My personal understanding of eating disorders is that they aren't about body image. Not really. Not properly. They're mental illnesses that are predominantly emotional in their genesis. I'm not a teenage girl (and to be honest, even if I was a teenage girl I'd be just as insulted by the idea that a picture of a skinny model could cause me to become ill) and I don't look at models, celebrities or actors as role models unless they have done something to impress me like won a well-deserved Oscar. I'm aware that controversial images and stories of struggles (or otherwise) sell magazines, and to some extent, newspapers. So, talking to me about body image and the media generally makes me feel patronised. I think, "I'm not stupid, don't tell me things I already know!"
|January 2011 Heat front cover - HOW many stories about weight and bodies?!|
|Even the broadsheets have to get in on the January action! (this one's from 2007, but it pretty much the same as it is every January - Change your life!)|
Like most people, I strive to be the best person I can be. I want to be liked, I want to be kind and I want to be 'good'. So, when foods are labelled in these emotive terms, I find it so difficult. How many times a day do you hear someone say "I'm so bad, I ate 2 chocolate bars yesterday" or "I'm being good at the moment, I'll just have a salad?" - and the media feeds (excuse the pun) this loaded discourse. Why should foods be good or bad, or we saints or sinners as a result of consuming them? I have never calorie or fat counted, but I have ever-growing lists of good and bad foods in my head that have a ridiculous ability contribute to my sense of self-worth.
|No wonder we're all so confused!|