The black-and-white video scenes fade in and out slowly, teen girls at school and home, the words reflecting their thoughts: "Would they like me if I was thinner?" "Why can't I stop?" "Can this really kill me?"
Savannah Dickson knows those thoughts all too well.
Two years ago, when she weighed 82 pounds and was suffering from anorexia, doctors gave the Lexington teen three weeks to live.
After two months of in- patient treatment and continuing long-term counseling, the Tates Creek senior is healthy and hoping her award-winning video will help others find their way to recovery.
Savannah, 16, was recently honored for her 30-second public service announcement in a contest sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association. Savannah's video stood out from the 50 others submitted for the competition.
"It was interesting," said association president Lynn Grefe. "We didn't know who these people were. Hers just kept coming to the top."
Grefe said Savannah's video resonated especially with younger people. "The one that came in second spoke more to parents," she said.
The group had spread word of the contest through college campuses and film schools. Savannah saw it posted on the organization's Web site. Although she didn't have a lot of experience in creating multimedia, she was inspired by the theme of the contest: "It's time to talk."
"I had, like, 700 ideas," said Savannah, who won $200 and a trip to New York to receive her honor.
She wanted to focus on the feelings, and she thought it was important to feature typical girls. She said she thought that too often, images of extremely emaciated girls are used to provoke discussions about eating disorders. She thought it was important to focus on the feelings that can lead to an eating disorder.
"I wanted to show that kind of gradual thought process" that can build into a serious medical problem, she said.
For her, she said, it started with the need to always be the best. Over time, that developed into an obsession about her weight.
Two years ago, she found herself sitting before a doctor who told her she was dying. She spent two months in in-patient treatment out of state, much of that time surviving on a feeding tube.
It was difficult, she said, but she learned a lot from the experience and is now determined to help others. She started a Healthy Mind, Healthy Body club at school. Seven to 20 girls attended the club's weekly meetings to discuss body image, peer pressure and nutrition.
That kind of real discussion is crucial to combatting eating disorders, Grefe said.
"I think we've really brought this illness out of the closet," she said. But there still needs to be a better understanding about the devastating health implications of eating disorders and the early signs of the disease, she said. "We can't be blasé about this," Grefe said. "People are dying."
Anorexia has the highest rate of death of any mental illness she said: "When girls die, they die young."
Savannah said she hopes her video can help to save the life of a teenager like herself. Two years into her recovery, she's grateful for what her life has become. After graduating a year early, she plans to attend Eastern Kentucky University in the fall. She will study education, and she hopes to be a high school English teacher.
"I want to make an impact," she said.