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Thursday, August 17, 2023
1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT

The Distorted Mirror: Technology's Impact on Youth Body Image

Endless scrolling through feeds and photos of celebrities, influencers, friends, classmates, and strangers is all too familiar for today’s youth and teens. But how are these images, fads, diets, exercise routines, get-ready-with-me videos, and so many other forms of content really influencing the body image and self-confidence of youth? With constant comparison at the tip of your fingers, technology can pose new challenges when considering disordered eating, body dysmorphia, and general mental health struggles of youth.

Join MHA and guests for a free, 60-minute discussion where we will:

  • Discuss how social media can impact youth and teen body image, self-confidence, and mental health
  • Identify what kinds of harmful content is presented to young people on social media that can promote or lead to disordered eating and/or body dysmorphia
  • Hear from experts and those with lived experiences on what we can do to make social media platforms safe and healthy environments for youth and teens

Meet the speakers

Lisa Radzak is the executive director at WithAll, where she leads strategic growth as a sustainable social enterprise dedicated to the prevention of and healing from eating disorders. Radzak has more than 20 years of experience in public affairs, community relations, and law, and nearly 15 years of experience in nonprofit leadership. She is a graduate of Mitchell Hamline School of Law, a member of the Minnesota Bar, and a Minnesota Supreme Court appointee to Minnesota’s Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. Radzak does this work because she knows kids are not born with eating disorders, and eating disorders are not inevitable. She lived with disordered eating throughout childhood, which later evolved into a clinical eating disorder.

Serena Nangia (she/her) is a body activist, long-time advocate for eating disorder recovery, and senior marketing and communications manager for an eating disorder nonprofit called Project HEAL. She has spent close to a decade building expertise on the way body image, media, and eating disorders affect people’s daily lives, as well as how fatphobia and weight stigma create issues of access and discrimination systemically and interpersonally. Nangia’s inspiration comes from her sister, Ellen, who struggled with an eating disorder for over a decade and is now in long-term recovery.

Stephanie Albers is the clinical assessment program manager at Project Heal. Albers has worked in counseling in higher education for 15 years with a focus on creating access to education for individuals with marginalized identities. Albers believes that we are truly better together, and healing becomes possible when we listen to the experiences of all bodies dealing with eating disorders. She maintains a clinical mental health license in the states of Nebraska, Iowa, and Idaho. She is also a Be Body Positive trained facilitator. Albers holds a doctoral degree in development psychology and a master’s degree in community mental health counseling.

Sophie Szew (she/they) is a Los Angeles-born mental health activist, writer, and public speaker. She was a youth leader at MTV’s Mental Health Youth Action Forum at the White House, where she shared her story with President Biden and helped guide the Administration on how to best serve the needs of youth in the mental health care system. Szew is also a three-time intern at the U.S. House of Representatives and an internationally recognized poet, winning the 2021 Woorilla Poetry Prize and serving as an inaugural poet for L.A. Mayor Karen Bass. They have advised numerous organizations, including Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Mental Health America, and the California Mental Health Consortium. As a first-year student at Stanford University, they hope to double-major in American studies with a concentration in mental health care justice and comparative studies in race and ethnicity, with two minors in human rights and creative writing. As an eating disorder survivor and proud Jewish Latina, Szew combines their own experiences with injustice brought about by mental health care inequity with her passion for writing, advocacy, and leadership to uplift the voices of those with lived experiences and fight for the systemic destigmatization of marginalized bodies.