“I have become a more confident, positive, and resilient person throughout working with Rewrite Beautiful.” – Natalie, Student, Cal State Long Beach
The founding of the Rewrite Beautiful revolution…
Rewrite Beautiful started during the summer of 2009 when Irvina Kanarek from Southern California found herself with 3 very different jobs: a nanny, art teacher, and counselor in an eating disorder rehabilitation clinic. The girls she came into contact with had one thing in common; they were all jeopardizing their lives to make themselves “beautiful”. The art students were experimenting with eating disorders while the rehab patients were dying from them. Irvina worried that the little girl she nannied, Ever would one day grow up and be welcomed into this cycle.
“What can I do so Ever won’t end up with an eating disorder like all of these girls?”
The answer: “Prevention and art.”
Irvina started taking pictures of her friends off of Facebook and creating Street Art with them. She wrote about everything she found beautiful in them: their creativity, kindness and strength. She left the Street Art in public places for people to see. It caught on and people started making their own Rewrite Beautiful Street Art.
Rewrite Beautiful is now a 501(c)3 non-profit. The movement is to spread the Rewrite Beautiful message and to prevent eating disorders. The hope: in the absence of obsessing over their bodies, girls would be able to see the beautiful gifts and talents they possess and use them to change their own communities. Irvina says that she can sum up Rewrite Beautiful with this verse: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
There are several things in life I treasure: faith, writing, kids, art, awkward moments and big ideas.
I’ve learned, through my own eating disorder, what I treasure is a choice. I could choose to treasure the size of my jeans. I could choose to treasure how hot you think I am. I could choose to treasure the title of my job and the emblem on my car, but what would any of that do for you? Nothing.
The things I treasure today are a reflection of the heart I was created with-
My hope is you will also discover the things you were born to treasure and share them with others. I think that’s our purpose as human beings; to share what we have been given.
Rewrite Beautiful is what I have to share. I hope you allow me to share it with you and I hope you remember that beautiful is not an appearance that fades. Beautiful is an action that can grow to dramatically change someone else’s life forever.
How can I be so sure? I have experienced it! I might not be here if it wasn’t for the beautiful actions of men and women who took the time to Rewrite Beautiful for me. HOPE is real. REWRITING is possible.
Irvina Kanarek, Executive Director / Founder