Lehigh Valley

Photo project helps Bethlehem woman talk about her battle with anorexia

Photo project helps woman talk about her battle with anorexia

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and with the help of a local photographer, a Bethlehem woman is sharing her story, in the hopes of inspiring others.

With every click of the shutter Angela Malpedo is getting stronger.

"I've never, since the age of seven, been comfortable in my own skin," said Malpedo.

Her battle with anorexia started then.

She's gone through treatment, and now the Bethlehem native is sharing her story through photos.

"I didn't have any make-up and I chose to do that because part of National Eating Disorder Awareness week is going bare face," added Malpedo. "Bare face beauty."

"Some things happen at right time, at the right place, for the right reasons and I felt like that was the big green light saying just do this," said Alyssa Andrew-Swift, owner of Alyssa Andrew Photography.

Andrew-Swift is taking the photos and sharing them in a blog called "The Real Woman Au Naturale Project," a project that started after Alyssa says she got a glimpse of society on the internet.

"I saw like little girls posting themselves saying, 'Am I pretty?' or holding a picture up saying, 'Am I pretty?'" added Andrew-Swift. "And it just broke my heart."

Malpedo may be the first woman to share her story, but Andrew-Swift is hoping she won't be the last.

The Real Woman Au Natural Project runs throughout the year.

"They inspire me so much because they are so brave to come forward and put their stories out there," said Andrew-Swift. "I am truly inspired and when I am inspired I can create."

The project motto is "every woman has a story and their story should be told."

"We're all beautiful and we all have flaws, but that's what makes us, us," added Malpedo. "There is no perfect woman."

It's a message these women hope gets passed on to others.

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