I'm trying to start an eating disorders discussion group that focuses on societal impact - not a support group, but a discussion / awareness group. I have no qualifications for that, emotionally or educationally.
This is a discussion group for people who want to talk about eating disorders and body image and society...to speak out, speak to one another, lessen the shame as a means to feeling better about ourselves and having our voices heard by one another, in the very least. Its cathartic and revolutionary. The longer we feel ashamed, the longer we will be silent, the less we will speak to one another, and the less we will make change.
I'm just very frustrated that in spite of the commonality of eating disorders, they are so rarely talked about. I'm fed up. I want to talk about it personal experiences, social experiences, women's body image and roles throughout history...I want to try to collectively understand that eating disorders are basically handed to us on silver platters by our surroundings as a favorable solution to our "inability to control ourselves," that we are all susceptible, that it has nothing to do with intelligence, that you don't necessarily have to be skinny to have an eating disorder.
I want to explore the continuum of eating disorders - bulimia and binge eating on one end and anorexia on the other, the bulimic / binge eater wishes she could be anorexic, the anorexic has succeeded and continues to succeed but is never good enough, while the bulimic feels trapped in her cycle and the binge eater feels hopeless and trapped as well. Bulimia/binge eating and anorexia are charactures of society. This is how society is set up: "out of control" people are supposed to envy "in control" people. What defines "in" and "out" of "control"? How and why are men, in light of women's political and economic advances, trying to make women smaller?
I want to hear other's opinions...share personal feelings about their own disorders.
I want to talk about how unconscious it is...how its not always "I wanna look like this actress, I wanna look like a model tee-hee" because that kind of thinking really belittles eating disordered individuals. Makes eating disorders out to be immature and stupid and shallow. I want to talk about how society's images are brainwashing, about Naomi Wolf and other eating disorder and feminist authors. I also have a few books on the biology of eating disorders and i'd be up to incorporating that aspects into the societal factor. I'm starting to really believe that the society is the pre-cursor for eating disorders in indviduals who are already vulnerable because of family and biology - but that society is primary. I want to hear other opinons, listen and talk and be empathic toward one another.
I want to discuss alternative, imaginary societies: what if obese people were considered the ideal? and people who were thin said to one another, despondent, "I'll never be that beautiful. I just want to be fat. That's all I want. Once I'm fat everything will be perfect." and people who were bigger than the "obesity standard" said, "I just can't stop gaining. I know I need to stop, but I'm not fat enough YET, once I weight XXX pounds I'll be fat enough, I swear."
that's the jist!
let me know if you're interested! thanks.