Osteoporosis is something only old people suffer from, right? WRONG – as I learned on National Osteoporosis Day last week (20th October), when I heard the story of a 30 year old woman who fractured both her wrists because an extreme diet had left her bones so brittle.
You only get osteoporosis if you’re REALLY unhealthy, right? WRONG again. As we listened to the story of a normal man, whose previous slightly careless but distinctly average lifestyle (played rugby at school, smoked during his teens, enjoyed a pint at the weekend with the lads) now renders him in constant pain.
We all know that starvation isn’t healthy, but the full implications often don’t sink in, because we’re too busy thinking about fitting into our skinny jeans. Scarily, our bone density reaches it’s peak during our teenage years and can never be replenished. So just as we are experimenting with the latest celeb diet fad it’s the exact time we need to be thinking about our bones and eating a balanced diet.
In order to raise awareness of these issues, a celebrity cast including Zaraah Abrahams, Big Brother’s Nikki Grahame and Louisa Lytton performed a selection of ‘real body stories’, written by members of the public. The celebs performed pieces submitted to the Body Gossip writing competition, a campaign which aims to give real people’s bodies a powerful voice and to celebrate healthy and natural beauty.
The performances were read from a script, which rather brilliantly acted as a constant reminder to the audience (which included HRH the Duchess of Cornwall) that the celebrity cast were acting as a vehicle to tell someone else’s story. By reading, and by generously donating their time to the projects, the celebrities were saying ‘hey, it’s not about me’.
Lizzie Roper (comedienne) was characteristically hilarious. CBeebies Presenter CerrieBurnell also performed a piece she had written herself, describing the journey she has made towards accepting her body and her disability, which was beautifully written.
The event was at times uncomfortable because it was so emotional, but body image issues are serious, despite the way they are often trivialised in the media, and at times we need to be reminded of this. The day acted as a powerful reminder that our health is our most precious commodity.
To find out more about the National Osteoporosis Society go to www.nos.org
Words by Natasha Devon.