so i'm taking an elective from the studies of women, gender and sexuality department named food, culture and gender, partly because the topics were really interesting, and partly because i'm considering pursuing a secondary concentration in that field.
we've been reading an array of writing addressing anorexia, bulimia, fat discrimination, and currently eating disorders in men. for one assignment, we had to visit some pro-anorexia and/or pro-bulimia sites and document our reactions and thoughts. the sites were pretty intense, with tips for maintaining multi-day fasts, avoiding concerned friends and family, and throwing up discreetly. but what caught my eye in particular was the sites' thinspiration pages, chock full of the runway pictures that i pore over on a daily basis.
i'm well aware of the skinniness of some models, and last year, even for a brief period, it seemed that the the industry noticed as well. but knowing now how thousands of psychologically afflicted women are triggered by these very images, i find it hard to ignore. i've found that while photos can capture the body in a way that disguises the thinness (sometimes), motion pictures conceal none of it, and i cringe while watching them at the prospect of those tiny bodies snapping in two.
it could be argued that the eating disorders of those that are already predisposed to them are only marginally encouraged by cultural influences, but now there's wannarexia, which is explicitly encouraged by those very influences. and paris, je t'aime, but sending ali michael home over five pounds isn't helping.
and just for good measure, you can take your pick from orthorexia or drunkorexia, if the above disorders don't strike your fancy.
sorry for my cynicism, but sometimes when all of these factors fall into place within my field of vision, it's a little frustrating and scary. i've hardly been living in a cultural bubble, and knowing more about these disorders makes me worry about my own susceptibility. i'll have to make a mental exercise of separating the clothes from the unhealthy frames that they sometimes hang on, yes?