Food is something we need to survive. It is something that we would die without, one of the most fundamental components of the human lifestyle. Yet, this obsession with food, and how much it is right to have or not to have, is destroying my life. It escapes me how people can pretend to be so deep and intellectually divine when really their main focus is their weight, a completely physical obsession with the vanity the media places upon us today. As teenagers, it is natural to get caught up in the madness associated with it, but not on such an extreme level. Apart from one, every best friend that I have ever had has turned out to have an eating disorder. This is to such a degree that I now can see the tell tale signs of an eating disorder from a mile off. In fact, it is not only every best friend, but a lot of people in my general circle too, that have contracted this awful disease. What’s funny is that those who don’t have a problem, apart from an acute desire for attention, are the ones that claim to have this chronic illness. The people, however, who do have the illness, or have had it, refuse to admit that they may even be at risk. The mention of ‘Anorexia Nervosa’ or ‘Bulimia’ are taboo subjects in my circle. On the other hand, all anyone can talk about is food. This is not only frustrating, but exhausting. I allow myself to become the agony aunt, the person that listens to everyone’s woes and troubles, while no one wonders what affect this burdening is having on my personal mental health. Sometimes I feel like screaming that I can deal with it no longer, that it’s enough. But, then I know that these friends of mine would have no one else to talk to, someone who doesn’t trigger them, doesn’t judge, and doesn’t try to psychoanalyse them at every available moment. When people see a skinny girl they think she may be anorexic, but that tag is highly overstated. As a size 10/12, I could be categorized as anorexic, purely because this is a mental imbalance, not a physical state. It is a disease and it never goes away. It’s like cancer, sometimes dormant but always there, always present. I don’t want to stop supporting my friends but I do want the obsession to stop. The obsession should never be allowed to start. Some clothes look great on skinny models, but personally I wouldn’t wear them because they don’t particularly suit my body type. There should be a range of models for each body type, so that ‘in style’ clothes can be worn by women of all shapes and sizes. If people like the skinny models then fine, but don’t let young girls find out that models are being told to lose more and more weight to fit the designer’s prototypes. The modelling world isn’t the issue anymore, but the real world. I am sure that I’m not the only one with friends like these, so surely this problem is becoming more and more prominent. It’s not even only amongst girls, but amongst boys too. With their shrinking waist lines comes a shrinking personality, devoid of all colour and light. I’m not calling for a change in the way the fashion industry is run, but for a change in the way the children of today are brought up. No one needs to take this opinion into account, but from experience, every opinion deserves to be heard, even the ones that don’t conform.
Eat, Pray, Starve
May 31, 2012