5.09.2014

Eating Disorders and Shame

I'm a girl who is on the Facebooks. I'm hip and trendy like that. Oh, oh, and the Twitters, too! I do all of those things. I also have a blog, did you notice?

Being on these social media sites has taught me a lot of things, one of which is that there are some terrible, evil, horrible people in the world, who say terrible, evil, horrible things. People like hackers and trolls and goblins and dementors.

This post is not directed at the terrible and horrible. It's directed at each of us. The normal, the generally good, the ones who are trying to make conversation and fit in, while somehow squeezing an opinion into all of that. That is a HARD task. Accolades to those who accomplish this.

Imagine in your mind's eye a picture of a bald guy on facebook. Who knows why he's bold, it doesn't say, he just is. Can you imagine the backlash someone would receive if they commented on it and said "Ew gross, that guy is way too bald, that can't be healthy. He looks like he has cancer."

Imagine in your mind's eye, you're out with friends and a friend excuses themselves from the table to blow their nose, and everyone at the table whispering "OMG it's like they have a cold or something... Do you think they have a cold?!" in the most snarky and cutting way possible.

Now, in your mind's eye, imagine a little check box for each scenario, and check that box if you think that people saying these things would fall into the category of being
A) Terrible
B) Evil
C) Horrible
D) All of the above

You're probably gonna end up checking one of those boxes for each scenario.

Now we're gonna switch the scenario oh so slightly. Imagine, in your mind's eye, a picture posted on facebook of a woman, model or not, who is incredibly thin. Someone comments on it and says "Ew gross, that girl is too thin, that can't be healthy. She looks like she is anorexic."

Imagine in your mind's eye, you're out with friends, and a friend takes few bites of their meal before excusing themselves to the bathroom and everyone at the table whispering "OMG it's like they're bulemic or something. Do you think they're throwing up?!" in the most snarky and cutting way possible.

For some reason, none of those boxes in the mind's eye of society get checked. Those people are neither terrible, evil, nor horrible. Because they're not. They're just stating opinions and trying to fit in. Heck, they're insightful.

I don't want to say that anyone is evil. People are misjudging. People have incorrect misconceptions. Maybe this will clear some up.

Anorexia and bulemia are not life styles. They are illnesses, sicknesses. They are as deadly as cancer and even more detrimental and life changing than a cold. The persons who suffer from such illnesses are not, in the most appropriate state of mind, choosing to be the way they are in that moment. They are suffering. They are in pain. They may be dying. And rather than being surrounded by love and support, by cold medicine and care or chemo and concern... these suffering people are ostracized and judged. Their shortcomings are jokes. Their illnesses are considered convenient insults.

One more misconception. Not every thin person you see walking the streets or walking the facebook pages are anorexic or bulemic. Maybe they're just thin. Maybe they're healthier than you, but their body just looks like that.

I'm so happy that it's becoming more known that we shouldn't call people fat and make fun of them. That's amazing. That is a sign of maturity and growth in our society. However, people still seem to NEED to laugh at the weight of a person. Because we can't laugh at those who are larger than we are, we laugh at those who are smaller. How about not doing that? How about loving people for their shape? Rather than calling them anorexic like we're trying to cut them with knives, we keep our mouths shut if we don't know them, or we pull them aside in private if we do know them, and express our love and concern for them, and try to understand them better.

Because anorexia is not something we should shame people over, just as cancer is not something we should shame people over. We need more support and less snark. More love and less laughs. More concern and less cuts.

Mk thanks.

1 comment:

Megan Thorne said...

great post! so great. thank you.