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Film, panel tackle body image issues

By Leslie King | Emory Report | Jan. 31, 2012

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"America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments" is a documentary film that deals with body image issues related to eating disorders and mental health and well-being.

A documentary film on body image issues related to eating disorders and mental health and well-being will be screened on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. in 208 White Hall.

Emory student and Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund is bringing "America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments" to increase dialogue, awareness and empowerment in the Emory community, she says. William Cooper, cardiothoracic surgeon at The Emory Clinic, is interviewed in the film.

A panel discussion will follow the film. Panelists include filmmaker Darryl Roberts, as well as Tricia Simonds, a health lecturer in Emory College and Belinda McIntosh, psychiatrist and assistant professor in the School of Medicine. Also joining the panel will be a nutritionist from Timberline Knolls, an eating disorders treatment center for which Haglund is a spokesperson.

Haglund says, "The movie is a call to pay attention and not just accept messages the media, the government, or anyone else gives you about your body."

Haglund heads the Kirsten Haglund Foundation, which provides financial aid to those seeking treatment for eating disorders. She is a political science major at Emory.

The film is the sequel to "American the Beautiful" of the same theme. "I have been a part of bringing the [original] film to multiple universities in 2009 and 2010, and it has always been a tremendous success," she says, "spurring lots of good discussion among college students and faculty, and helping provide awareness of resources available on campus for mental health, body-image, and general health and wellness issues."