TODAY

TODAY   |  December 17, 2013

Teen girls create ‘Beautiful’  film on eating disorders

Two teens turned a school assignment into a public service announcement about eating disorders titled “You Are Beautiful,” and it’s making a big impact in their community. NBC’s Andrea Canning reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now a short film earning high marks for a very serious issue. its crate toeators are just 13 years old.

>> reporter: when cam reron and olivia joined the fill film club , their assignment was assign. create a public service announcement .

>> we chose eating disorders .create a publ ic service announcement.

>> we chose eating disorders .

>> reporter: despite having no personal experience with eating disorde disorders, the girls agreed on a vision and got a surprising reaction when their teacher took his first look.

>> he got the a little bit teary eyed .

>> it took me back to whenthe a little bit teary eyed .

>> it took me back to when my own daughter, mindy , was suffering from an eating disorder .

>> reporter: 20 years ago, marcus' daughter, minute candy, w mindy , started struggling with her body image . trying to lose weight to keep pace with other girls in her dance classes.

>> we would talk until we were blue in the face . no, you're beautiful. you're not fat.

>> reporter: when mindy went on a 91 day stretch without eating any solid foods, her parents staged an intervention to get her into rebe has been. today mindy is a dance instructor teaching her students not only how to use their bodies, but also how to appreciate them.

>> i really believe young women have a struggle with believing that they are beautiful.

>> reporter: that is the struggle cameron and owe lilivia set out to portray. the story follow as girl named abby and her constant struggle with food. her body image , and eventually her health. with almost no dialogue, just carefully chosen images, the film reveals the secret world of eating disorders .

>> when you see abby looking sideways into the mirror , i remember seeing mindy doing that and say, you know, i'm too fat.

>> when the girls see you are beautiful, they will realize they're not alone.

>> reporter: after the film debuted at school, the president of aspen academy saw an immediate impact on campus. students and parents coming forward to share their own struggles with eating disorders .

>> the film helps everyone to be able to say here's what it looks like, here's what it sounds like, here's what it feels like. and then to create a conversation around it.

>> reporter: cameron and olivia are already hard at work on their next film project. it won't be a public service announcement , but the goals remain the same.

>> i feel like i'm really helping the world just become a better place.

>> i never thought that i could make this much difference. so it's really amazing.

>> reporter: two young filmmakers with a camera. giving others a chance to see their own reflection in a whole new light. for "today," andrea canning, nbc news, new york.

>> we should mention if you want to see the film, you are beautiful, in its entirety, it's on our website today.com.