Sometimes things are posted with all the best intentions, but they can do more harm than good.


An example of this is a body image meme that circulates Facebook every now and then:
eating disorder meme

















I get the sentiment here, I really do, and I applaud  any person who has the confidence to stand up for his or her body, but lets get one thing straight: anorexia is a severe mental disorder and is not a choice.

Eating disorders are not caused by a sufferer’s desire to be thin like supermodels or actresses. They are not an extreme form of dieting and they are worlds apart from skipping dinner every now and then.

So what’s my beef with the Jessica Lawrence meme?

I think that the two concepts being addressed in this statement lead the reader to the assumption that anorexia is the same as a desire to be thin in order to look good.

Statements like this illustrate the lack of understanding about what anorexia really is, and actually stigmatize it further.

Anorexia is not the same as negative body image. If it were, every person on the planet would have an eating disorder, because unfortunately at some point we have all felt inadequate.

It is a hideous truth that many young girls think that they are overweight. These feelings are damaging to their self esteem and I congratulate Jennifer Lawrence for taking a stance against this. She is beautiful and has a figure that screams health and vitality; a great role model.

The problem is that when it is assumed that anorexia is the same as dieting or wanting to be thin, sufferers do not receive the treatment that they need. They avoid seeking help and therefore do not get treatment because of the stigma attached to anorexia.

I know this because I avoided acknowledging my anorexia for eight years for this very reason.

Negative body image IS a problem and it makes many people very unhappy. It should not exist and it should not be fueled by the media; all of this is true, but please, lets leave anorexia out of the picture.


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: