I SPENT A WEEK WATCHING B-GRADE EATING DISORDER FILMS

…and lived to tell the tale – just!

'Starving in Suburbia' (2014)

Starving in Suburbia (2014)

Emotional, enjoyable and outrageously exhausting, this movie marathon was the closest I’ll ever come to engaging in extreme sports! You can read the full account of my hardcore adventures here.

Exaggerations aside, I was determined to conduct this experiment because I believe (from lived experience and my feminist leanings) that anorexia and bulimia reveal something very troubling about the state of our materialistic, media-saturated culture. And what better measure of the cultural mood than made-for-TV movies?

In the wonderful words of writer/kick-ass lady Roxane Gay:

“…the need for feminism and advocacy also applies to seemingly less serious issues like a Top 40 song or a comedian’s puerile humour. The existence of these lesser artefacts of our popular culture is made possible by the far graver issues we are facing.”

scales-weight

So, if you’ve ever wondered about the connections between eating disorders and popular culture, this article’s for you. And if you haven’t wondered..?

Now’s the very best time to start. Enjoy!

*I can’t end this post without a shout-out to Hayley Gleeson, the Founding Editor of Birdee. She’s an incredible egg, the kind that eggs others on too, and I’m proud to share my work via the positive, powerful platform she has created.

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Unmaking My Eating Disorder

Probably my most personal, self-reflective, simultaneously analytical article to date. It was a challenging story to write – a mini memoir of tough times – but it allowed me to step back and examine not just who I am, but why I am.

I’m proud of the result, ‘Unmaking My Eating Disorder’, which you can read here.

Issue 16 of Psychology Tomorrow Magazine focuses on the theme of ‘childhood’. As I write in the introduction to my article:

“It would be extraordinary for a grown woman to spontaneously ration herself to 300 calories a day or vomit after every meal. Odds are that the skeletons pacing your average ‘Eating Disorders Ward’ have not had a short-term relationship with celery and self-loathing… There’s a process – one that often begins in childhood.”

Featured art: 'Child Innerside' by Boeeuen Choo

Featured art: ‘Child Innerside’ by Boeeuen Choo

Every kid faces certain psychological challenges that, to a lesser or greater extent, shape the adolescent and adult s/he becomes. I had a pretty great childhood, yet there was a confluence of certain internal and external factors that affected me deeply and, in part, led to and maintained my eating disorder.

Tricky terrain, this, and I’m still in the process of navigating it.

But while tackling these complex, painful issues is the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted, I have a feeling it will also be the most worthwhile.

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