We’re inspired each day by the stories you share that show how you’re #AerieREAL. This week we’re sharing the story of 23-year-old Laura Porter, a student at the George Washington University, and founder of SPEAK GW. A recovering ED warrior and advocate for change and body positivity, Laura works each day to provide resources, and raise awareness and attention to the problem of eating disorders specifically on campus. Read on below to learn more about Laura and to follow her journey!
Aerie: Hi, Laura! Thanks for chatting with us. We love SPEAK’s mission. What inspired you to launch SPEAK GW?
Laura: I wanted to create a space and a community where people weren’t afraid to speak up about eating disorders. I am inspired by the community Proud2BMe and NEDA have built online, and I love being able to bring that community to men and women in college, because that’s what I needed when I was struggling. Organizations like SPEAK and Proud2BMe give young people the opportunities to use their voices and silence stigma, which really changes lives.
Aerie: Do you have a role model? If so who is he/ she and why does he/ she inspire you?
Laura: My role models are the men and women who share their stories so bravely with others and those warriors who fought internal battles with addiction, eating disorders and other illnesses, and won. There are so many people I have met in treatment who I now see doing amazing things and successfully and bravely taking on life’s challenges one day at a time. Those are my role models.
Aerie: After graduation, what is your ultimate dream job?
Laura: It’s my dream to speak to young men and women around the country and share my story of recovery from alcoholism and an eating disorder. I want people to never feel alone and to know that there is always hope.
Aerie: Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
Laura: My mantra is “speaking up saves lives.” It’s so true because when we share our stories and use our voices, we can reach people in ways that can change a life.
Aerie: What does being #AerieREAL mean to you?
Laura: It means showing my true self to others, knowing that I am worthy of love and letting go of perfection. It’s about being me—unapologetically.
Aerie: What’s your favorite Aerie bra fit?
Laura: The Softest Lace Racerback Bralette. It’s perfect to add extra color to my typically neutral wardrobe.
Aerie: Do you have a secret skill or talent? Spill!
Laura: I can do impressions really well, especially accents. I’m from Houston, Texas and have family from Mississippi, so I’ve nailed the southern twang.