fad diets. Dieting is the single biggest behavioural risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Research also shows that 95% of diets do not work!
  • Remove moral value from food. Think about how you speak about food – do you talk about being ‘naughty’ or ‘cheating’ with food? There’s no such things as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. Food is food!
  • Stop following people on social media who promote diet culture or make you feel like you need to change your body (even if this is disguised as ‘wellness’!). Take the time to reflect on how you feel after viewing content, and take steps to unfollow, mute or not search for that content anymore.
  • Embrace body neutrality. You don’t have to love your body. Work towards acknowledging and accepting the way your body is.
  • Re-frame the way you think about exercise. Engage in movement that brings you joy. Exercise should never be about punishment, burning calories or ‘earning’ food. Check out this fantastic article on this topic written by EDV team member Rachel and published on Mamamia.


2. Support the diversity of people that are impacted by eating disorders

We can all work to support the diversity of the eating disorder experience. We know that eating disorders do not discriminate, and occur in people of all body shapes, sizes and abilities.

  • Start with yourself. If you feel like you don’t fit in with the stereotypical narrative around eating disorders, it’s important to show yourself compassion. Your experience is just as valid as anyone else’s, and you deserve the full support of the health system, your family and community. It’s not up to you to change the system, but you can reclaim dignity and truth in your own experience.
  • For others who may not face these additional barriers to recognition or care, you can be an advocate and ally for all people with eating disorders. This may involve dismantling your own internal biases (such as weight stigma).
  • Educate family and friends about the diversity of people who experience eating disorders. A great way to begin is by explaining that you can’t tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them. Many people are surprised by this as they assume eating disorders have a ‘look’. Educate yourself in more detail on eating disorders here.


3. Embrace and advocate for Health at Every Size principles

What is Health at Every Size (HAES®)? Here is the definition from HAES® Australia:

“The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) and HAES Australia Inc affirm a holistic definition of health, which cannot be characterized as simply the absence of physical or mental illness, limitation, or disease. Rather, health exists on a continuum that varies with time and circumstance for each individual. Health should be conceived as a resource or capacity available to all regardless of health condition or ability level, and not as an outcome or objective of living. Pursuing health is neither a moral imperative nor an individual obligation, and health status should never be used to judge, oppress, or determine the value of an individual.”

HAE® is a transformative, and to some people, quite radical approach to health. At EDV, we believe that embracing HAES® principles across the health care system will result in better health outcomes for people with eating disorders.

We know that understanding HAES® and becoming an advocate takes time. If you are new to HAES®, we encourage you to use BEIDAW as a catalyst to begin to understand this approach to health. We’ll be providing some education on HAES throughout BIEDAW 2021, but encourage you to do your own learning through some of great resources available below:

What's on at EDV for BIEDAW 2021

Health at Every Size: The Bigger Picture
– free educational webinar for health professionals. Join Australia’s leading HAES® clinicians and advocates for a special webinar in support of BIEDAW 2021.

WHEN: Wednesday September 8th 2021
TIME: 7PM – 8.30PM
WHERE: Online via Zoom
COST: Free, with the option to add a donation to EDV

EDV is proud to be presenting this webinar along with our Eating Disorders Alliance Australia colleagues from The Butterfly Foundation, Eating Disorders Queensland and Eating Disorders Families Australia.

More details and to register:

Online Recovery Yoga – join EDV’s Wellbeing Coordinator and yoga practitioner Amy Woods for a gentle online yoga class. The class will be themed around this year’s focus of BEIDAW – Respecting All Bodies

WHEN: Thursday Sept 9th 2021
TIME: 10am – 11am
WHERE: Online via Zoom
COST: Free, with the option to add a donation to EDV

More details and to register: 

Follow us online

Lived experience perspectives and advocacy resources will be shared all week on our social media, plus an Instagram QnA with @flourishingjessie. Make sure you’re following us on Instagram, facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for all of our updates during the week.

Resources for BIEDAW

Media Release: Eating Disorders Alliance Australia

The Eating Disorders Alliance Australia joins forces to celebrate Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2021.


Social media tile – Eating Disorders Alliance Australia


EDV social media tile – Respecting all Bodies


Poster set – Body Respect Zone

Side 1: Body Respect Zone poster for kids

Download side 1

Side 2: Tips for creating a Body Respect Zone for adults

Download side 2
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