Eating Disorder Hope: Portraits of An Eating Disorder

Shifting the Focus From Weight to Feelings

Australian-based photographer Jennifer Blau decided to take the focus off of appearance with eating disorder sufferers. She purposefully shot those who were at a societally acceptable “normal weight [1].”

Because eating disorders affect people at all shapes and sizes, Blau had a desire to tilt more on the message that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, as well as our feelings; society needs to be aware, educated, and sensitive to this message. Her exhibition is appropriately entitled “Just Ask Me How I Feel,” on display at Manly-Library [1].

Read the full blog at Eating Disorder Hope.

The Good Men Project: Interview with Nikki DuBose – An Inspiring Story of Survival and Advocacy

“Trauma survivors come from all walks of life, all over the world, and while each of us is a unique individual in our own right, our survivor stories are often very similar. It’s that similarity that helps us all connect, relate, and unite in a common goal of healing and awareness.
Those similarities were evident once again when I recently had the opportunity to speak with Abuse Survivor, Author, Advocate, and Ambassador, Nikki DuBose. It was such a privilege to spend some time talking with Nikki about not only her past; the abuse and trauma that she endured, but also about her advocacy work now and her amazing story of survival.”

Read the full interview with Matt and Nikki on The Good Men Project.

Not Broken Radio Show – EP 58 – How to Love Yourself with Nikki DuBose

Listen as Nikki DuBose shares with Host Brett Francis why she made the decision to leave her modeling career behind in 2012 (hint: it has a lot to do with self-love)!

 

Virtual Advocacy – Child Victims Act

Thank you for your dedication in protecting children from sexual abuse. In
the state of New York, 150 children are sexually abused every day, and outdated laws are doing nothing to help them. YOU can change that, but time is running out. The Assembly nearly unanimously voted in favor of the Child Victims Act, AND Governor Cuomo approved, but now we are urging the Senate to bring the Child Victim’s Act to the Floor for a YES Vote. 

You can get the Child Victims Act passed now!

  1. If you live in New York, click here to take action.
  2. If you live outside of New York, click here and make your voice heard! 

Again, thank you for joining us in the fight for justice.

Sincerely,

Nikki DuBose and Gary Greenberg

protectnykids.org 

Messaging for Advocates (Outside of New York)

Senator’s contact info!  

Messaging for Advocates Outside of New York

On Twitter

 

  1. .@LeaderFlanagan The Assembly Republicans passed the #childvictimsact. Kids now looking to Senate GOP for same.
  2. .@LeaderFlanagan Protecting children from sexual abuse is the right thing to do. Please vote YES for #ChildVictimsAct

 

Calling Script

Senator’s contact info!

 

“Hi, my name is______________. I’m calling to urge Senator _________ to pass the Child

Victims Act because __________________________. I don’t live in New York, but passing

this bill is that important because children everywhere deserve to be protected. Not only is the Child Victims Act critical

to protecting kids, but it saves the state an enormous amount of money in costs related to abuse. (Optional:

You can reach me at_________________). Thank you for your time and I look forward to

seeing the Child Victims Act being signed into law this year.”

  

+++Note: You can modify the script to make it more personal to you. We want to be careful not 

to attack any lawmakers, but try to persuade them with the message of protecting kids+++

 

 

By Email

Senator’s Contact Info! 

 

Dear Senator (Insert Last Name Here),

 

A few sentences explaining why protecting children is so important to you. This can also be a few sentences relating to your personal story.

The Child Victims Act is here to protect children. Children, who right now, are being sexually abused. Every year, the CDC reports that 43,000 children in the state of New York are sexually abused. These children grow up to become what we call survivors, which cost the state hundreds of thousands in costs due to mental health, emotional, educational and physical damage. Shouldn’t we take steps to not only protect children, but save New York a tremendous amount of money in preventative care?

 

Thank you for your time. I urge you to vote YES on the Child Victims Act. Kids are depending on your support!

 

Sincerely,

Your Name

Organization (if applicable)

 

 

 

By Mail

Senator’s Contact Info! 

Please refer to my advocacy page for letters of support.

++++Note: You need to change S809/Omnibus Child Victims Act to Child Victims Act. 

++++++Again, Senate mailing addresses can be found here. 

 

 

 

Senate List – Child Victims Act

Call, Write, Email and Urge these New York Senators on Social Media to PASS the Child Victims Act!

(D) Addabbo Joseph 159-53 102nd St. Howard Beach, NY 11414 (718) 738-1111 613 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2322 (518) 426-6875 addabbo@senate.state.ny.us
(R) Akshar Frederick 44 Hawley Street Room 1607 Binghamton, NY 13901 (607) 773-8771 805 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2677 (518) 426-6720 akshar@nysenate.gov
(D) Alcantara Marisol 5030 Broadway Suite 701 & 702 New York, NY 10034 (212) 544-0173 513 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2041 (518) 426-6847 alcantara@nysenate.gov
(R) Amedore George 721 Broadway Suite 100 Kingston, NY 12401 (845) 331-3810 802 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2350 (518) 426-6751 amedore@nysenate.gov Abuse @ guilderland school; voted no on floor in ’08 as an Assemblyman
(D) Avella Tony 38-50 Bell Boulevard Suite C Bayside, NY 11361 (718) 357-3094 902 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2210 (518) 426-6736 avella@nysenate.gov Support won’t co-sponsor
(D) Bailey Jamaal 959 East 233rd St. Bronx, NY 10466-3207 (718) 547-8854 707 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2061 (518) 426-6998 bailey@nysenate.gov
(R) Bonacic John 201 Dolson Avenue Suite F Middletown, NY 10940 (845) 344-3311 509 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3181 (518) 426-6948 bonacic@nysenate.gov
(R) Boyle Phil 69 W Main Street Suite B Bay Shore, NY 11706 (631)
665-2311 814 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3411 (518) 426-6973 pboyle@nysenate.gov voted yes on floor in ’08 as Assemblyman
(D) Breslin Neil 414 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2225 (518) 426-6807 breslin@senate.state.ny.us
(D) Brooks John 5550 Merrick Road Suite 205 Massapequa, NY 11758 (516) 882-0630 302 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2765 (518) 426-6925 brooks@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Carlucci David 20 South Main Street New City, NY 10956 (845) 623-3627 848 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2991 (518) 426-6737 carlucci@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Comrie Leroy 113-43 Farmers Boulevard St. Albans, NY 11412 (718) 454-0162 617 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2701 (518) 455-2816 comrie@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(R) Croci Tom 250 Veterans Memorial Highway NYS Office Building, Rm 3B-41 Hauppauge, NY 11788 (631) 360-3356 306 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3570 (518) 426-6741 croci@nysenate.gov
(R) DeFrancisco John 800 State Office Building 333 E. Washington Street Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 428-7632 416 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3511 (518) 426-6952 jdefranc@nysenate.gov Oppose Opposes the window
(D) Diaz Ruben 900 Rogers Place Bronx, NY 10459 (718) 991-3161 606 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2511 (518) 426-6945 diaz@senate.state.ny.us Oppose He’s given mixed signals to advocates, told the Leader he opposes
(D) Dilan Martin 573 Metropolitan Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 573-1726 711B Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2177 (518) 426-6947 dilan@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Felder Simcha 1412 Avenue J Suite 2E Brooklyn, NY 11230 (718) 253-2015 944 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2754 (518) 426-6931 felder@nysenate.gov Oppose Opposed to complete elimination of civil SOL and window; position could change if Flanagan supports a bill
(R) Flanagan John 260 Middle County Road Suite 102 Smithtown, NY 11787 (631) 361-2154 330 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2051 (518) 426-6904 Flanagan@nysenate.gov Oppose
(R) Funke Rich Packetts Landing Suite 230 Fairport, NY 14450 (585) 223-1800 905 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2215 (518) 426-6745 funke@nysenate.gov
(R) Gallivan Patrick 2721 Transit Road Suite 116 Elma, NY 14059 (716) 656-8544 947 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3471 (518) 426-6949 gallivan@nysenate.gov
(D) Gianaris Michael 31-19 Newtown Avenue Suite 402 Astoria, NY 11102 (718) 728-0960 413 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3486 (518) 426-6929 gianaris@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(R) Golden Martin 7408 5th Avenue 1st Floor Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 238-6044 409 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2730 (518) 426-6910 Golden@nysenate.gov
(R) Griffo Joseph 207 Genesee Street Room 408 Utica, NY 13501 (315) 793-9072 612 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3334 (518) 426-6921 griffo@nysenate.gov
(D) Hamilton Jesse 1669 Bedford Avenue 2nd Floor & Mezzanine Brooklyn, NY 11225 (718) 284-4700 608 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2431 (518) 426-6856 Hamilton@nysenate.gov
(R) Hannon Kemp 595 Stewart Ave. Suite 540 Garden City, NY 11530 (516) 739-1700 420 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2200 (518) 426-6954 hannon@nysenate.gov
(R) Helming Pamela 119 Fall St. Seneca Falls, NY 13148 (315) 568-9816 509 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2366 (518) 426-6953 helming@nysenate.gov
(D) Hoylman Brad 322 Eighth Avenue Suite 1700 New York, NY 10001 (212) 633-8052 413 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2451 (518) 426-6846 hoylman@nysenate.gov Support Bill Sponsor
(R) Jacobs Christopher 65 Court Street Rm 213 Buffalo, NY 14202 (716) 854-8705 946 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3240 (518) 426-6738 jacobs@nysenate.gov
(D) Kaminsky Todd 55 Front Street Room 1 Rockville Centre, NY 11570 (516) 766-8011 311 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3401 (518) 426-6914 kaminsky@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Kennedy Timothy 2239 South Park Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14220 (716) 826-2683 506 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2426 (518) 426-6851 kennedy@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Klein Jeffrey 1250 Waters Place Suite 1202 Bronx, NY 10461 (718) 822-2049 913 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3595 (518) 426-6887 jdklein@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(D) Krueger Liz 1850 Second Avenue New York, NY 10128 (212) 490-9535 808 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2297 (518) 426-6874 lkrueger@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(R) Lanza Andrew 3845 Richmond Avenue Suite 2A Staten Island, NY 10312 (718) 984-4073 708 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3215 (518) 426-6852 lanza@senate.state.ny.us Oppose Opposed to the window only
(R) Larkin William 1093 Little Britain Road New Windsor, NY 12553 (845) 567-1270 502 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2770 (518) 426-6923 larkin@senate.state.ny.us
(D) Latimer George 222 Grace Church Street Suite 300 Port Chester, NY 10573 (914) 934-5250 615 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2031 (518) 426-6860 latimer@nysenate.gov
(R) LaValle Kenneth 28 North Country Road Suite 203 Mount Sinai, NY 11766 (631) 473-1461 806 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3121 (518) 426-6826 lavalle@nysenate.gov
(R) Little Elizabeth 5 Warren Street Suite 3 Glens Falls, NY 12801 (518) 743-0968 310 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2811 (518) 426-6873 little@nysenate.gov
(R) Marcellino Carl 250 Townsend Square Oyster Bay, NY 11771 (516) 922-1811 811 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2390 (518) 426-6975 marcelli@senate.state.ny.us
(R) Marchione Kathleen 1 Halfmoon Town Plaza Halfmoon, NY 12065 (518) 371-2751 918 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2381 (518) 426-6985 marchione@nysenate.gov
(D) Montgomery Velmanette 30 Third Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 643-6140 903 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3451 (518) 426-6854 montgome@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(R) Murphy Terrence 40 Gleneida Avenue 3rd Floor Carmel, NY 10512 (845) 279-3773 817 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3111 (518) 426-6977 murphy@nysenate.gov
(R) O’Mara Thomas 105 East Steuben Street Bath, NY 14810 (607) 776-3201 307 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2091 (518) 426-6976 omara@nysenate.gov Oppose Opposes suing institutions; voted no in ’08 as an Assemblyman
(R) Ortt Robert 175 Walnut Street Suite 6 Lockport, NY 14094 (716) 434-0680 815 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2024 (518) 426-6987 ortt@nysenate.gov
(D) Parker Kevin 55 Hansen Place Suite 650 Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 629-6401 604 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2580 (518) 426-6843 parker@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Peralta Jose 32-37 Junction Boulevard East Elmhurst, NY 11369 (718) 205-3881 415 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2529 (518) 426-6909 jperalta@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Persaud Roxanne 1222 East 96th Street Brooklyn, NY 11236 (718) 649-7653 504 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2788 (518) 426-6806 persaud@nysenate.gov
(R) Phillips Elaine 252 Mineola Boulevard Mineola, NY 11501-2421 (516) 746-5924 915 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3265 (518) 426-6739 ephillips@nysenate.gov
(R) Ranzenhofer Michael 8203 Main Street Suite 4 Williamsville, NY 14221 (716) 631-8695 609 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3161 (518) 426-6963 ranz@senate.state.ny.us Oppose Staff said the senator doesn’t believe victims should be allowed to sue in civil court
(R) Ritchie Patty Dulles State Office Building Room 418 Watertown, NY 13601 (315) 782-3418 412 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3438 (518) 426-6740 ritchie@nysenate.gov
(D) Rivera Gustavo 2432 Grand Concouse Suite 506 Bronx, NY 10458 (718) 933-2034 408 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3395 (518) 426-6858 grivera@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(R) Robach Joseph 2300 West Ridge Road Rochester, NY 14626 (585) 225-3650 803 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2909 (518) 426-6938 robach@nysenate.gov
(D) Sanders James 142-01 Rockaway Blvd. South Ozone Park, NY 11436 (718) 523-3069 508 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3531 (518) 426-6859 sanders@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Savino Diane 36 Richmond Terrace Suite 112 Staten Island, NY 10301 (718) 727-9406 315 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2437 (518) 426-6943 savino@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(R) Serino Susan 4254 Albany Post Road Hyde Park, NY 12538 (845) 229-0106 812 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2945 (518) 426-6770 serino@nysenate.gov
(D) Serrano Jose 1916 Park Avenue Suite 202 New York, NY 10029 (212) 828-5829 406 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2795 (518) 426-6886 serrano@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(R) Seward James 41 South Main Street Oneonta, NY 13820 (607) 432-5524 430 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3131 (518) 455-3123 seward@nysenate.gov
(D) Squadron Daniel 250 Broadway Suite 2011 New York, NY 10013 (212) 298-5565 515 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2625 (518) 426-6956 squadron@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Stavisky Toby 142-29 37th Ave Suite 1 Flushing, NY 11354 (718) 445-0004 706 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3461 (518) 426-6857 stavisky@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Stewart-Cousins Andrea 28 Wells Avenue Building 3 Yonkers, NY 10701 (914) 423-4031 907 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2585 (518) 426-6811 scousins@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(R) Tedisco James 636 Plank Rd. 1st Floor Clifton Park , NY 12065-2046 (518) 885-1829 711 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2181 (518) 426-6821 tedisco@nysenate.gov Voted no in “08 as an Assemblyman
(NA) Vacant Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247
S D Valesky David 805 State Office Building 333 East Washington Street Syracuse, New York 13202 (315) 478-8745 512 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2838 (518) 426-6885 valesky@senate.state.ny.us
(R) Young Catharine 700 West State Street Westgate Plaza Olean, NY 14760 (716) 372-4901 428 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3563 (518) 426-6905 cyoung@senate.state.ny.us Oppose Opposes the window; voted yes on floor as Assembly Woman in ’08

Ex-state senator hired by Boy Scouts to lobby against Child Victims Act shows Albany swamp needs draining

When you’re a crook, there are no limits to the depths you will go to cover up your filth. Just ask most of the New York politicians, including former Senator Craig Johnson, who is a key ally and fundraising partner for the Independent Democratic Conference, led by Senator Jeff Klein.

Read the full article on NY Daily News.

Podcast: Surviving My Past with Nikki DuBose

Listen to the inspiring podcast!

Trauma survivors come from all walks of life, all over the world, and while each of us are unique individuals in our own right, our survivor stories is often very similar. It’s that similarity that helps us all connect, relate, and unite in a common goal of healing and awareness.

Those similarities were evident once again, when I recently had the opportunity to speak with Abuse Survivor, Author, Advocate, and Ambassador, Nikki DuBose. It was such a privilege to spend some time talking with Nikki about not only her past; the abuse and trauma that she endured, but also about her advocacy work now and her amazing story of survival.

As a former model, Nikki has spent time in the public spotlight, living and working all over the world, but at the same time, also hiding a secret of a traumatic past that she could not escape.

More on Nikki’s story here.

 

Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) Urges Commonwealth Club to Cancel Whole Foods CEO Appearance

A consortium of anti-sexual violence groups led by Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) has asked the Commonwealth Club of California to cancel the appearance of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, scheduled for May 1. Mackey is set to appear at the Cubberley Theatre in Palo Alto, in conversation with Dr. Dean Ornish.​

Read more on The Digital Journal.

Addiction Hope: Q & A with Author Nikki DuBose on Addiction

Author Nikki DuBose of Washed Away: From Darkness to Light was recently interviewed on addiction and recovery. Here she offers a recap on everything from when her addiction began to how to help a loved one who may be suffering.

1. Can you pinpoint when your problems with addiction began?

I was wired for addiction – my mother had bipolar and dissociative identity disorder and her mother (she was adopted) died from cirrhosis of the liver as a result of alcoholism.

Read the full article on Addiction Hope. 

Nikki DuBose Challenges Whole Foods

Former model turned author and activist Nikki DuBose, was in San Francisco to challenge Whole Foods Co-CEO John Mackey to stand up for child sexual abuse survivors and speak about her role in the Omnibus Child Victims Act in the state of New York.

Pick up Nikki’s book Washed Away: From Darkness to Light on Amazon.

PsychCentral: Whole Foods Fails to Help Consumers, Not Truly Conscious

“What will matter 100 years from now: Your organic fruit, or the fact that you chose not to stand up for children who have been sexually abused?” That was the question I posed to Whole Foods Market executives on Tuesday, February 28th, at the Omni Hotel in downtown San Francisco. Myself along with other key business leaders, anti-animal abuse organizations and child sexual abuse advocates, came together that day to encourage Co-CEO John Mackey to disavow his relationship from alleged child sexual abuser Marc Gaffni.

Read the full post on PsychCentral.

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) – 1565

Listen to the podcast with Nikki and Bill Murray here.

Tonight’s special guest is Nikki DuBose from Los Angeles, a returning NAASCA family member who was abused as a child and later as a young professional model. Nikki works closely with Matt Sandusky at the ‘Peaceful Hearts Foundation,’ and will tell us about her new book, ‘Washed Away: From Darkness to Light.’ In her memoir, Nikki details how being sexually abused as a child led to a seventeen-year battle with serious mental health issues such as eating disorders, depression, self-harm, substance abuse and sexual addictions. She experienced a great deal of success, yet that prosperity came with a high price that often mirrored the sexual abuse from her youth. Among other things, Nikki advocates on her web site for better regulation of the modeling industry. Coming to a place of full healing has not been easy for Nikki, but she says, “I wholeheartedly believe that full recovery is possible. It starts with speaking out and reducing the shame and stigma that is so often attached to mental health issues.” She goes on, “Being an advocate is what allows me to wake up every day and feel truly alive. All of that pain that I lived with for so many years is now channeled into making a difference in society. Whatever issues you’re passionate about, use your voice and the resources you have; love yourself first and from there you can help to change the world.” We’re delighted to have Nikki as a card-carrying member of the NAASCA family!

NEDA: From Suffering to Triumph: How I Overcame PTSD

It is a widely-known, yet little-talked-about fact that trauma in childhood can lead to the development of unhealthy and potentially-fatal coping behaviors such as eating disorders. Until a few years ago, I never spoke a word about the abuse that I had endured in my household, as well as the disordered behaviors I lived with for most of my life as a result.

That all changed when I left my high-profile modeling career, got a mentor, went through recovery, and began writing. Once I started writing, it was as if I had blown the cap off a lid of a tightly-sealed bottle of explosives; all of my memories shattered onto the keyboard, and I couldn’t stop writing about them.

Read the full post at National Eating Disorders Association.

BodyMatters Australia – Meet Nikki DuBose: Former Model, Author, Speaker and Mental Health Advocate

Trigger warning: Descriptions of eating disordered behaviour and abuse.

In December last year we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with the lovely Nikki DuBose about her recent memoir Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, her experiences in the modelling industry, her current advocacy work and her inspiring path to recovery from an eating disorder.

Read the full interview at BodyMatters Australia.

Novella Magazine: NIKKI DUBOSE ON MODELING, MENTAL HEALTH, AND POLITICS

Nikki DuBose is a former model turned author who is nothing short of a superhero. Nikki released her memoir Washed Away: From Darkness to Light in September of 2016 in which she reveals her journey to self-care. As an advocate for mental health, Nikki is a Celebrity Ambassador for The Shaw Mind Foundation, and has worked with assembly members such as Marc Levine on addressing the need for updated workplace protections within the modeling industry.

We had the opportunity to speak with Nikki about some of the work she has been doing, her journey to get there, and what is next to come.

Read the full interview online at Novella Magazine.

Donovan’s Literary Services Review of Washed Away

Model and author Nikki DuBose struggled with a variety of mental health issues for nearly twenty years; all while forging a career in the demanding fashion industry. Her problems began in childhood, where she was emotionally and sexually abused, and as patterns of self-abuse influenced her choices and progress in life, she found her self in a puzzling juxtaposition between success and failure as she worked as a TV host and began her modeling career.
While on the surface she appeared to be successful, traveling the world and leading a life that seemed enviable, in reality her struggles with PTSD, eating disorders, and mental and physical challenges were never-ending and became life threatening on more than one level.
Washed Away: From Darkness to Light tells her story and illuminates the forces which contributed to her warped self image and the paths she took to emerge from her personal version of hell.

Read the full review at Donovan’s Literary Services.

Miss Millennia Mag – Advocate for Yourself #LikeaGirl: An Interview with Nikki DuBose

Nikki DuBose is a former model turned author, speaker, and mental health advocate. She recently released her memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light. In Washed Away, Nikki recounts her experiences navigating the dark side of the modeling industry, while battling abuse, addiction, and various mental health issues. She recently appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network on the TD Jakes Show to speak about her recovery from Body Dysmorphic Disorder and eating disorders, and how the pressure to “fit into” the modeling industry nearly killed her.

Keep reading to learn more about this incredibly strong and inspiring woman, Nikki!

Read the full interview on Miss Millennia Mag.

a plus: Model-Turned-Activist Nikki Dubose Is Speaking Out Against Ineffective Sexual Abuse Laws In New York

Nikki Dubose says she won’t give up on her fight make kids safer.

The 31-year-old model-turned-activist has already made a name for herself by speaking up about sexual assault. Now, though, she’s taking the platform she’s built and using it to try and change laws to protect children from sexual violence.

Her first stop? New York, where she’s hoping to help push through The Omnibus Child Victims Act.

“In New York, they have the worst laws in the entire nation as far as protecting children from sexual abuse,” DuBose told A Plus. “There is only a five-year window after you’re 18 years old that someone can report what has happened to them.”

Read more on a plus.

Marie Claire Brasil: 35 modelos escrevem carta aberta à indústria da moda criticando “práticas insalubres”

“Pela primeira vez, um grupo de tops decidiu se rebelar contra as regras estabelecidas pela indústria da moda. A poucos dias do início da Semana de Moda de Nova York, 35 modelos, entre elas Iskra Lawrence, Ashley Chew e Carré Otis, escreveram uma honesta e necessária carta aberta.”

Read more at Marie Claire Brasil.

PsychCentral: Women, do not be afraid to stand on your own two feminine damn feet

Yesterday, while at a meeting for the League of Women’s Voters Los Angeles, I sat and took it all in. There I was, amongst women who, held varying political preferences, but who were all in the same room for the same reason: to make democracy work. I felt elated and strong. To my right were two teenage girls, who, just a couple of weeks ago, had travelled all the way to Washington DC to attend the Women’s March. They didn’t appear older than sixteen, but they cared enough about standing up for women’s rights that they got on a plane, put on pink, knitted hats, braved the harsh cold and made their voices heard along with over a million men and women at the US Capitol on January 21, 2017.

To my left, were some of the veteran board members, well in their years. And I thought, “Damn. This is amazing. This is how I inspire to be. Continuing to fight for the rights of women and marginalized groups for the rest of my life. Never give up, Nikki. Never, ever give up. These women are so inspiring. What’s their secret?”

Read more on PsychCentral.

Eating Disorder Hope: Self-care Tips for Mental Health Advocates

In light of the latest presidential election, I think it’s great that the Western world has sort of woken up and decided to get more involved with advocacy work. After all, there is a positive side to every seemingly negative situation, not that I hate Trump, because I don’t. What I am saying is that, every time I go on social media, it seems that a vast majority of Americans, particularly liberal females and the men who support them, are constantly pushing forth issues they are passionate about, and how they can make significant changes for good.

I am all for being an advocate [1]. Five years ago, I began to campaign for the rights of those in the eating disorder community, while I was still in the throes of my own eating disorder and learning how to recover from a range of mental illnesses. In fact, helping others and pushing for change in my community, teaming up with national associations and bring awareness to issues is one of the biggest reasons why I believe I got to a strong place of recovery. It’s also why I am now so heavily involved in helping to pass legislation and want to run for office one day.

Read more at Eating Disorder Hope.

PsychCentral: Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse is Society’s Responsibility

We have a huge problem in this country when it comes to protecting children from sexual abuse, and that’s denial. As an Executive Board member of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, a child sexual abuse nonprofit, one of the most common issues I come across when a survivor discloses their abuse is denial – from family members, teachers, friends – the list goes on. Myself, a survivor of incest from my late mother from the ages of 9 to 13, and a male figure at the age of 8, I know what it’s like to finally come to terms with the abuse and entrust others with the information, only to have them deny that it ever could have happened. The psychological effects were beyond damaging; I questioned my own sanity, the trauma, and attempted suicide. After all, if no one believed that such heinous acts had occurred, what reasons did I have to go on living? Child sexual abuse left me scarred with depression, psychosis, suicidal ideation and many other mental illnesses, and without proper support, it was only a matter of time before I permanently checked out.

Read more on PsychCentral.

New York Daily News: Sex abuse survivors lodge rallying cry for Child Victims Act’s passage in Albany

Among the victims who attended the rally held outside the Senate chambers shortly before the start of the new legislative session was former model Nikki DuBose, who was sexually abused as a kid.

“New York needs this bill for one reason —to protect children from predators.The predators are the ones currently being protected by the law, not the children,” she said.

Read more at the New York Daily News.

 

 

New York Daily News: Former model Nikki DuBose to share her sex abuse story with lawmakers as she advocates for Child Victims Act

ALBANY — Former model and sexual abuse victim Nikki DuBose is coming to the state Capitol Wednesday with a message for state lawmakers — children need to be protected.

DuBose is the featured speaker at a rally being planned by advocates for legislation that would change New York’s statute of limitations and make it easier for child sex abuse victims to obtain justice in state courts.

“We are talking about kids,” DuBose, 31, told The Daily News.

“Why is it OK for an innocent child to be sexually abused and to have his rights, his soul, his identity, his emotions his life taken away from that very moment and for him to not receive justice?” DuBose continued. “Why is that OK?”

Read more on New York Daily News.

Albany rally seeks support for Child Victims Act as legislative session kicks off

ALBANY — Advocates for legislation to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek legal recourse as adults will mark the Wednesday start of a new legislative session with a rally near the state Senate chambers.

Gary Greenberg, a child sex abuse victim and upstate investor who created a political action committee to fight for the issue, said the rally will feature former model and sexual abuse victim Nikki DuBose and Senate bill sponsor Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan).

Read more on New York Daily News.

Medium – An Open Letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez: Changing the Culture of Sexual Violence

“Dear Secretary Perez,
More than 27 million women shared their experiences of sexual assault, tweeting in the wake of Donald Trump’s ‘locker room talk.’ The #NotOkay movement, initiated by social media maven Kelly Oxford, has crystallized around women’s stories of sexual violence.”

Read more on Medium.

An Open Letter to NY Times Public Editor Liz Spayd, from Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and Advocates

Proud to have my name on this open letter to The New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd. On behalf of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, I am listed as one of 35 Child Sexual Abuse Survivors and Advocates, urging Liz to cover the Child Victims Act of New York. Thanks, Nancy Levine for your hard work and dedication to this important issue, and thank you to everyone who is using their voice to create change.

“Dear Ms. Spayd,
We are a global community of survivors of child sexual abuse and advocates. We were heartened when, under your editorial direction, the Columbia Journalism Review published a piece by Steve Buttry, Director of Student Media at LSU: ‘The voiceless have a voice. A journalist’s job is to amplify it.’ We would like to ask you and The New York Times to consider amplifying our collective voice; we reiterate our request, emailed to you on July 11, 2016.
Our previous correspondence raised questions about The Times’ absence of recent coverage of the Child Victims Act of New York, and an appearance of a conflict of interest. Presumably there is no causal relationship between The Times’ absence of recent reporting on the Child Victims Act and Publisher and Chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr.’s family financial interests in Whole Foods Market. But to quell concerns about an appearance of a conflict, we think this matter warrants further response.”

Read more on Medium.

CNN Money – Runway Injustice: How the modeling industry exploits young and vulnerable workers

“Stolen pay. Sexual harassment. Months without a paycheck. Outrageous fees and expenses that eat away at earnings. And no one to turn to for help.

Models allege that labor abuses like these run rampant in the modeling industry — leaving many workers feeling more like indentured servants than the glamorous high fashion icons young girls around the world dream of becoming.”

Read more on CNN Money.

VLOG Episode 2: How to Get Involved with AB 2539

The News & Observer – Fashion models back California bill to fight eating disorders, sexism

“Levine and backers argued that his bill would help young women who absorb unhealthy body image expectations from advertising. Former model Nikki DuBose relayed her struggles with eating disorders and referenced research in which around half of the girls surveyed said they felt moved to lose weight by magazine images.”

Read more on The News&Observer.

 

People Magazine – Why Former Model Nikki DuBose is Backing a Bill to Fight Eating Disorders and Sexism in the Industry

“Nikki DuBose’s time in the modeling industry was anything but positive.

‘I experienced everything negative that you could imagine in the modeling industry,’ the former model, 31, tells PEOPLE. ‘I was raped in the modeling industry. I was sexually harassed. I had eating disorders which were exacerbated by the modeling industry, and I was pressured by the director of my agency about sleeping with him, and all of these things really triggered my mental health condition.'”

Read more on People.

Changing the Modeling Industry: Have You Heard About AB 2539?

“What: AB 2539 requires that all models in the state of California must get ‘periodic health checkups, nutrition counseling, and appropriate health testing as needed.’* Also, models will become employees of their agencies. Currently, they are independent contractors which allows the agents to get away will all sorts of underhanded and downright dangerous things (e.g., sexual harassment, withholding money, escorting out the models, pressuring them to lose weight which creates an environment for eating disorders and other destructive, fatal behaviors to manifest, and so on). Furthermore, the bill stipulates that The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board and the State Department of Public Heath have to adopt the laid out health standards for the models, the agencies have to be licensed by the California Labor Commissioner, the models themselves must obtain a doctor’s certificate stating that they meet the noted health standards, and the agencies are required to store records; if they hire models who do not have an up-to-date doctor’s certificate, they can be fined.”

Read more on Recovery Warriors.

How You Can Get Involved with AB 2539

UPDATE! On April 6th, 2016, Assembly Bill 2539 passed the Labor Committee!! We are so excited and are looking for more Letters of Support. Please see below for instructions on how to submit yours.

*************************************************************************************************

I am honored to be working as an advocate on AB 2539. Harvard STRIPED, the National Eating Disorders Association, the Model Alliance and Assemblymember Marc Levine have been working hard to  introduce the Bill, which may be the first in the United States to see that the health standards in the modeling industry are changed and that the labor rights of models are finally exercised. From my own experiences as a former model, I can attest to the poor regulations in the modeling industry, and therefore this Bill is something that is greatly needed. Below is my official Letter of Support addressed to Assemblymember Marc Levine.

Nikki DuBose Letter of Support Bill AB 2539 Mar 10 2016

Here are more resources for AB 2539: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/striped/policy-translation/california-ab-2539/

Tips for writing letters of support for AB 2539: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/striped/how-to-write-a-letter-of-support-for-ca-ab-2539/

Resources for Advocates AB 2539: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/striped/resources-for-advocates-california-ab-2539/

 

 

On the NEDA Blog: The Modeling Industry is Changing. It’s About Time.

“As a former model, commercial actress and host, I enjoyed my share of success within the fashion and entertainment industries. I also suffered from binge eating disorder, bulimia and anorexia nervosa for the length of my career—although the behaviors didn’t begin in the industry, they were exacerbated by things I heard, saw and experienced: things like sexual harassment, trauma, bullying, exposure to wild parties, drinking, drugs and the daily pressure to lose weight. At the beginning of my career I was curvy and healthy—but by the time I left the business, I was unrecognizable even to my agents. Eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder had ravaged my mind, body and spirit, and thus, in 2012 I decided to leave; it was the greatest decision of my life. I’ve been sober for over four years, free from my eating disorders for almost three, written a book about my recovery and the modeling business,* currently speak about mental health and am a supporter of Assemblymember Marc Levine’s AB 2539.** Here’s why I’m so passionate about the bill.”

Read more on The National Eating Disorders Association.

Profit, Denial & Education: Why Clothing Retailers Are Contributing to our Youth’s Mental Health Issues and What Can Be Done to Prevent Further Damage

Denial and Profit

A part of me can’t believe that I am writing about clothing retailers and that fact that they are still selling “super skinny” and “toothpick” jeans – how long must we go around and around this issue and still see no change? Yet another part of me is not surprised at all; after all, the majority of people are not properly educated about mental health issues, especially eating disorders, and the goal of businesses, especially clothing retailers – is simply, profit.

This was a recent conversation I had with Christopher Willson, the Clinical Director from Dine Monte Nido, a unique outpatient program designed to help those suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Chris was furious one day when he went to buy jeans for his eight-year-old daughter and found that many of them read “super skinny!” Oh dear. Now, most businesses grasp that in order to keep their profits high they must act as good corporate citizens. Therefore, clothing retailers should listen to the cries of consumers, such as Chris, and incorporate changes that will in turn, make their customers happy. Let’s look at the bigger picture –  for example, all the parents who buy jeans from clothing brands that advertise them as “super skinny”- you can expect that there are going to be some downright angry moms and dads writing letters, calling and blasting their opinions all over social media. After all, these labels place unrealistic expectations on already impressionable minds. Let’s review some statistics:

“42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.

81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.”

 

You would think that clothing companies would do their research on mental health and listen to the consumers who are unhappy about how these labels are affecting their kids and teens.  Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder; certainly the higher ups and employees within the clothing companies must know someone who is or has been affected.

Or perhaps, they turn a blind eye, like this country has done for so long. Why? There are many reasons, but I would say that in the case of retailers a lack of education and focus on profit are the biggest culprits. To actually think about the well-being of others means to stop thinking about themselves, and to do that would (gasp!) would mean to potentially lose money, at least for the short-term.

I am relentless in advocating for change because eating disorders are an issue that affect over 30,000,000 people in America alone, and those are just the reported amounts. And, as a former fashion model who was always trying to fit into the fashion industry’s unrealistic sizes and portray an unhealthy image for impressionable minds, I am adamant about helping to restructure the business and stop the selling of products that are damaging to consumers. At the very least, we can start with mental health education – everyone needs it, especially the advertising and fashion industries.

Even if someone has not suffered from an eating disorder, almost everyone has been affected by low self-esteem and poor body image, however children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable; they don’t need added pressure from retailers telling them that they need to look a certain way in order to be accepted and valued. 

Finding the Solution

Lately I have been working with California Assemblymember Marc Levine, the National Eating Disorders Association, Sara Ziff from the Model Alliance and Dr. Bryn Austin, the director of Harvard STRIPED, on AB 2539, which will create healthier standards and promote the labor rights of models in the fashion industry. One thing that has stuck out to me in reading Dr. Austin’s research is how crucial prevention is. As she puts it, there is not a whole lot of literature and research dedicated to preventing eating disorders. Tying into Dr. Austin’s research lies my main interest: mental health education in the workplace, particularly the modeling industry. When we educate, we can help to prevent. I think that back during Karen Carpenter’s unfortunate and highly publicized case, eating disorders became known and glamorized because of the media – it’s what they do, they sensationalize – but they have yet to educate the public properly about eating disorders and mental health in general.

The National Eating Disorders Association has been introducing literature on eating disorders into various workplaces. Education is power because when we educate we have the knowledge to understand the what, why, when, how and who. If clothing retailers are uneducated when it comes to eating disorders and the impact their marketing schemes are having on young people, and if they are only thinking about profit, then they will continue to contribute to the mental decline and fatalities of our youth. Focusing on prevention and education in the workplace are crucial steps towards changing the way retailers and advertisers approach consumers – especially our youth.

 

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them! Drop me a line – nikki@nikkidubose.com

 

 

 

 

Nikki’s Exclusive Interview with CBS LA about the importance of AB 2539

Nikki DuBose CBS Los Angeles

“’I did become very successful but I paid a very high price,’ said Nikki DuBose, who has graced the covers of magazines. ‘I didn’t want to be involved in an industry that was making me sick.’

Sick from eating disorders, her mental and physical health suffering, DuBose left the business four years ago.

She’s now a Los Angeles-based author, advocate, and a support of AB2539, a bill proposed by a Northern California assemblyman.”

Read more and watch Nikki’s exclusive interview on CBS LA.

Vogue Spain – AB 2539

“Nikki Dubose, una ex modelo que ha manifestado su apoyo a este proyecto de ley, ha comentado en un comunicado oficial lo siguiente: ‘como ex modelo y superviviente de un grave desorden alimenticio, sé que este tipo de legislación se necesita de forma crítica.'”

Read more on Vogue Spain.

Bay Area Lawmaker Says Models Can Be Too Skinny For The Runway

The Duchess of Windsor once said, ‘you can never be too rich or too thin.’ But a Bay Area lawmaker believes she is wrong–at least on one account–and has proposed a ban on models who look ‘too thin’ on the runway.

In fact, San Rafael Assemblyman Marc Levine wants to ban anorexic models on the catwalk altogether. He has introduced AB2539, which takes its cue from a similar laws already on the books in France, Italy and Spain. The hope is that models will stop starving themselves to get work, and women and girls will stop starving themselves to look like models.

 

Read more on CBS San Fransisco.

The Fashion Law – Proposed California Law Aims to Reduce Eating Disorders Among Models

“Fashion models who want to work in California would need a doctor to attest that they are of healthy weight and not suffering from an eating disorder under a proposal announced by a state lawmaker on Monday. Legislation proposed by California state Assembly member, Marc Levine, follows efforts in several countries to fight anorexia and other eating disorders among models, who are relentlessly pressured to lose weight or lose work. ‘The evidence of eating disorders in the modeling industry is alarming,’ Levine, a Democrat, who represents the Marin County suburbs of San Francisco, said in a statement on Monday.”

Read more on The Fashion Law.

Inquisitr – Creating Change In the Modeling Industry

“If former fashion model Nikki DuBose gets her wish, models in California would be legally prohibited from being too skinny.

A new bill, AB2539, introduced Monday by Assemblyman Marc Levine, would require any model working in California to be approved by a doctor certifying they don’t suffer from an eating disorder.”

Read more on Inquisitr.

 

News Release: Honored to Announce AB 2539 with California Assemblyman Marc Levine!

Read the press release here.

I am thrilled to announce my involvement alongside Assemblymember Marc Levine, his Chief of Staff Michael Miiller, Legislative Assistant Naomi Padron, CEO of NEDA Claire Mysko, NEDA STAR Program Manager Kerry Dolan, Founder of the Model Alliance Sara Ziff and Harvard STRIPED director Dr. Bryn Austin, in this new legislation that will create healthy standards for California models and in return, set a healthier example for the nation. I am fully confident that this is just the beginning and from here we will create change for the industry in ways we can’t even imagine.

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

Business Insider

“Fashion models who want to work in California would need a doctor to attest that they are of healthy weight and not suffering from an eating disorder under a proposal announced by a state lawmaker on Monday.

The bill proposed by California state Assembly member Marc Levine follows efforts in several countries to fight anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders among models, who are relentlessly pressured to lose weight or lose work.”

Read more on Business Insider.

Today Kicks Off NEDAwareness Week 2016!

nedaw_social_10

 

 

This year NEDA’s theme is 3 Minutes Can Save a Life. Get Screened. Get Helped. Get Healthy.

For over seventeen years I battled with not only an eating disorder, but a plethora of mental health conditions that held me prisoner in my own mind and body. If only I would have trusted someone outside of myself I would have experienced the help much sooner. It really only takes three minutes to get access to critical, life-saving information. Isn’t it the most amazing feeling to know that there are people out there who understand you, who are just waiting to love you?

Visit NEDA’s Awareness site to get screened and find out more information.

In regards to my own recovery, it was thanks to a combination of spirituality, mentorship, the twelve-step program, therapy, medication, family and friends, great organizations like NEDA and leaving my modeling career behind. After falling many times and never giving up I was able to regain my mental, physical and spiritual health, and have been going strong for the past three years. Writing and speaking have been incredible tools of healing for me because they have helped me to find my voice during times when I thought that I had none. But we all have voices and often they can be heard the loudest when our lives feel the darkest. 

Don’t give up, ever. You, more than anyone else in the world, are worthy of self-love, care and recovery.

Here’s my schedule for #NEDAwareness 2016:

Feb. 23 10am PST: Twitter Chat – “Getting Healthy: The Many Faces of Eating Disorders Recovery” with @NEDAstaff @EDHope @GenderSpectrum @MentalHealthAm @EricC_Official @TheNikkiDuBose

Feb. 23 7pm PST/ CSU San Marcos: Screening of The Illusionists and Panel Discussion. I will be speaking on a panel at CSU San Marcos, discussing the documentary The Illusionists and talking about the globalization of beauty. All are welcome to attend.

Feb. 25 7pm PST/ CSU San Marcos: Keynote Speaker. I will be telling my personal story of recovery and then holding a Q & A session afterwards.

 

Speak2Heal Episode 7: Eating Disorders & Ambivalence

Ever feel like you are stuck in an unhealthy relationship with someone or something but you just can’t seem to get out of it for some reason or another? On today’s episode I talk to returning guest, Adrianna Robles, about this very topic. Adrianna is a graduate from Purdue University and currently works for an HR Software company in downtown Chicago. Her passions are writing, volunteering for organizations like the National Eating Disorders Association and speaking about eating disorders at places like Mental Health America in Lafayette, Indiana.

Connect with Adrianna on Facebook:

Visit here to find out how you can get involved with NEDAwareness Week.

I love these books on mindfulness:

  1. Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food by Jan Chozen Bays, MD
  2. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

8 Ways Your Struggle Brings Gifts

8 Ways Your Struggle Brings Gifts

  • They make us stronger. That’s right — after recovering from a lifetime of abuse, eating disorders, drug addiction and alcoholism, one thing is for certain, I am a stronger person. I don’t see my former addictions and mental health issues as a downside, rather as things that have made me more powerful, able to tackle anything life brings my way.
  • They help shape our character. Of course we are all born with character, but I believe that my struggles have sharpened mine. With every challenge we face, our character is being built, so we can choose to see troubles as a blessing.”

Read more on Recovery Warriors.