McCall Dempsey, founder of Southern Smash, is an eating disorder survivor and passionate recovery advocate. After a 15-year battle, McCall sought treatment at the Carolina House in December 2010. Since then she has made eating disorder awareness and prevention her life’s work and passion.
McCall travels the country, sharing her story of hope and healing with audiences everywhere. From high school auditoriums to treatment centers to corporate meetings, her message of authenticity and embracing your inner-uniqueness transcends all ages.
McCall also writes the popular blog, Loving Imperfection. Her writing has been featured in various national television, print and online publications, including Today Show, Women’s Health Online and HuffPostLive.com.
A Louisiana native, McCall now resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, with her husband, Jordan, and her two children, Manning (6) and Marjorie (4). For more information on bringing McCall to your event email firstname.lastname@example.org or download her speaking kit here: McCall Dempsey Speaking Information
topics & audiences
college. sorority. high school. // Loving Imperfection //
In this talk, McCall recounts her journey of recovery from a 15-year battle with an eating disorder. From how she found peace with food and body to breaking the mental health stigma to taking leaps of faith in life, nothing is off limits.
middle school. // Kindness Matters //
We all know middle school is a difficult time. In addition to eating disorder and mental health education, McCall focuses on how important it is to be kind to one another. Using current news and social media stories, McCall reinforces the dangers of bullying, gossip and social media and gives advice on how to navigate the sometimes dangerous waters of social media and self esteem.
grade school. // beYOUtiful! //
At some point in our lives, we receive the message that we aren’t good enough. In this talk, McCall reinforces the message of self-love and embracing what makes us different. The more we can remind our children of how uniquely awesome they are, the more resilient they can be against the negative messages society sends them.
parents. // How to Raise Body Positive Kids in a Diet Obsessed World //
In a society that is obsessed with appearance, food and body, our children are the ones suffering the greatest. They are exposed to an alarming amount of negative body messages every single day. The pressure to live up to such a narrow beauty standard, affects all ages, genders and races both physically and mentally. How can we, as parents, protect our children from these negative messages? The solution starts with you. In this powerful talk, McCall Dempsey shares how you can raise body positive kids!
eating disorder professionals. // Lasting Recovery //
McCall not only shares her recovery journey, but includes helpful skills and tools learned on the therapeutic couch. The road to recovery is difficult and requires more than just a expert clinical team. In this talk for eating disorder professionals, McCall tells not only what therapeutic skills and approaches worked best, but also how she cultivated a strong resiliency for life beyond her eating disorder.
oh…the places i’ve been
college & university
auburn university // centenary college of louisiana // duke university // elon university // kennesaw state // louisiana state university // meredith college // north carolina state university // ole miss // samford // tulane // ucla // university of georgia // university of miami // university of mississippi // university of north carolina chapel hill // university of north florida // university of virginia // vanderbilt // vcu
grade schools & high schools
academy of the sacred heart (new orleans, la) // baylor school (chattanooga, tn) // bolles school (jacksonville, fl) // carrollton school of the sacred heart (miami, fl) // episcopal school (baton rouge, la) // girls preparatory school (chattanooga, tn) // palmer catholic academy (ponte vedra beach, fl) // ravenscroft school (raleigh, nc) // saint james school (baton rouge, la) // saint joseph’s academy (baton rouge, la) // saint mary’s school (raleigh, nc)
alliance for eating disorders walk (boca raton & tampa, fl) // kappa delta sisterhood event (ole miss) // kappa kappa gamma sisterhood retreat (lsu) // ieadp winter gala (tampa, fl) // mary kay regional conference // mcr foundation mommy & me tea (chattanooga, tn) // neda conference // neda walk (biloxi, ms) // neda walk (newark, delaware) // neda walk (st. louis, mo) // seed conference // unc chapel hill panhellenic // unc chapel hill new member retreat // salt lake city, utah //
treatment centers & hospitals
carolina house (durham, nc) // alsana (st. louis, mo) // alsana (birmingham, al) // clementine (miami, fl, twin lakes, va) // focus treatment center (chattanooga, tn) // oliver-pyatt (miami, fl) // reasons eating disorder treatment center (los angeles, ca) // river oaks hospital (new orleans, la) // rosewood (santa monica, ca) // veritas collaborative (durham, nc)
“McCall Dempsey’s story of real-life recovery from her eating disorder is relatable, uncensored, authentic, and full of her Southern wit, and charm. She captivates listeners with her approachability and genuine spirit, and whether you’re in recovery of some kind or dealing with the all-to-common body image struggles or stressors of everyday life, you can hear a bit of your own story in hers. McCall’s accessible speaking style and humor demonstrate vulnerability and humanity, while her passion and dedication to a life of recovery and balance make her a fierce advocate for letting go of the pressures, numbers, and judgments that weigh us down.
Young women and men alike, parents, coaches, students, athletes, and health/mental health providers of all kinds have all found her presentations to be engaging, warm, funny, and motivational. She has a knack for getting the conversations started around some tough questions our society needs to look at, in terms of the way we judge ourselves and others, and push ourselves to unattainable, perfectionistic standards. McCall encourages living life “in the grey”, as most things are delightfully somewhere in the middle of the “black and white” bounds we so often limit ourselves by. Through her own recovery journey, she communicates a message of self-acceptance and wonderful imperfection that is critical and inspirational for us all to hear.”
– Christy Baker Rogers, MSW, LCSW, CEDS
“McCall extends a hopeful and exciting invitation in an engaging, dynamic way that stirs and calls her listeners to action. Our patients took her message and used the energy to motivate and complement their work as they took up the mantle of becoming fellow “Recovery Warriors” alongside her.”
– Marian McGavran, MSW, LCSW, Program Coordinator, River Oaks Hospital
McCall spoke beautifully about finding her authentic self and her journey to recovery. Our young women were captured by her powerful ability to engage her audience, and they left the experience feeling inspired and educated. McCall is a remarkable woman and a very poignant speaker.
–Amy House, LCSW, School Counselor, St. Joseph’s Academy, Baton Rouge