Submitted. The Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign has just released a poster that will be distributed to a number of libraries, mental health centres, and other locations across the Province with the phrase, Your Weight is Not Your Worth.
Pictured at right: Gillian Berry: photo by Nik West
Gillian Berry, a teacher at Cowichan Secondary School, Quamichan Campus, and owner of wild blossom studios, designed the poster.
“The design process was an interesting one,” said Berry via email, “because I was not working from a blank canvas. I was given a few parameters such as ‘Your weight is not your worth’ and asked to create some sort of graphic to enhance its meaning. Initially, I played around with words and simple graphics, like hearts, to explore a design for the poster. For a number of days I was trying to find deeper symbols and meaningful ways to represent ‘weight and worth’. I thought of things like fishing and how a fish’s weight determines its worth, to other sayings like ‘you’re worth your weight in gold’. I was thinking too much and needed to let go of the thoughts, and just draw something.”
Berry’s mission through wild blossom studios is about about sharing inspiration through stationery, other art forms, and inspirational posts to ‘be you, express yourself’.
“It parallels my work at school, hoping to inspire students both to be and express themselves, in little and big steps,” she said via email. “So often we hold ourselves back from who we really are, especially in the teen years when we want to fit in for fear of ridicule and being different. When students open up and start projects that they love, there is so much growth and passion that comes alive in them. It’s not an easy road, but this is where I want to support, and encourage them, to carry on.”
Berry’s design for the PEDAW poster features a scale as the central image with a twist: instead of pointing to a number, it points to and highlights the word, ‘irrelevant,’ complementing the theme of the poster.
“Students are inspired when teachers/counsellors model what they’re passionate about. I want to be someone who expresses creatively and encourages students to do the same, as the arts are very important to me. “
PEDAW is a BC Province wide effort to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders as well as media literacy, resiliency, building healthy body image and self-esteem. The initiative is led by Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Prevention Program at Family Services of the North Shore in collaboration with Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, Looking Glass Foundation, St. Paul ’s Specialized Adult Eating Disorder Program, BC Children’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program, Healthy Minds, Healthy Campuses and Project True. PEDAW is launched the first full week in February with activities and events taking place throughout the year.