Heather Blessington, aka mamaV, is the Founder of WeAreTheRealDeal.
The blog was officially launched at Chicago, at BlogHer July 2009 and has become a leading voice on women and body image. The basic concept of the blog was to smash together women with all different perspectives and experiences with body image — and watch the sparks fly.
And fly they did.
As a result, We Are The Real Deal has become the one and only platform for people of all shapes and sizes to come to come together, face their own body image issues, while finding a place within themselves to understand what others experience.
“Judging each other, ranking of feelings, and the rest of the fighting has got to stop if we are going to make any strides on the topic of body image. The future of our kids depends on our healthy outlook about ourselves…and that is motivation enough for me to keep blogging each and every day.”
Blessington began blogging in 2006, making a name for herself as “mamaVISION,” her personal blog that continues to serve as a voice of reason for young women and men with eating disorders. The “pro-anorexia community” became a focus of her research and writing as she realized the vast reach “anorexia, the lifestyle” had on the internet, and she continues to utilize her experience with eating disorders to deprogram young minds from the fashion industry and media.
As a former Paris model at 16, Blessington spent years in therapy to recover from her eating disorder, exercise obsession, and modeling experiences — all spurred by the impossible body size requirements of the fashion industry.
Today, she is a married, Mid-western mother of two with an in-your-face attitude that often provokes controversy and incites online riots from time to time (something she takes great pride in).
“A blog is nothing if not a place for great debate. I have absolutely no interest in nicey-nice conversations, positioned to make the community feel good. I am here to make people think, and that means no sugar coating – no b.s.”
In 2011, Blessington donated We Are The Real Deal blog to Normal In Schools in an effort to further the organization’s mission.
Read MamaV’s posts, here.
CNN, ‘Mad Men’ actress big? Them’s fightin’ words on the web (January 20, 2010)
BBC, Are “ordinary” women now fashionable? (October 12, 2009)
Forbes, Anonimity Isn’t An Invitation To Be Rude (March 30, 2011)
Jaime Oliver, Food Revolution Video (2010)
BlogHer, Blogs & Body Image Speaker (August 2008)
Parents Canada, Do You Know What Your Tweens Are Not Eating? (2008)
USA Today, Coffee Break (2007)
REAL Magazine (2007)
Back in skinny jeans, Anorexia and Internet Suicide (2006)
Back in skinny jeans, Wanna be a model? Mentor advice from a former catwalker (2006)
The Milwaukee Business Journal, Blessington uses star power for social media (March 2, 2012)
Milwaukee Magazine, Mother Knows Best by Jim Hazard (December 26,2008)
The Onion, A. V. Club Feature Story (November 22, 2008)