Tuesday, 3 February 2015

2015 Eating Disorder Awareness Week: Don't Give Up

It's 2015's Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

To those that have eating disorders, don't give up. Don't give up in seeking help, even amongst the fear or ideas of shame you might feel in seeking help. There are resources that do not discriminate. Don't give up in finding them. Don't give up in treatment.

You live in a world where modelling agents in Sweden were reported trying to recruit eating disorder patients outside eating disorder clinics, even those in wheelchairs. No care in the world for the four-letter word life. No care for dignity, no compassion for hope or fear. It is the fashion and advertising society which needs changing, not you. Don't give up.

You live in a world where I passed the same mannequin dimensions last week searching to replace a pair of dress pants. It's the same flat belly and small waist. Moreover, mannequin dimensions have been criticised of being unrepresentative of human dimensions. Only in plus-size sections did I find somewhat more reasonable proportions. I think I even passed a Victoria's Secret poster in which I could see a model's ribcage. Don't give up on challenging the idea that it needs to be this way.

You live in a world where one man for every twenty women has anorexia and one man for every ten women has bulimia. On my way to the women's stores and clothing sections I passed the replicated male mannequins. Muscular arms, flat chest. Why the lack of diversity? To those that are males and have eating disorders, you are not a misrepresentation of your gender regardless of your disorder or your body. Don't give up on growing the statistic of males that have overcome eating disorders.

To those that are neither male nor female, don't give up on overcoming an eating disorder either. You are also worth it.

You live in a world where most of us have overheard or personally engaged in conversation glorifying a thin figure or weight loss. Praise to the person that has lost weight or is thin. How many times have we looked a person who is not thin and complimented the person's body? It should not be only you fighting.

To readers, regardless of whether you have an eating disorder or not, humanity is our tool to overcome the trend of fear and shame and promote treatment and prevention. On a day-to-day level we can compliment a person regardless of their waist size, avoiding conversations promoting the ideal, or listen supportively to a person that has or may have an eating disorder. We can avoid discriminating an employee or job candidate based on his or her body size. There is even more we can do. I urge you, don't give up to promote change

I have one more thing to say. I will not give up in catalyzing a society where your worth is not based on the appearance expectations shaped for your gender, but, as Martin Luther King said, "by the content of their character."

Taken from http://www.nedic.ca/blog

- FA

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