So this week its eating disorder awareness week. It’s an international event that helps to address the misconceptions of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and ENDOS. Eating disorders can be seriously damaging to a persons physical and mental health. By raising awareness it not only stops misconceptions but gives those who struggle with food some support. It raises awareness of what to do and what services are out there that people can reach out to find support.
I know what you’re thinking, why would a fatty be talking about eating disorders? Surely she’s just making excuses for a poor diet? Well actually its a common misconception that those who suffer from eating disorders are just thin, when actually around 50% of people that suffer from eating disorders actually suffer from binge eating or ENDOS.
I wanted to address the fact that these eating disorders affect all bodies, no matter their shape, size, ethnicity, gender or race. And I think that society has a lot to answer for when it comes to eating disorders. Having an unhealthy relationship with food, whether it be binge eating or anorexia, is often spurred on by the pressure society puts on us to look a certain way. I think that this really does create an omen surrounding food, that can so often be a catalyst for anorexia or the source of crippling guilt for a binge eater. Neither of which helps a person to get better.
Both diet and Celeb culture has definitely had its influence on eating disorders. Diet culture is so damming. You only have to open a magazine or look on social media to see the next fad or craze. Through diet culture people arent able to just live their lives, instead (diet culture would have people believe that) their sole existence should consist of trying to make their bodies smaller, not healthier. Essentially it’s just a way of companies trying to take peoples money, these diets aren’t sustainable and aren’t designed for you to fuel your body. Instead they’re a quick fix, they reduce your bodies calorie intake so dramatically that you lose weight in a short space of time.
You only have to look at Kim Kardashians Instagram ad of the appetite suppressant lollipop. The lolipop teeters on the edge of the disordered eating territory, and is a really bad example of the harm celeb and diet culture has on a young impressionable audience. If you were struggling with an eating disorder such as binge eating, you might see this and think about using it. But you would benefit more from looking at your diet and eating protein rich foods that keep you fuller for longer, rather than trying to stop the feeling of being hungry. But because someone with such clout suggests it, it entices people to use it. Which is why I think so many people took issue with the post, and rightly so.
It’s this influence that Celebrities have on their followers that I think is hard to grasp. What they post, and how they do it needs to be done responsibly rather than thinking about the financial reward they receive. There are millions of young women, that follow Kim Kardashian that would do just about anything to look like her, so when she recommends an appetite suppressant lollipop it gives her followers the impression that that’s how she achieves her body. Rather than a strict diet and exercise regimen.
Fat shaming definitely doesn’t help. Since when did it become okay to talk about someone in such a personal manner, just to sell a story? Celebs are constantly fat shamed when they gain weight and this just promotes that it’s okay to do so. I really take issue with someone like Pearce Morgan fat shaming Tess Holiday. Essentially what he’s doing is normalising bullying. Making someone feel bad about being overweight, which probably isn’t the best way to address if you have genuine concerns for someones health. It’s not going to magically spur them on to lose weight, in fact constant shaming like this is enough to spur someone to have an eating disorder.
The horrible thing is, its everyday people that really suffer with issues like this, who look at these factors and see those people being shamed and find themselves thinking they’ll never be enough. Never equate anywhere near to what society deems beautiful. And it’s this feeling of desperation or wanting to feel in control that might spur on an eating disorder. Those in a place of power have a responsibility to make sure that the message they are spreading is a good one and not damming.
If you’ve suffered with any of these issues in this blog post and feel you need to find help or support then see below for a list of services that can help you.
Eating Disorders Support Helpline: 01494 793223
Beat Eating Disorders Email Support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mind Infoline Text Service: 86463
All of these services provide confidential help and advice so you can feel safe talking about your current situation, knowing that you’re free from judgement.
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