YOU may not have been aware, but last week marked the Eating Order Awareness Week 2014, where various campaigners undertook programmes globally to increase awareness and decrease naivety to eating disorders. These diseases, which they are, are not only seriously misunderstood and stigmatised, but attract a lot of negativity from people ignorant to the problem.
Anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified), binge-eating disorder… they are all very complex and separate problems and eating disorders in general cause the greatest amount of fatalities of any mental health problem.
You would be surprised at the number of women and men affected by EDs and it isn’t as simple as someone looking ‘skinny’ or throwing up after meals. You’d be even more surprised at the number of people you’ve met who probably have an ED, or at least disordered eating habits, that you’d never expect them to have.
Life destroying and all encompassing, the destructive mental health condition is often seen as girls wanting to be so thin you can see bones. It really isn’t that simple. Ke$ha, Demi Lovato, the Olsen twins are all victims of this, and it’s so sad/disgusting to see such negative press about them in the media. Often blamed for attributing to the pressure to be ‘thin’, this isn’t something that be switched on and off.
My anger about this has just been heightened by seeing an idiotic, uninformed and pathetic YouTube video entitled ‘Anorexia Tips to Become Anorexic’. The man in the video, who is not English yet has a computer-generated English commentary over his voice, is a total idiot. In my opinion, a huge imbecile. I would say ruder, but I won’t.
Purporting some ludicrous ‘tips’, this guy clearly has no idea of what EDs do to a person. There is a HUGE different between being skinny, and having an eating disorder. Things like these make up the heartbreaking media coverage I’ve seen during dissertation research which encourages disordered eating behaviour to reach a skinny ideal. It’s so sad and encouragement should be for recovery, not to get deeper in the disease…
Rant over. Just think next time before you use anorexia as an adjective of that girl who just walked past or jokes about becoming an ED sufferer.