Recently, while on a Facebook page regarding eating disorders I noticed a few comments some people had made about eating disorders and thin people. One said, “It was great when Dove soap starting using real women in their ads” and another said, “It's just time to wake up and see that a size 0 is just sick! We need more people to join our fight!” (They were both men, by the way)
Okay. First off, let me start by saying it's comments like that that make me think just for one tiny second that I can't fight this fight anymore. It's too big and too deep and too tall for just little ol' me to lend a hand. However, then I squash that pesky voice and take two steps at a time up on my soapbox:
“It was great when Dove soap starting using real women in their ads”
ALL women are REAL women. Did you hear me? ALL of us. It doesn't matter if you are a size zero, eyeball deep in an eating disorder or naturally a size zero and healthy. Or if you are a size 24, or if you wear a triple XL, or anywhere in between. When we start to use terms like “real” we judge everyone else and we are no better off than companies like Victoria's Secret who only use ultra thin models in their ads. (I think that the commenter got confused when referring to Dove ads. Dove started the Real Beauty Campaign, not Real Women).
“It's just time to wake up and see that a size 0 is just sick! We need more people to join our fight!”
A size zero is NOT sick. Someone that suffers from an eating disorder is sick. And by sick, I mean ill. An eating disorder is no different than any other mental illness that needs to be treated by a medical professional. I know several women that are a size zero or close to it, that are perfectly healthy, do not starve themselves to be thin, nor do they participate in any other behavior that warrants an eating disorder status. They are judged for being thin, people assume they are starving, and are even disliked merely because of their size. No matter that they are smart, giving, kind, generous human beings. In America, they're “skinny bitches” naturally, so they deserve to be crapped on?!?!? To the commenter that said this: I will never join your “fight”. You're ridiculous. Get informed before you make such ludicrous statements.
Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. It is a huge misconception that only the skeletal and emaciated have eating disorders. That they're the only ones that need help or that die. Yes, I said it: Die. Eating disorders kill. And rarely do you see on a death certificate; cause of death: Eating Disorder. It's complications from it, including cardiac arrest, electrolyte imbalance, malnutrition (that can cause kidney failure and respiratory infections), hyponatremia and dehydration, just to name a few. What someone looks like does not tell you they need help. They don't walk around with a tattoo on their forehead that says, “Hey everybody! I have ED!” They look like you and me.
If you read my post a few weeks back on EDNOS, you know that one-third to one-half of all diagnosed eating disorders fall under the diagnosis of EDNOS. It's so important to know these symptoms, so you or someone you love can get help. This is not a joke. We need to open our eyes and see that people are dying from this. It's very real. But, there is hope and help.