I Met Iskra Lawerence While Walking for a Cause

A few years ago, Aerie began their No Retouching campaign. They featured a model, Iskra Lawerence, who did not quite look like your average model. She has a beautiful, curvy figure. Aerie does not even retouch her cellulite or stretch marks. I remember the first day Aerie posted her picture. I followed her, because her body is very similarly built to mine, and I liked that Aerie was using her to represent their company. Ever since then, Iskra has been an inspiration to me, and last Sunday, I got to meet her. 

A friend of mine encouraged me to sign up for West Chester's NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) Walk. I have had friends treated for eating disorders before. I advocate for body positivity and therefore idolize companies such as Aerie for promoting this as well. I also love organizations such as NEDA that help and encourage those who struggle with body image issues. I decided to sign up for the walk and as it turned out, Iskra was going to be there as well! 

The day of the walk ended up being a total washout. It was pouring all day. Despite the cold, dreary weather, the event itself was bright and beautiful. There were tables of different organizations set up. These organizations were associated with eating disorders in some way. I was registered to walk with the team Step Into Growth. Step Into Growth is a self -acceptance and mental health blog. My friend Jordan, the one who encouraged me to walk, is the content creator for this blog. Her friend, Shelby, is one of the co-founders of the blog. Another Step Into Growth team member, Gracie, spoke along with Iskra. Iskra's talk was uplifting and encouraging, and Gracie's testimony was beautiful to listen to. After the enlightening talks, we participated in the walk. We walked through the pouring rain and it was incredible. After we finished, we got to meet Iskra. She's even more beautiful in person and just radiates positivity. She even told me my leggings looked great on me and said she had the same pair (they were from Aerie) and we then chatted about Aerie's clothing for a bit. She was super sweet and kind. After the day was over, I felt so uplifted. I had met so many wonderful people and promoted a great cause. 


Eating is something I have always had a rocky relationship with. While I've never had an eating disorder, I struggle with feeling guilty after eating sometimes and feeling anxious when I can't make it to the gym. It hasn't been until recently that I have become stronger both mentally and physically. I love working out; I run, lift, go to ab classes, and even do Crossfit once in a while. I also love food, but I try to make my choices as healthy as possible without becoming obsessive. The NEDA walk really uplifted my spirits and I've found myself even more clear-headed this past week than I have in a while. 

NEDA is an amazing organization that has helped so many recover from eating disorders. Companies that promote body positivity such as Aerie help those who struggle with body image issues by portraying models such as Iskra and other beautiful women as well. I would encourage anybody to register for a NEDA walk (and meet Iskra if ever given the opportunity).