I've been talking about it a lot lately with bardiphouka, ever since I came across a girl in LJ who posted in a community and caught my attention. She is in her mid-teens and suffers from the condition. I watch her journal and it is quite hearbreaking to read how much she hates herself sometimes, especially with the knowledge that I can't really do anything for her except keep reading. I would post her name, but I think it might be best for her to not recieve a bunch of comments from people who are trying to help as she seems very fragile right now. She has been discovered by teachers and her parents and they are actually managing to get her to eat, but it's really seeming to hurt her mentally.
In an effort to try and work out how these kids (as they usually seem to be fairly young for some reason) think I visited a pro-anorexia/bulimia community. Pro-anorexia. Isn't that just a horrifying thought? People who enjoy starving themselves and helping each other to starve or purge and hide it. And it's all too popular these days. I don't really understand it anymore than I did but it did show me how much this is a part of their lives. I also found
1) You will be FAT if you eat today. Just put it off one more day
And tomorrow they will put it off for another day, and then another, and another.
2)You don't NEED food!
Yes, yes you do. Or you tend to die.
3)You'll look prettier!
Personally, not sure about anyone else but as much as I often find slender girls appealing I admit, I find walking skeletons frightening and far more repulsive than someone who might have a few extra pounds. Often I will prefer the girl with the comfortable squishy bits more than even the slender women.
4)Fat people can't fit everywhere.
Correction, morbidly obese people can't fit everywhere.
5)Guys will be able to pick you up, without struggling.
That all depends on the guy. I know men that could pick up a baby hippo, and also men who can't pick up a medium sized dog. Anyway, I can't really think of a reason to be picked up.
6)You'll be able to run faster, since you won't have all that extra fat!
But if you starve yourself you won't be able to run at all because you'll have no energy and will probably be too dizzy to stand.
7)People will remember you as 'that beautiful thin girl' instead of 'that ugly bag o' fat'.
No, they're remember you as 'that poor anorexic girl, you know the one where you can see her bones?'. Noone has ever referred to me as an 'ugly bag 'o fat'.
8)Guys will want to get to know you, instead of laughing at you, and walking away.
I have a feeling most will avoid you completely. Besides, any guy who laughs at a girl for not being skinny and walks away is not worth knowing. Asshole.
9)If somone had to describe you, they'd say "oh, she weighs like 100 lbs"
Or perhaps as 'Yeah, she died.'
10)Starving is an exllent example of will power.
Controlling what you eat in a healthy way and overcoming your disorder, actually asking for help and fighting to beat it. Now THAT is real will power.
11)People will be able to see your beautiful bones.
Get an X-ray if you want people to see your bones. Noone really wants to see them. It's quite disturbing.
12) If you eat, you'll look like those discusting, fat trailer trash hookers on Jerry Springer.
Not eating doesn't mean you will gain style you know.
11)Which talk show would you rather be on? "Help me! my child is Anorexic!" or "Dear God! somebody please take food away from my obese cow of a child!"
I'd rather be on 'My child is a pleasure to raise' myself. Try aiming for 'I beat my eating disorder and I am proud of myself'.
12)Bones are clean and pure. Fat is dirty, and hangs on you like a disgusting parasite.
Bones are no more clean than fat, seeing as both are contained inside the skin. Usually.
13)The models that everyone claims are beautiful, the spitting image of perfection, are any of them fat? NO!
I don't find models attractive in general. Besides the reason thin models are chosen is because it's easier for a designer to make one dress that can fit on the frame of any of the dozens of androgynous models he has working for him than to tailor individually. Anyone know of Sophie Dahl, the plus-size model? She's beautiful person.
14)Only fat people are attracted to other fat people. Do you want pigs to like you because you're one of them???
Fat people and thin people have the same, varied image of a perfect mate. I know thin people who like fat people and fat people who like thin people. It's like saying blonde people only fine other blondes attractive.
15)You'll be underweight aka the perfect body.
I'm not sure if there is a perfect body but the ideal body would probably be neither overweight nor underweight, instead somewhere comfortably and healthily inbetween.
16)Too many people in america are obese. Be independent!
Yes, let's all be independent by trying to look like the media's image of beauty. Seriously though, if you really want to be independent then get a tattoo, or piercings, or be happy about the size you naturally fall at.
17)People who eat are selfish and unrealistic.
This one confuses me. How does eating make me either? Personally I would think that stopping eating and trying to be 70lbs is fairly unrealistic. Being anorexic is not selfish really, other than it probably hurts those who love you, because the disorder won't let you think about anything other than yourself so the being selfish part is not intentional.
18)Fat people are so huge, yet people look away from them as if they don't exist. The only time sombody does notice a fat person, is if they're blocking a view.
I notice them all the time myself. Just like I notice everyone in my field of view. I do not pretend anyone doesn't exist.
19)Is food more important that happiness in life? i think not!
In the sense that you can't live without food but it is possible to live without happiness, yes. However not eating will not make you happy, I have seen this with my own two eyes. I have watched as you lost weight and then strove to lose that little bit more because you're still not happy.
20)Anyone can have 'inner beauty' but few can earn real beauty inside as well as out.
I'd rather have inner beauty. Outer beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
21)Only thin people are graceful.
Everyone has a grace all their own. Size is irrelevant.
22)Eating is conforming to everyone elses expectations.
So is breathing if you think of it like that. Of course people expect people to eat, people also expect people to respire, think, move, live etc.
23)Food is mean and sneaky. It tricks you into eating it and it works on you form the inside out, making you FAT, UGLY, BLOATED, and UNHAPPY!
I find having a good piece of cheesecake inside me makes me happy, if just for a while. Mmmm endorphins. Food is not sneaky, it is inanimate. Usually.
24)If you slap a fat person, you can see shockwave ripples over their skin. Thats just nasty!
If you slap a painfully thin person they break. Stop slapping people.
25)Do you want people to say "For the love of god! Get off me! You're crushing me! I can't Breathe!" or "Wow! You're so light"
I want people not to care? But again, this depends depends on the person you are on. And why you are on them.
26)Thin people look good in all clothes.
Not true. Not true at all. Clothes don't tend to look good when they're hanging over skin and bone when they're supposed to be skintight.
27)Fat people die earlier.
Anorexics usually die even earlier than obese people I am afraid to say.
28)Ballerina? or Beanbag?
Again this makes little sense to me. There are some lovely, healthily athletic ballerinas out there. And beanbags are soooo nice to snuggle with.
29)Do you want to walk in the snow, and leave no footprints, or leave gigantic foot holes, small children can fall into and not get out?
Being anorexic makes you an elf now? Nobody can be lighter than snow, that's just silly.
30)Ana sounds so much nicer that fatso.
Shame it looks worse.
31)'Starving Anorexic Girl' or 'Ugly mingling FAT girl'?
Actually, I'll take the latter thanks.
32)Starve off the parts you don't need. They're ugly and drag you down.
No, my low self esteem drags me down. Not my weight.
33)Nothing can't be fixed with hunger and weight loss.
How about famine? Or malnutrition? Or eating disorders? Or a broken lightbulb?
34)3 syllables Cell-U-Lite!
3 syllables Ex-Er-Cise!
35)2 syllables Stretch - Marks!
2 syllables Coff-In!
36)3 syllables Per-Fec-Tion!
3 stllables Happ-I-Ness!
37)Saying "No thanks" to food is saying "Yes please" to thin.
Saying "No thanks" to food is crazy and suicidal.
38)Have you ever seen a person NOT noticing a walking skeleton?
Of course people notice. It's frightening, worrying and unattractive.
39)Thin is in.
But you just told us not to conform! Make up your mind. Besides, no body shape is 'in'. Everyong likes something different.
40)Starving=Control! i like control!
There are so many ways to control your life. Starving does not need to be one of them. Take control of your life, fight the disorder! Don't let IT control YOU!
41)When you're fat, its like your invisible. People pretend your not there!
You said this already. And I said I always notice and never pretend.
42)Nothing tastes as good as thin feels!
Chocolate. Cheesecake. That's all i have to say.
43)When you start getting dizzy and weak, you're ALMOST there!
When 'there' is a hospital, yes.
44)Everybody else will be envious.
Only other anorexics. Everyone else will be concerned and worried.
45)All the guys will want you!
Hands up guys, would you want someone you were afraid you would break? Someone who's ribs you could see clearly? Didn't think so.
46)You can become a supermodel or an actress!
Thinness will not guarrantee talent.
47)Think as Anorexia as your secret weapon.
Against what? Living?
48)The word 'fat' will only be used in a sarcastic way!
Whereas the words 'unhealthy', 'frightening' and 'dying' will be used in all seriousness.
49)You won't look at pictures of models and celebs, wishing you were their size. You'll be thinner than them!
Actually, you have a disorder where you will always see your body as being fat and disgusting, instead of looking at pictures of celebrities you'll turn to pictures of other anorexics and continue trying to slim.
50)You will feel more confident and happy.
Sad to say you will feel no different, other than iller.
51)You will look perfect on the outside.
You probably stopped looking 'perfect' long ago. Instead you look pale, sick and near-death.
52)Fat is a lazy, slobby, greedy and unintelligent person. Thin is an intelligent, eager person, who is in control!
Most of the larger people I know are incredibly intelligent, eager people who have an unquenchable lust for life. An awful lot of the thin people I knew were lazy, slobby and less than bright. Size has nothing to do with these things.
53)You'll save money on grocery bills.
You'll spend money on hospital time and therapy. If you're lucky enough to have your disorder treated. Otherwise any money you managed to save grocery shopping will probably go towards paying for your funeral.
54)You'll have extra time that would have been wasted on food/cooking/eating/cleaning your plates.
Doesn't this demonstrate the laziness you just warned about? These things only take a short time anyway.
55)You'll feel more energenic!
Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! I'm sorry but that one is completely and utterly so far from the truth I have to laugh. Or I'll cry. Most anorexics will eventually find they can barely get out of bed anymore, not have more energy.
56)You'll finally be able to wear that bikini and be proud.
It's a disorder. You may be able to wear the bikini you bought, but you will probably still be so ashamed of your body you won't.
57)People will congratulate you on how much you've lost!
No, they'll worry about you becoming so painfully thin and ill. Only other anorexics will applaud you.
58)You Will turn heads!
In shock and horror.
59)You'll use less soap in the shower and save money.
Eh? Now that one really is just silly.
60)People won't think "what a fat cow" when they see you.
No they certainly won't. They'll think "Goodness, she needs to eat something, she looks so unwell".
61)People will stare in awe at you when you're at the gym, instead of "eww, look at all her fat jiggle".
Again, they will stare in horror as you painfully try do just one more sit-up. It is not awe.
62)Skinny people get better jobs.
And everyone else sues for discrimination. Skinny people do not get better jobs at all.
63)Fat people don't get leads in plays.
I have seen plenty of people who are 'fat' in leading roles.
64)Starving WORKS! diets don't!
Starving is deadly. It works because you're breaking down your own body tissue which btw is poisonous I believe. The correct, healthy diet combined with moderate exercise will generally do a better, much safer job of losing weight.
65)Do you want to be the fattest person when you walk into a store? Or do you want to be the person the fattest person in the store is looking at when they eat their donut?
I'd rather be the one with the most money on my debit card to burn. They're only looking at you because they're wondering if they should give you that donut.
66)Do you want to look like those people on the discovery channel that have morbid obesity?
No, but then again I son;t want to look like those people on the discovery channel who have anorexia or bulimia .I know when to say 'whoa, wait a minute, maybe I shouldn't have that fifteenth hamburger!" After all, mobid obesity is usually just another eating disorder just like anorexia.
67)Do you want your skin to look like its going to burst from all the fat its holding.
If my skin looked like that I'd have more problems than just being overweight I'm sure. Also, I don't want my skin to look like it is hanging from my bones.
(very long, you might want to skip it) of 67 reasons to NOT eat.
You can clearly see how very wrong they are. But they believe it, or want to. As you can see I have added my own comments in italics. Feel free to comment on any of them if I have made a mistake, or if you feel I have made an error. I am aware that anorexia is a disease and as such they can't help themselves, so none of that is me having a personal dig at anyone. I'm still trying to make sense of it all. Who knows, maybe some anorexic will see my journal by accident and suddenly realise that they are in denial and then they might want to try and help themselves.
Why do I care so much?
It is true that I do have my own body image issues at the moment (I am overweight and I know it and do not like the way I look) but I have never tried to outright starve myself, or had any desire to vomit after eating. I have however managed to cut down on the crap I used to eat, with the occasional yummy treat thrown in. I get more exercise too, but I should do more. Ironically, that same community had a good tip in it for a useful exercise that will help tone my ass.
Apparently this post doesn't have a point other than my own dismay at the fact people do this to themselves and yet do not want help to stop. Being pro-anorexia to me is like being pro-cancer. They're both diseases that will kill without treatment. If you read the pro communities it quickly becomes apparent that they know exactly what could happen, the risks, the health implications. Yet they carry on and encourage others to do the same, applauding them for every pound dropped, every visible bone.
I wish I could help them.
Feel free to comment on any of this. I'm mostly rambling and trying to make sense of something I can never understand.