Eating Disorders and Body Image: Christina Grasso’s Struggle
by Abbey DiDonato, Taylor Friedman, Maria Gonzalez
Christina Grasso was a junior in college when her anorexia was at its worst. Frail, weak, and suffering from heart problems, she was afraid to lock the door to her dorm room at night. “I would go to bed and say my prayers that I would wake up in the morning,” she said.
According to a study by North Dakota State University, eating disorders plague the lives of both men and women on a daily basis, affecting up to 24 million individuals in America alone. Around 90 percent of those who have an eating disorder are women between the ages of 12 and 25. Additionally, the average female is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds, while the average model is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 117 pounds.
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Christina Grasso fell victim to anorexia, but is working to beat the disease. As a young woman living in New York City and pursuing a career in fashion, Christina understands the hardships of working in an industry that emphasizes a thin frame. She knows how dangerous this influence over body image can be to her health.
Over the course of her battle with anorexia, Christina has been hospitalized multiple times.
But despite life-threatening consequences, some positive has come from her disease.
Christina continues to fight anorexia by sharing her story and helping those facing similar situations. In 2012, she founded the New York City Chapter of Project HEAL, which helps raise funds to provide treatment scholarships to those suffering from eating disorders.
Now, Christina has handed over the reigns and currently works as the project’s Celebrity Relations and Social Media Manager. She hopes to “diminish the shame associated with eating disorders and create an open dialogue for those affected.” Helping others is part of Christina’s own recovery process, however, her main goal is to provide as many individuals as possible with life-saving treatment.