Eating Disorder or Disordered Eating

How does someone become anorexic? In my Anthro 136K class today, we watched a movie about Renfrew Center, which shelters anorexic women and girls. They look so tired and you can see every bone… I just don’t understand how anyone could have the mindset that they must be thin to be beautiful. I think healthy is beautiful.

One specific scene that really struck me and got my emotions stirred (almost on the verge of tears) was when one of the counselors gave one of the women a sharpie to draw what she thought her body looked like. The body she drew looked really masculine and stocky and not like her at all. The counselor placed the woman in front of the drawing and traced her actual body along the drawing. The woman’s body was actually smaller than her drawing. WAY SMALLER! Her body was actually really fit and really healthy looking. It’s a shame that so many women think of themselves as ugly and fat when they’re really not like that at all. It was emotional for me when the woman started writing on the drawing of her actual body. She wrote words like “breast lift,” “love handles,” “saddle bags,” “needs tone,” and “HELP ME.” So many women in our society think this. I know for a fact that I occasionally think this about me and a lot of the women in my life think this about themselves sometimes too. In this way I could understand her distress. However, how could one go so far as to make oneself unhealthy? How can people starve themselves or purge themselves? It’s amazing to see what lengths people will go through to conform to society’s image of beauty.

Another scene that captured my attention was when another woman told a counselor that she joined all these different programs (I can’t remember which but something as strict as the Navy) in order to lose weight because she knew that they trained and worked hard. The counselor then told her that she shouldn’t follow what other people say. She should want to look healthy and look good and beautiful for HERSELF. Look good for no one but HERSELF. Isn’t that so inspiring? To just do something for myself… to make myself happy… to satisfy my needs… I sometimes have issues with my body, but to hear those words put together… it makes me wonder why I sometimes want to look the way I want to look. It really makes me rethink my own body image. Maybe what I think is beautiful isn’t actually as beautiful as how I look now. I remember, when I was younger, how my mom used to comment on how I looked and how I shouldn’t eat so much and blah blah blah. Well, what am I supposed to do? I study, I have a social life, AND I love to exercise (play sports, dance, go to the gym)… And yet I still look this way. Maybe I’m supposed to look this way… Just accept me for who I am! I love food too much to just give it up altogether… My stomach (or somewhere in my abdominal region) hurts really badly sometimes and I can’t help it or do anything about it. My mom and I have always thought it was hypoglycemia or something but then we started to figure out that it has something to do with my stress levels. We’re still not sure (we’ve gone to doctors and they are no help whatsoever) and all I know is that I HAVE to eat or it’d start hurting. So there… food must be in my life or I really wouldn’t survive. I don’t think I could ever have an eating disorder because I must eat and I hate throwing up (lots of experience from when I was younger and would get the flu).

I think all people are unique and we all have different body shapes. I mean it’s better to be healthy than to look like celebrities who are stick thin. I think all women should understand that we all are meant to look differently for a reason. No matter how different we look on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters.



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