One girl’s bid to erase the stigma


The revolution to change the stigma surrounding eating disorders and mental illness has begun. Thanks to the support of Layne Beachley’s Aim for the Stars grant, Jessica Smith, the creator of the Join the Revolution campaign, is more than ready to get started.

By the end of this year, Jessica hopes every Australian will know about the campaign. She plans to do this by producing a short video highlighting the issues and by hosting events across the country to bring awareness to all.

“[Winning the grant] validates everything I have been working towards and everybody else here. It is a great encouragement to keep going,” Jessica says.

Having excelled in swimming at the Paralympic Games and many international competitions, Jessica is a real-life inspiration. She was born missing her left forearm and then suffered third-degree burns to 14 per cent of her body when she was a toddler. She has walked a long road to find peace with her body.

“Now I work as a motivational speaker, sharing my story in the hope of encouraging other young females in particular to continue to strive and to realise that there is endless opportunity,” she says.

“For me in particular, there is body image. I suffered [from it]. It is the leading concern for young women and men as well. I have a history of eating disorders and I wanted to share my story  to encourage people to realise that there is hope. You can get through things and achieve whatever it is you want.”

Balance Team

This article was written by the brains trust of Balance . We are a talented team of writers and contributors with real life experience and a passion for finding balance.

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