Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Sharon Canclini (far right), Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Marie Stark (right), nursing student Rachel Rudberg (middle), speaker Dr. Rachel Adatto (left) and Associate Dean for Nursing Suzy Lockwood (far left) pose for a photo at the event

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Dr. Rachel Adatto spoke with nursing students on Oct. 21 in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium about her mission to help women with body image problems.

Adatto is an Israeli doctor, lawyer and politician. She is also the chairperson of the Welfare and Health Committee and was the first female gynecologist in Jerusalem.

Adatto said that anorexia is the number one cause of death among young girls between the ages of 14 and 18.

She said she noticed a close connection between media and eating disorders among women and was able to use her position in politics to pass a law she refers to as “the Photoshop law.”

The law “limits the use of unhealthy and unrealistically thin models,” according to Adatto’s presentation. The law prohibits models from working in print ads or walking the runway if they have a body mass index below 18.5.

Adatto said that the law also calls for a “warning” on digitally altered photos. This means that every altered photo in Jerusalem actually warns the viewer that the model’s body has been changed. Adatto equated this to warnings on cigarette boxes.

The law took two years to pass and has raised awareness about the eating disorder epidemic in Israel. Adatto said that it promotes a new attitude of body image and shows women that “anorexia isn’t beautiful.”

Nursing students said they thought that it was important Adatto spoke about such a difficult topic and even discussed implementing a similar law in America.

“I thought talking about anorexia was important because there is such an emphasis in healthcare today on obesity,” nursing major Ashley Salyer said. “This lecture was a great reminder as a future nurse that anorexia is a prevalent issue that needs to be talked about.”

“I think the laws put in place for models and advertising of models is admirable and something the United States should consider,” nursing major Breanna Wheeler said.

Adatto also shared the difficulties she faced being a woman in typically male dominated practices. She said she was told that women would never want to go to another woman gynecologist and that a woman would never be able to run a hospital.

Adatto proved both of those people wrong by accomplishing both of the things they said her sex would not allow her too. Her advice to women everywhere is, “when you really want something, don’t [take] no for an answer.”

Associate Dean for Nursing Suzy Lockwood said Adatto’s speech was important because of “the opportunity to dialogue not only about health and social issues, but also her experiences as a woman trying to make a difference in a culture that did not also see the value of women in leadership roles.”

Nursing major Rachel Rudberg arranged for Adatto to come speak at TCU. Rudberg is the president of the TCU chapter of Hillel International, a foundation for Jewish campus life at colleges and universities.

“I coordinated with Hillel International, Dr. Adatto herself, publicizing reaching out to different communities on campus for funding (Harris and Women’s & Genders Study’s) along with the Fort Worth Community (Jewish Federation, local synagogues, Texas Jewish Post),” Rudberg said.

“[Adatto] shed a light on Israel that the media in America does not highlight and discussed information that is relevant to what is occurring in America today,” Rudberg said.