I never “Chose” my Choices

I have been receiving so many comments from people in Europe (as well as the United States) regarding why I chose to sleep with the director of my modeling agency.
It is so clear to me why I put that part of my life in my memoirs: because I was sexually abused as a little girl by my mother and a male family member, which I also describe in my book.
I felt it was very important for people to understand why we make certain choices. For me, I felt pressured to follow a career where my face would be in the public because I had such low self esteem due to the remnants of sexual abuse in my childhood.

Sexual abuse is so damaging, that it can lead you to make terrible decisions as an adult and affect you in every single area of your life. So for everyone who says, “It was your choice to be a model and to go through the things you went through,” I say to you: it was never my choice to be abused. To be prostituted by my mom as a kid. To be exposed to the things I was in my childhood and I know that in my modeling career the mental health issues I had greatly affected my choices – we always have to look at why people are the way they are.

I hope my memoir will shed a greater light on sexual abuse, mental illness and of course yes, what can happen in the modeling industry but the book is about so much more than that.

 


J’ai reçu tellement de commentaires de personnes en Europe (ainsi qu’aux États-Unis) concernant les raisons pour lesquelles j’ai choisi de dormir avec le directeur de mon agence de mannequinat.
Il est si clair pour moi pourquoi j’ai mis cette partie de ma vie dans mes mémoires: parce que j’ai été abusée sexuellement comme une petite fille par ma mère et un membre de la famille masculine, que je décris également dans mon livre.
J’ai senti qu’il était très important que les gens comprennent pourquoi nous faisons certains choix. Pour moi, je me suis senti obligé de suivre une carrière où mon visage serait dans le public parce que j’avais une si faible estime de soi en raison des restes d’abus sexuels dans mon enfance.

La violence sexuelle est si préjudiciable qu’elle peut vous mener à des décisions terribles en tant qu’adulte et vous affecter dans tous les domaines de votre vie. Donc, pour tous ceux qui disent: «C’était votre choix d’être un modèle et de passer à travers les choses que vous avez traversées», je vous dis: ce n’était jamais mon choix d’être abusé. Être prostituée par ma mère enfant. Pour être exposé aux choses que j’étais dans mon enfance et je sais que dans ma carrière de mannequinat les problèmes de santé mentale que j’avais ont grandement affecté mes choix – nous devons toujours regarder pourquoi les gens sont comme ils sont.

J’espère que mon mémoire éclaircira davantage les abus sexuels, la maladie mentale et, bien sûr, oui, ce qui peut arriver dans l’industrie du mannequinat, mais le livre parle de beaucoup plus que cela.

BFM TV (France) Troubles alimentaires et psychiques: un ex-mannequin témoigne dans un livre

Watch the video here

Regardez la vidéo ici

Aufeminin – Dans L’enfer Du Mannequinat

Watch the video here 

Regardez la vidéo ici

Abus sexuels, boulimie, anorexie, tentatives de suicide… Nikki DuBose a tout affronté. Aujourd’hui, elle se raconte dans un livre “Dans l’enfer du mannequinat, une industrie qui détruit”, poignant.

M6 TV (France)L’ex-mannequin Nikki Dubose raconte l’enfer de la mode

Watch the interview here

Regardez la vidéo ici

 

Nikki Dubose, une ancienne mannequin de 32 ans. Top model dans une grande agence parisienne, cette Américaine a connu l’enfer. Dans un livre, elle raconte la tyrannie de la minceur, les remarques méprisantes et le dégout qu’elle a fini par avoir de son propre corps. Aujourd’hui, elle se bat pour rendre obligatoire le suivi médical des mannequins.

 

LCI TV (France)VIDÉO – “Plus je perdais de poids, plus on me disait que j’étais belle” : une ex-mannequin raconte l’enfer de l’anorexie

Watch the video here

Regardez la vidéo ici


 

La Fashion Week vient de s’ouvrir à Paris. Mais ne lui en parlez pas. “Quand j’étais mannequin ici, c’était horrible. J’ai des amies qui y participent mais pour moi, ce n’est rien. Je préfère aller manger un burger, je m’en moque”, lâche-t-elle dans un éclat de rire. Nikki DuBose a pris ses distances avec un univers dans lequel elle s’est totalement perdue. L’ancienne mannequin était de passage dans la capitale française cette semaine pour promouvoir ses mémoires, L’Enfer du mannequinat (Editions du Rocher)…

(continued)

Huffington Post France: La minceur, ce diktat de mannequin qui a ruiné ma vie

“Espèce de monstre, tu crois que tu es mannequin? Tu n’es même pas belle! Tu es une sous-merde inutile, voilà tout! Tu t’es ridiculisée tout à l’heure. Ils se moquaient tous de toi, tout le monde se moque toujours de toi. Je me revois enfant, essuyant les remarques acerbes de mon beau-père. Je me demande si j’ai jamais eu la moindre valeur aux yeux de quelqu’un. Le désespoir fouaille mes entrailles.

Read the full blog on Huffington Post France. 

Addiction Hope® Offers Inaugural Online Conference

Nikki Dubose will present “Addiction in the Modeling Field.” Nikki is a model, author, and advocate. She is the Co-Founder of The Artists League for Change, a national nonprofit dedicated to preventing mental health issues and abuse through the creative arts, and is an Ambassador for the Shaw Mind Foundation. Her debut memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light will be released in French in 2018 with Editions du Rocher.

Read the full press release. 

Dans l’enfer du mannequinat de Nikki DuBose un livre d’utilité publique

Une Top Model rompt le silence

Nikki DuBose est une vraie américaine « moyenne », pas une star, pas une rebelle, pas une pauvre, non une Américaine comme il y en a des millions. Une femme qui aurait du être aussi anonyme que ses semblables, mais…

Mais elle connut son heure de gloire comme mannequin et surtout, vu son calvaire, elle s’investit dans des associations luttant contre les violences aux enfants et contre les ravages des dérèglements alimentaires. Son autobiographie est aussi un élément sûrement essentiel dans sa thérapie. Car si elle est une américaine « moyenne », Nikki DuBose est aussi et avant tout une victime, une victime de sa famille, une victime d’un système : le mannequinat.

Read the full article on Wukali 

Self-love during the Holidays

Do you love your feet? Do something for me, please. I want you to remove your shoes, your socks, and wiggle your toes. Now really feel your feet. Feel the magic of your toes. Feel how amazing it is to have ten toes, ten toenails. Now I want

you to look at your feet and study your toenails. Do you like your toenails? Do you think that they are beautiful? Maybe, maybe not.

When I was a kid, I hated my feet. I hated my big, country feet. I wanted to have any other size feet but mine. All of the girls in my class seemed to have tiny, petite feet that made them gracious and therefore, more worthy of love. To me, having big feet meant that I wasn’t pretty, and it was one more thing on my ever-growing list that made me determined to change myself.

I started despising myself at a very young age, around the age of eight. And a lot of that had to do with trauma in my own family. There was a lot of turmoil, abuse, and things that were not my fault, things that were out of my control. And so to regain some sort of sense of control, I developed what we know as binge eating disorder at eight years old, then bulimia nervosa at ten. The bulimia nervosa took hold of my life and took away every chance that I had to function at school, to make friends, to finish college, and to have a truly successful modeling career.

And although I was a “top model” for about ten years, my career was a lie. I was engaging in my behaviors multiple times a day because I didn’t know any other way to live. I didn’t know how to eat without my eating disorder, I didn’t know what it meant to live without depression, without PTSD, without suicidal thoughts, and so on. So I had the career that I had always wanted, but the price that I paid was very high. I couldn’t separate the fame, the money, the job from living in a mental health nightmare. And that’s not really living.

I was in all of the magazines that you see today – Glamour, Vogue, Maxim – my agency was priming me for the top of the top. I travelled all over the world and lived in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Germany, Italy, Paris, Israel; I mean you name it, and I probably experienced it. And although I had all of these industry professionals telling me that I was beautiful, I couldn’t see any beauty in myself. My eating disorder and other mental health issues clouded my ability to see my real beauty, which is my heart, my soul, my talents, not my face, not my body, not a number on a scale, not the image that was being sold for a profit for other people’s happiness which changed on any particular day.

One day people in the modeling business loved me and they thought that I was the perfect model, and the next day they hated me and told me that I needed to drastically alter my appearance. So eventually what I realized which coincided with my mother’s addictions and mental health issues was that I was never going to make other people happy, which made me extremely unhappy, and it was making extremely sick, to the point of nearly dying. Towards the end of my modeling career in 2012, I had developed anorexia nervosa. And as we know, anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. So I had to get to the point where I had to make a very important decision and that was to love myself for the first time ever. Because as a child who had parents who were addicts, who were abusive, who were emotionally unavailable, I was always looking out for them, and never myself. I was always trying to control, and never letting go, and unable to let a Higher Power come into my life and take over. The idea of “letting go and letting God” was terrifying; I had no idea what boundaries were and what self-love meant.

My mother passed in 2012 from her addictions and when that happened I believed that that was the sign from God (that I resisted at first) that I had to take that step and love myself. And I did. I left my career, I put myself in home care, I got a mentor, a therapist, my husband at the time and his family were wonderful and did whatever it took to help me get better. But, I did the leg work. It’s very easy to say we are going to get recovered. I did that dance for many years. But let me tell you that when I was going through home care it was about two to three years that I didn’t have anyone around me from the modeling business to tell me, “You’re going to be ok.” 

I didn’t have hardly anyone from my family around to care for me, my mother had just died, and I was taking a completely new path. So my recovery was pretty much a blind one. I had to to trust a power Greater than myself and that required being humble, it required letting go of my ego, it required having faith, and that was a day by day process. My mentor worked through the twelve steps with me and out of the Life Recovery Bible and Workbook. But in those moments when my husband was at work and I was alone, it was me and God. It was me being tempted to go back to the behaviors, and me literally crying out to Jesus and saying, “God please help me. I cannot do this without you. I need you!” And you know what? God met me every single time. In my lowest, nastiest states.

I would put on worship music, things to uplift my spirit, put on positive sticky notes on the mirror, little love notes that stated, “My worth and value is not determined by my weight.” “I am a child of God.” “I am beautiful.” “I am worthy.” “I am blessed.” And I would force myself to stare at my face and repeat those words, because I was so used to avoiding my face and engaging in the destructive behaviors. I had to retrain my brain. I would get up in the morning and the first thing I would do was listen to positive teaching tapes from people like: Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and TD Jakes, people who really poured into my spirit, which had been seriously damaged from not just my eating disorder, but all of the depression, the trauma, and other mental health issues.

So my testimony is that I am sober from drugs and alcohol for six years, and free from my eating disorder for five years. I know exactly where you may be at. Yes, our stories are all different, and it feels very, very hard. It feels like there’s no hope. But I believe that when we don’t have hope in our own strength, we have hope in our Higher Power, and for me, that is Jesus Christ. When we are weak, He is strong.

So I do love my big feet. I wrote a blurb on Facebook yesterday, expressing how much I love self-care and getting pedicures, manicures, all that good stuff. Whenever I give talks, I like to do something nice for myself beforehand. It’s kind of like a self-care ritual. And the reason why that’s such a big deal for me is because when I was modeling and I would have a photo shoot, stylists would do my hair and makeup, and the process would take a few hours. But my eating disorder would always get in the way somehow of my being able to appreciate what was being done to my hair, or my nails, or my makeup. So for example, I would be in hair and makeup, then sneak off to the bathroom and purge. Now I am very thankful for the little things, which are really big things. Our bodies are temples that should be nourished and treated with love. When I got my pedicure earlier yesterday, I was reflecting on how much I appreciated my feet (which I used to hate), their size, the color of my skin, and how much I’ve progressed in loving my body and taking care of myself; of how thankful I am to simply be alive.

Now, I want you to think about ways that you can show yourself self-love during this time period. The holidays can sometimes be emotional, but it doesn’t have to be because we always have the choice to replace potentially negative situations with positive ones. I want you to think about yourself as a temple, and how you can nourish your temple. So I’ll give you SIX examples to start off, and these are some of my favorites.

  1. I’m a writer, so I love to write love letters to myself and name all of the things about not only my body that I appreciate, but also my soul and my heart that make me special. The holidays is a perfect time to do that because I have time off from work.
  2. I like to take myself out on a date. What better gift can you give yourself than dating YOU? And here at Rebecca’s House, you can set aside time to “date” yourself and find out more about who you really are. When we have eating disorders and mental health issues, we completely lose ourselves and our identities.
  3. I like to unplug from social media and television, so that I can spend time with me and have little pep talks with myself. I think that in our society, we are way too connected with technology, and not connected enough with ourselves and healthy people.
  4. Express myself, whether that’s through art, writing, singing, composing a song, keeping a gratitude journal, and getting my feelings out about my body, what’s bugging me, but not letting it sit inside. When we hold things in, they have a tendency to control us.
  5. The most important thing for me is spiritual time. In the morning as I mentioned, I need to spend time with my Higher Power, and meditate on what God says about my appearance, that I’m beautiful, that I’m worthy, that I’m perfectly made.
  6. I continue to spend time with my therapist, my dietician, my mentor, and people who have a positive influence on my life. During stressful times like the holidays, if I need to spend more time than usual with these people, then I do so. I am not afraid to say “no” to people who may be unhealthy for my ongoing recovery, and I continue to allow healthy people into my life. And remember, the eating disorder can also be seen as an unhealthy person and I have to continuously say “NO” to that person.

 

Now I’d love to hear ways that you plan to give yourself some self-love during the holidays and as we go into the New Year. If you’d like to read about how I overcame 17 years of mental health issues, please pick up a copy of my memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, out now on Amazon.com, and you can now pre-order it in the French language when it is released in France, February 2018 with Editions du Rocher (Title: Dans l’enfer du mannequinat: Une industrie qui détruit).

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

Nikki Talks Eating Disorder & Addiction Recovery with Eating Disorder Hope

Thanks to Eating Disorder Hope for helping to make this Virtual Conference a success!

You can pre-order Nikki’s French memoir, Dans l’enfer du mannequinat: Une industrie qui détruit on Amazon.fr

Overcoming Trauma and Mental Illness with Not Broken Radio, Brett Francis

I just loved recording my story of hope and inspiration with Not Broken Radio, Brett Francis. Listen in, and share your story of overcoming trauma and mental illness. Let me know how my memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light has helped you. Shoot me an email at nikki@nikkidubose.com

With love,

Nikki

Halloween Sale – Autographed copies of Washed Away only $20!

Halloween sale!

Act fast and get an autographed copy of Washed Away: From Darkness to Light for only $20.00!





Click on “Buy Now” and enter any details you want on the inside flap. Your book will be delivered pronto.

Grazia French: Cameron Russell dénonce des agressions sexuelles dans la mode

#metoo…

Merci de mentionner mon histoire d’abus sexuels pendant ma carrière de mannequin.   

Big thanks to Grazia France magazine for mentioning my story as a successful model who experienced sexual assault and harassment alongside Cameron Russell’s story. 

En février 2018, l’ancien top américain, Nikki Dubose publiera un livre dans lequel elle racontera son calvaire vécu pendant sa carrière de mannequin. Notamment les viols à répétition dont elle a été victime de la part de son ancien agent. Un récit puissant qui encourage à faire bouger les lignes dans l’industrie de la mode.

There is strength in numbers and if you are interested in understanding what happened to me, please pick up my memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, out now on Amazon.

 

 

Encouragement from Louisiana

I often receive emails from people I have never met, but who have stumbled upon my articles or news about my books or work. It is very encouraging to my heart and mission when I open my inbox and read words of kindness. In today’s world, kindness is needed more than ever. Take the following email I recently received, for example. It comes from Mr. Roderick Nu Darby, the owner of Soulful Eats in Abbeville, Louisiana.

 

 

 

I just wanted to email you and encourage you to keep doing what GOD puts on your heart. So many people are living in this world without the direction and leadership of GOD. I’m offshore in the gulf of mexico on a oil rig, and I was doing some research on the illuminati and modeling industry was linked. I also have a family member in the modeling industry so I wanted to research more and I seen your videos. I have friends all over the world, and I encourage them daily with scripture. I have people I minister to with similar childhood stories as yours that made me very emotional. I tell people all the time the devil wants to destroy our kids at early ages, if we don’t put them in position to understand and feel the power of GOD they will yeild to the temptations the devil brings into their lives. I recall one lady I met with a similar childhood story. She said, “I forgave all the men that raped me, abused me in marriages, but the hardest thing to do was to forgive my mom who physically abused me as a baby and young child.” She also said, “I forgave my mom on her dying bed and felt a peace after doing it.”

 

 

The more positive people we have in our lives,the better we become at defeating the devil daily. If you respond or not to this email it doesn’t matter, I just had to encourage you by saying GOD is well pleased. Some of your days may be rough, but keep praying and trusting GOD to lead and order your footsteps daily. My name is Roderick from Louisiana. Have a Blessed Day my sister and Keep fighting for the truth. GOD word must prevail in this last hour.

Much Love and Peace

Review of Washed Away by The Aspiring Wordsmith

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light is a touching and unforgettable book written by Nikki DuBose and co-written by James Johanson. It is a moving and shocking memoir of a former supermodel as she recounts her dark and painful childhood which deeply affected her self-perception and thrust her to a life of alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorder, psychosis, body dysmorphic disorder and suicide.

Read the full review on The Aspiring Wordsmith. 

A Beautiful Chaos Review of Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

You know when you read a book, and once you’ve put it down, you’re still thinking about it, yeah? Well, that was with me with this book. Washed Away: From Darkness to Light is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. A heartwarming but equally heartbreaking tale of one girl’s struggle through child abuse, addiction, a chaotic family life, rape, grief and complex mental health problems.

A good book has to trigger emotions, whether that be happiness, sadness, anger or something else. I cried while reading this book, so I think it’s safe to say what emotion it provoked. I was deeply touched by Nikki’s struggles. I couldn’t fathom how someone could go through so much yet still be fighting on. And for that, I only have admiration for Nikki. The courage it must have taken to keep going is unthinkable.

Read the full review on A Beautiful Chaos.

Mental Health Warriors: Episode 013 – It’s Inner Beauty that Captivates the Heart

Nikki DuBose is a highly intelligent young woman who has a mind-boggling story to tell. She’s doing more than telling her story though. She is serving others by fighting for change.

A childhood poisoned by abuse led her into the dystopian world of high-fashion. Imagine a woman in the grips of anorexia, being rewarded with fame and riches for her failing, frail body and even more fragile mind. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around, but Nikki’s words gave me a glimpse of that world.

Nikki has since recovered from her seventeen year battle with bulimia and anorexia. She’s written a captivating memoir.

Listen to Nikki chat with Jason McKenzie on Mental Health Warriors. 

LWVLAC: Mental Health Position 2016-2018

League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County

Co-Chairs: Linda Paquette & Nikki DuBose

League of Women Voters of California Mental Health Care

MENTAL HEALTH CARE (Adopted 1989) 

Support for an adequately funded mental health care system which provides comprehensive services to the acutely, chronically and seriously mentally ill of all ages, maintains optimal mental health services for all clients, places emphasis on meeting the needs of children, offers mental health services for the homeless, seeks additional funds for preventative services, implements a master plan to integrate services, raises awareness of critical unmet needs, and emphasizes case management.

Support for the following: 

  1. An adequately funded county mental health care system which:
    1. Provides comprehensive services to the acutely, chronically and seriously mentally ill of all ages;
    2. Place emphasis on meeting the needs of children;
    3. Seeks additional funds to provide preventative services;
    4. Offers mental health services for the homeless;
    5. Maintains optimal mental health services for all clients.
  2. Implementation of a master plan which:
    1. Ensures that there will be a network of integrated community based services clearly defined and consistent;
    2. Advocates an awareness of and concern about the critical unmet needs within the county;
    3. Emphasizes case management which includes assistance with housing, financial, entitlements, rehabilitative and vocational programs.
  3. Centers for the seriously and chronically mentally ill apart from the county system.
  4. Regulations which provide an adequate length of time for evaluation and treatment of involuntary holds.
  5. A model mandatory outpatient care program with adequate supervisory staff.

 

*Taken from the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County – Adopted Program 2016-2018

#SpeakingOutLouder Campaign with Rise Together Official

I partnered with Rise Together to bring awareness to the millions who are affected by suicide, bullying, addiction, and more during #NationalRecoveryMonth.

I’m #SpeakingOutLouder because I am a survivor of suicide. In fact, my entire life I’ve dealt with suicidal ideation. My mother was in and out of mental care facilities when I was a teen because she attempted against her life. Some of my friends and family members did not survive suicide, and I believe that if we, as a society, put an end to the shaming, hatred, and blaming, we can help prevent suicide. I think that we have to work together to look for better suicide prevention strategies and invest more in mental health. Every life is precious, and everybody has something valuable to contribute to the world.

-Nikki DuBose
Model, Author, Advocate, Survivor

 

How are YOU SpeakingOutLouder during #NationalRecoveryMonth? Take a pic with the #SpeakingOutLouder and post on social!


League of Women Voters of California Supports DISCLOSE ACT (AB 249)

I am so proud that the League of Women Voters of California is supporting the DISCLOSEAct (AB 249). As a Board Member for the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County, I am grateful for the State’s support on this critical issue. Without financial transparency, dark money will continue to run every sector of our political system, thus affecting the people of our nation, instead of the other way around. Financial transparency is staple to a just and fair democracy.

Read the League of Women Voters of California’s statement on the Disclose Act.

Take action and support the DISCLOSE Act. 

 

 

FoodieRN – Episode 11: Interview with Nikki DuBose

Nikki DuBose sat down with Kristi Cheek, Registered Nurse, yoga instructor, holistic health counselor and coach to talk about why recovery from mental illness is not perfect and her experience overcoming abuse, eating disorders, and more as covered in her memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light. 

Listen here. 

Rise Together: How to Cope With Early Trauma with Nikki DuBose

“Nikki DuBose, author, speaker and mental health advocate was a former model for Maxim, Glamour, Vogue, FHM, and Vanity Fair. Listen to Nikki open up about trying to fit in at a young age, being sexually assaulted, dealing with anxiety, suicidal ideation, sex, drug, and alcohol addiction, learning to cope with trauma, and now living happily in recovery today.”

Listen here on Rise Together. 

 

United As One Voice – Washed Away: From Darkness to Light Book Review

“I am not much of a book reader. I can never seem to get into them because I am forever distracted, forever busy. However when I got offered to read ‘Washed Away’ I could not say no.

Nikki Dubose is no doubt a very brave and inspiring woman who has been through more than most but I love how she has used her negative past to inspire others. It was a book that made me a feel a mix of emotions. Surprised, shocked and sad but also inspired by her bravery.”

Read the full review at United As One Voice.

Psych Central – I Needed Color to Heal from Depression

Continuing from the last post about my mother’s Bipolar diagnosis and artistic abilities, I thought I’d also touch on how painting can help those who suffer from depression. My mother had serious bouts of depression, where she would sleep for days, sometimes weeks on end. In 2015 I was also diagnosed with clinical depression. In honor of my mother and to help with my depression, I began teaching art therapy techniques to help other…

Read the full post on PsychCentral.

PsychCentral – Seeing Life Differently: Using Art to Heal with Bipolar Disorder

My mother was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when I was a teenager, and for most of my life, I didn’t understand many of the things she said or did. After she passed in 2012, I began my healing journey from trauma, anorexia, and related disorders, and after a couple years, began educating myself about Bipolar, a condition that once terrified me.

My mother was a tremendous artist, gifted; and although she touched many with her creative talents, she could never come to…

Read the rest of the post on PsychCentral.

PsychCentral – Five years ago: For the love of Sandy

Five years ago: For the love of Sandy

Five years ago, my mother Sandy passed away in a car accident. Although the initial investigation from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office stated that the cause of her accident was due to “some sort of a tire issue, causing the vehicle to veer off the road,” what my family and I know many years and one book later, is that her death was due to alcoholism, and potentially being attacked while driving.

Read the full post on PsychCentral

 

Swallowed

On that day

In September

We threw Momma in the water

She was scattered

I knew I was a thief.

The waves went

In and out

In and out

Swallowed her up

Entirely,

Without a thought

As often waves do.

She was once there

She was no more.

I died.

 

2017 Nikki DuBose

To The Bone: Controversy, Conversation, Eating Disorder Hope

Nikki Dubose, author, speaker and mental health advocate states: “I watched a little of “To The Bone.” As a former entertainer, I know that losing weight for your craft is seen as an art, but I also know that the environment can push you to engage in maladaptive behaviors.

I nearly lost my life trying to fit into what the entertainment and modeling industry wanted, and I don’t think it’s wise for an actress with a prior history of an eating disorder to lose that much weight, neither is it wise for the studios to cast someone who had an ED. It can be very triggering to the brain, emotions, and body. “

Read the full article on Eating Disorder Hope. 

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.

Above Anxiety: Mental Health Meets Modeling

Earlier this year, I was very kindly gifted a copy of ‘Washed Away: From Darkness To Light’, a memoir written by former model and turned author and advocate, Nikki DuBose. Within the book, Nikki documents some of her most personal life events, from childhood sexual abuse to revealing how the model industry fuelled her all-encompassing battle with various eating disorders.

I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant to read and review it at first as I didn’t think it would be my cup of tea. I don’t have much interest in fashion or modelling and so was quick to dismiss the book in it’s entirety. The second I heard the words ‘mental health’ and ‘modelling’ in the same sentence, I couldn’t help but fear that this book might glamorise mental illness and in particular, eating disorders.

However, you know what they say: ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ and in this circumstance, that saying proved truer than ever.

Read the full review at Above Anxiety.

Bookspin: Self-Image by Nikki DuBose

Self-Image

Inner beauty: you can’t sell it, but it’s your most important feature. Every month on magazine covers, we buy into the promise of “ten steps to…” a better body, bank account, romance, and more, but we hardly focus on the one thing that really matters, which is our souls.
Real happiness is found on the inside. However, we rush off to the stores in an effort to buy our way to true bliss, and this is what keeps us perpetually trapped in the advertising illusion. Things are not bad, neither is wanting to be beautiful, but our minds, souls, and emotions are precious, and they make up the foundation to which all other forms of joy grow. If our minds are out of balance, then how can we expect to ever be truly happy? If we fail to nourish our souls first, then we will never see ourselves as truly beautiful, and we may constantly look to others to validate us.

Read the full post on Book Spin.

Abbey Louisa Rose: Bookshelf Update #2

“I posted my last Bookshelf Update post alllll the way back in November of last year, but with the mountains of uni work I’ve been ploughing through as part of my Masters degree, I haven’t had much time for recreational reading! However, I’ve collated all of the books I’ve read since my last update post here to share a huge collective review with you all today! But don’t worry, all the reviews are spoiler free, so if you want to pick up any of the books that I’ve read, the plot twists won’t be ruined for you!

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light by Nikki DuBose*
Washed Away is a candid and brutal memior, written by model Nikki DuBose, tracking her life from a shy child to through to a successful modelling career. Nikki charts her experiences with sexual violence, eating disorders, addiction, and mental health, being open and honest throughout, even when describing the most harrowing events. I have the upmost respect for Nikki for writing this, she proves that even if you’re going through the very darkest days of your life, you will come out the other side, and find strength in recovery. This book is extremely poignant and will stay with you for a long time: a must-read.”

Read the full review at Abbey Louisa Rose.

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)!

 

Educator Action Plan – Child Victims Act

Educator Action Plan

Smithtown, NY

Senator Flanagan represents the town of Smithtown, NY. Few educators, parents, and coaches are aware of Senator

Flanagan’s chronic attempts to block the Child Victims Act, which protects children from sexual abuse and pro
vides a one-year look back window for survivors to receive justice. Why would Senator Flanagan be portraying the image in his town as a loving family man, when in reality, he is doing the bidding of rich pedophiles such as the cover ups in the Catholic Church who own a majority of real estate in New York?

 

We must contact these schools and educators in Smithtown and let them know that their Senator has been blocking protection to sexually abused children and justice to survivors. Ask them to call, write, and tweet at Senator Flanagan’s office and let him know that this is unacceptable. Only a YES vote immediately for the Child Victims Act is ok for the citizens of Smithtown. Do they really want to vote for a Senator who doesn’t protect kids? The average time it takes for kids to report sexual abuse is 21 years – current law only allows till age 23.

 

SCHOOLS

 

  1. Dogwood Elementary School

‪Twitter: .@SCSD_DEL ‪‏

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dogwood-Elementary-School/1541820506035560

Address: 50 Dogwood Dr, Smithtown, NY 11787

Phone: (631) 382-4250

District: Smithtown Central School District

 

  1. Accompsett Middle School

‪‪Twitter: .@SCSD_AMS

Facebook Pages: https://www.facebook.com/AccompsettMSPTA/

https://www.facebook.com/Accompsett-Middle-School-Memes-139471362873652/

https://www.facebook.com/swvk1/

Address: 1 Lincoln St, Smithtown, NY 11787

Phone: (631) 382-4155

District: Smithtown Central School District

Main Office: (631) 382-2300

Assistant Principal – Mr. Hellmuth: (631) 382-2305

Health Office: (631) 382-2320

Counseling Center: (631) 382-2310

 

  1. Smithtown High School East

Twitter:  .‪@SCSD_HSE

Facebook (for High School West): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smithtown-High-School-West/1504380646509917

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Smithtown-High-School-East-PTSA-290580784299099/

https://www.facebook.com/SEbullsVF2016/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/118434945312897/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/728019330639112/

Address: 10 School Street, Saint James, NY 11780

Main Office: (631) 382-2705

Health Office: (631) 382-2710

Attendance Office: (631) 382-2716

Counseling Center: (631) 382-2750

Principal – Dr. Simmons (631) 382-2705

Assistant Principal – Mr. Aleci: (631) 382-2740

Assistant Principal – Mr. Pettis: (631) 382-2760

 

  1. Branch Brook Elementary School

Address: 15 Ridgeley Rd, Smithtown, NY 11787

Phone: (631) 382-4200

District: Smithtown Central School District

Health Office: (631) 382-4210

Principal – Ms. Westrack: (631) 382-4205

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Branch-Brook-Elementary-School/750451171765775

 

Board of Education

  1. Smithtown Central School District

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smithtown-School-District-Central-Office/500860543297331

Main Email: boe@smithtown.k12.ny.us

District Clerk: (631) 382-2012

  1. Christopher Alcure, President on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopheralcure/

 

  1. Joanne McEnroy, Vice President

on Twitter .‪@jmcenroy55

On Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanne-mcenroy-20152012/

 Gladys M. Waldron, Trustee Phone: 631.265.1575

 

  1. Grace Plourde, Trustee Phone: (631) 979-0367

 

  1. Jeremy Thode, Trustee On Twitter .‪@vobstorm13 ‪‏

Email: jthode13@gmail.com Phone: 631.220.5543

 

  1. Daniel B. Lynch, Trustee

Phone: (631) 724-2684

58 Theodore St. Smithtown, NY 11787

 

  1. Michael Saidens, Trustee

Phone: (631) 262-8914

3 Kim Ave. Smithtown, NY 11787

 

EDUCATORS

 

  1. Paul McNeil, Principal at Accompsett Middle School

‪Twitter: .@paulemcneil ‪‏

Work Phone: (631) 382-2305

 

  1. Robe Rose, Asst. Principal at Smithtown High School East

‪Twitter: .@rrose11 ‪‏

Work: (631) 382-2720

 

  1. Ms. Jennifer Bradshaw, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

Smithtown Central School District

‪‪Twitter: .@jentrifugal

Email: jbradshaw@smithtown.k12.ny.us

 

  1. James Grossane, Ed.d

jgrossane@smithtown.k12.ny.us

Superintendent of schools

Smithtown Central School District

 

  1. Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services

Ms. Mona Tobin

mtobin@smithtown.k12.ny.us

Smithtown Central School District

 

  1. Assistant Superintendent for Personnel

Mr. Neil Katz

nkatz@smithtown.k12.ny.us

Twitter: .@PersonnelSCSD ‪‏ ‪‏

Smithtown Central School District

 

  1. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations

Mr. Andrew Tobin

atobin@smithtown.k12.ny.us

Smithtown Central School District

 

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. 

 

 

 

Messaging for New York Advocates

Find your Senator here.

Messaging for New York Advocates

On Twitter

 

  1. .@LeaderFlanagan Protecting Children from sexual abuse is the right thing to do. Let’s compromise on a bill and pass #ChildVictimsAct.

 

Calling Script

 

“Hi, my name is______________ and I’m Senator ___________________ constituent.

I’m calling to urge Senator _________ to pass the Child Victims Act because __________________________.  The Assembly approves of this measure, and we need to come to a compromise on this issue now because 150 children are sexually abused every day in New York. Passing the Child Victims Act is so important because children everywhere deserve to be protected.   (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 

 

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 Assembly approves of this measure, and now children need your support! Let’s come to a compromise on this issue.  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 and be a hero for kids everywhere.

 

Sincerely,

Your Name

Organization (if applicable)

 

 

 

By Mail

Please refer to my advocacy page for letters of support.

Note: Please change S809 to Child Victims Act.

 

 

Creating New Memories

Some weekend inspiration for you ⭐️
#Repost @enjoythej0urney (@get_repost)
・・・
Do you attach meaning to certain objects and places? My whole life, I’ve
shoved away and hidden the things that bring up bad memories for me. I never throw them away (just in case, as my OCD says) but I try to keep things out of plain view that bring me pain. ⤵️
How do you do this with something as large as an apartment? How do you cover up every wall that reminds you of the people who hurt to remember? How do you stay recovered in a space where it feels like the ghost of your sick self is lingering?⤵️
I moved my room around. 3 times. I’ve changed the furniture in my living room. I’ve painted over my bedroom walls. I reorganized my kitchen. And in the midst of that, I started to understand that we can’t cover up every physical thing that reminds us of pain. When it’s just a stuffed animal in the closet, or a bed switched to a different side of the room, it’s one thing. When it’s desperately trying to find a way to remove every single thing that brings back the hurt, it’s unrealistic and unattainable. Once you can accept that, you can search for another solution.⤵️
My solution? Create new memories. It’ll feel wrong for awhile. You won’t want to laugh in the room that reminds you of betrayal & judgment, but if you try, you will. You’ll feel like staying in a room that does not make you feel anything at all, but you’ll push yourself to be uncomfortable instead. Slowly, you’ll accept the pain. You’ll notice your feelings and you’ll let them go. And then you’ll realize that it’s okay to release what once hurt so badly, because it does not negate the fact that it happened. You came, you saw, you felt. Now, you move on.

 

Nature is God’s Artwork

Nature is God’s artwork. Sometimes when I’m having a stressful day, I take a walk outside, breathe in the fresh air, and take photos of the beautiful nature that I’m so blessed to be surrounded by.

Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, I was exposed to all kinds of plants and wildlife, from alligators to pelicans, Crepe myrtles to the hanging Spanish moss trees.

On the west coast, the nature is quite different, but absolutely lovely. Did you know that you can find art anywhere? Those exposed branches on the side of the road, the dying flower, and dried leaves are all beautiful, it just takes a bit
of mindfulness to appreciate their beauty.
It’s just like us, sometimes when we don’t feel at our best, we can’t see what’s beautiful about ourselves. But God sees us perfectly and complete. We are never washed up or too dull for Him. We are all part of a larger masterpiece, a divine art that spans for all eternity.


My body belongs to me

#Repost @fatisnotanadjective (@get_repost)
・・・
On May 28, 2013, my life turned upside down in a way I could never imagine. What started as a simple, online friendship turned into an in-person meet up that didn’t go as planned. It turned into a day that I would never forget. It was the day that I was sexually assaulted. Being 14 years old, I knew something wasn’t right but I was too scared to say something.
On May 28, 2014, I attempted to take my own life because to me, it seemed like there was no other way out. My mind was flooded with the “it was your fault” thoughts and the nightmares would not go away. I was unable to escape the constant flashbacks and the feelings of disgust. I wanted out.
On May 28, 2015, I would wake up everyday, still hoping that I could eventually shower away my disgust. I thought that washing away the external dirt would erase the dirtiness I felt, but it wouldn’t. So time and time again, I would keep trying.
On May 28, 2016, I came to the realization that I couldn’t do this alone. I told someone.. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it was also the bravest thing. I wanted my life back and some day, I wanted my body to feel like my own.
Today, on May 28, 2017, I am refusing to give him the power any longer. This monster of a human is not worth my endless tears, horrible night terrors, continuous dissociation, and vivid flashbacks. I am worth more than what happened to me. My body belongs to me and it’s time for me to start treating it that way.
#fatisnotanadjective

Pops of Color

#Repost @leenahlovesherself (@get_repost)
・・・
I love how this photo is mostly black & white with a splash of color. When you’re struggling with mental
illness (or even just life in general) everything can seem like a blur and like every thing is very one-note – like there isn’t any color or light.
However, even in the worst times, there are some pops of color. It can be SO challenging to see them, but they are there.
One way that we can find these moments is by choosing to practice mindfulness. When we anchor ourselves to the present moment instead of being in the past or future, we are able to see the little pops of color that life has to offer, even when times are tough ✨
(Photo by @cmrfx, wearing an @aerie bralette and a @capezio tutu)
#MyFlawsAreFierce
#BopoBallerina
#MentalHealthMonth

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.

 

Charlene McElhinney’s Book Review of Washed Away: From Darkness to Light by Nikki Dubose

After reading Nikki’s memoir I was lost for words. What a remarkable woman, I thought, and oh so courageous! To openly speak out about darker times in your past is draining, difficult and so daunting (I know because I’ve also opened up about my mental health issues through the form of poetry in book form). Putting it out there, for the world to see, is absolutely terrifying. And Nikki shares so much with us. You can’t fault a word in Nikki’s memoir: It is her whole life in your hands. You can feel it. You can feel her pain, her thought process, and more importantly – her desire to be loved. Nikki desperately wanted to be loved throughout her whole life and it breaks your heart reading about her life knowing that there is nothing you can do. I wanted to reach out to this young girl and tell her she is deeply loved – if only someone had.

Read the full review at Charlene McElhinney.

God’s Word Has the Power to Defeat #MentalIllness