More Complex than Body Image

One thing that’s gotta give is the notion that eating disorders are directly or wholly connected to our culture of thinness and body obsession. I’ve never really cared what my body looked like, and my eating disorder had absolutely nothing to do with trying to look like a model or conforming to media images of the perfect body.  Food (and my body) was something I could control, and the act of controlling it helped me block out an enormous store of anger, fear, and shame. The anxiety and the dread of this illness was entirely personal, complex, and took a lot of deep and painful sorting and learning and letting go to finally move past it.  So, while I agree that our culture of thinness and body obsession needs to change, we need to not mix that up with the very real mental and emotional chaos that underlies an eating disorder. The illness isn’t that simple, and by simplifying it in this way we risk further marginalizing and alienating the many sufferers whose story is already traumatic enough.

~ Anonymous

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