Its national eating disorders awareness week. (Monday 23 February to Sunday 1 March 2015) and in the same week a Danish magazine published pictures of an extremely thin, unwell looking model. Mmmmm, just about sums up what is important in the fashion world. Let me get one thing straight, I do not believe for one moment that thin models within the industry are the sole cause of eating disorders but I certainly do believe that portraying these girls and lads as ‘perfect’ is not exactly helpful. I downloaded the picture in question but decided that there would be no positive reason for showing it.
Even though i have worked with many people addicted to self harm I was shocked to discover that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. However when i thought about it, I wasn’t surprised. The strain on the body through extremely low weight, binging, purging, continuous starving or/and abuse of laxatives is enormous… and just like cutting, hair pulling, head banging, alcohol/drug abuse (among many others) eating disorders are incredibly addictive to the individual. Once a habit is formed it can be very hard to break, even if or when the person wants to break it.
Im not sure how we as a nation can tackle eating disorders but i do think that considering the death rate linked to it more funding should be made available. AND…. how about some of these ultra slim celebs/athletes/role models coming forward to admit that they don’t eat healthily to look the way they do. That maybe, just maybe, they starve themselves, use laxatives, slimming tablets, eat non-edible items, vomit profusely and take illegal drugs to maintain their slim bodies. That some binge when they can’t starve themselves any longer.
Sadly though these people are often also in the depths of an eating disorder and not necessarily accepting of their situation(even if their management companies are) In which case they are not capable of feeling responsible for their often young followers.
So again this falls to funding. Lets spend money on educating young people, not just on healthy eating but about their physical and mental wellbeing. Lets enable young people to feel capable of being in control of their lives as well as their bodies. Lets help young people to understand that having a skinny body does not mean that your life is perfect, that everyone will love you, that you will be better looking, that you will achieve more and marry or become a celeb. Let concentrate on getting people to talk about their situation and understand how they can gain control of their lives without having to hurt themselves further in the process.