I have never had an eating disorder, but I have known people with them. Actually, I've probably known more people with eating disorders than I realize. In high school I was friends with wrestlers and distance runners, all people who were very conscious about what they ate. The wrestlers were especially aware at all times of their weight. Besides the athletes there were the girls who wanted to be "perfect".

When I was a freshman, I fainted. I stood up too quickly after kneeling for awhile, and the blood rushed away. However, since I was a girl they assumed I wasn't eating, and sent me to the (untrained) counselor, whose attitude was that I was bad for not eating, bad for denying that I wasn't eating, and that I should get over it and start eating. After that, he never ever checked up on me (for which I was glad, stupid twit that he was). It gave me a glimpse at what people with actual eating disorders experience from other people: You are bad, get over it.

Of course, now that eating disorders have been in the new and afterschool specials, everyone is aware of them. Super skinny people are criticized (and praised). Fiona Apple and Callista Flockhart come to mind. If someone does have an eating disorder, how will talking it up in the tabloids help? (Answer: It won't but it will sell more papers. Even better if they are hospitalized or die.) I actually know a girl who has an extremely high metabolism (possibly a thyroid problem). She is super tall and skinny. She was put on a special diet to keep her weight up, but can never say "diet" because people assume that she is dieting to lose weight and start to yell at her. She has problems, to be sure, but an eating disorder isn't one of them.

What intregues me the most is the perception so many people have that anorexicx, bulemics, and compulsive overeaters just need to get over it and be normal. They don't take time to consider the underlying problems that have led to the condition. With that in mind, it was interesting to read this article from the POV of an anorexic and her mother.

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This page contains a single entry by Kayjayoh published on January 25, 2003 6:25 PM.

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