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Has an emancipated women's body become "normal"?

(75 Posts)
MadonnaKebab Thu 14-Mar-13 09:09:35

At a museum today I saw lots of photos of prisoners of war liberated from Japanese camps
The men were shockingly, horribly emancipated
At first glance the (nursing corps) women didn't look too bad
But when I compared scrawny limbs , exposed collarbones etc I realised that they were in fact equally malnourished
It was just that after years of seeing photos of Hollywood stars etc, this undernourished look has almost become acceptable to me (but only on a woman )
I scared myself (as a mother of a DD) that my "acceptable" has become warped like this

drjohnsonscat Thu 14-Mar-13 10:55:57

popularmost you seem to have your fingers in your ears grin

Nobody said there weren't any fat people. There are lots. Too many. That's absolutely not what this thread is about. At all.

If you look at the kind of websites where you get "thinspiration" photos you are just as likely to get seriously underweight anorexics, as "normal" bulimics, as overweight compulsive over eaters, and of course ED-NOS is a catch all for those who fit into multiple categories. So ED-NOS sufferers could be any weight.

And part of the problem behind many eating disorders is the distorted (often digitally so) view of what women should look like as presented by fashion magazines etc. It's easy to become convinced that we should look exactly like the women in the magazines, and while you may assume that this would manifest as anorexia, it is just as likely to manifest as one of the other ED's.

I know that many of my EDd friends did not count as anorexic and yet would spend 50% of their time starving themselves, taking laxatives and over exercising, and then 50% of their time binging, sneaking food etc. Because, despite being polar opposites in superficial ways, they are all part of the same continuum - it's self punishment for not being perfect. It's why many ED sufferers are self harmers and drug users.

That's really fascinating annie, that comparison made something 'click' for me. I think you're right.

I think obesity is not partly because it is cheaper to fill up on cheap, processed, fatty food, especially if you haven't got good cooking facilities wherever you live. So it is partly a poverty issue. As is having time to exercise. It used to be if you were poor, your job would be physically demanding but would quite likely also be a good work out. These days you might do something that is physically very draining, such as working long night shifts (there is a correlation between disturbing your sleep pattern and bad eating, if I remember rightly). But it may well not be good exercise. If you are working two sedentary jobs, you're fucked, really. So there are lots of reasons why income levels correlate with obesity, I think. And I think that also leads us to stigmatize obesity because being slim and toned is more associated with rich people.

Obviously got a stray 'not' at the start of the second para.

'I think obesity is not partly because it is cheaper'

popularmost Thu 14-Mar-13 11:01:41

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MmeLindor Thu 14-Mar-13 11:03:36

Popular
Is there something getting lost in translation? Several people have explained in several different ways that obesity is part of eating disorders, and that a contributory factor is unhealthy body image.

Why are you still harping on about obese people, and refusing to see it as part of a larger (no pun intended) issue?

Popularmost I'm sure you'll ignore this but..

Most popular catwalk models from autumn/winter 2012
Celebrities often used on magazine covers
50 most beautiful celebrities

Overwhelmed by larger ladies there..

Does the discrepancy between the average person on the street and the people in the magazines not stand out to you at all?

Mitchy1nge Thu 14-Mar-13 11:05:39

Since when is it a competition between anorexia and obesity? They are such similar things, misuse of food, but being overweight is rarely (if ever) the kind of medical emergency that anorexia and bulimia create

popular Look, I'll try and keep this simple.

Unrealistic expectations of women as presented by magazines/TV/movies/music industry can cause the average women on the street to develop a mental health problem related to her own body image.

This most often manifests as an eating disorder.

Eating disorder does not necessarily mean anorexia.

Eating disorder also does not necessarily mean thin.

Eating disorder can mean overweight/obese.

And even without a full blown ED, the emotional/mental damage is high.

popularmost Thu 14-Mar-13 11:11:16

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Mitchy1nge Thu 14-Mar-13 11:16:53

you are just being silly, they are two sides of the same coin although children don't miss whole years of school locked up in ED units because they are a bit podgy

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 14-Mar-13 11:17:12

Hullo everyone,

There appears to have been an unsavory presence on this thread - they won't be bothering us again. As you were.

Mitchy1nge Thu 14-Mar-13 11:17:40

oh thanks for deleting that tedious poster mnhq

lissieloo Thu 14-Mar-13 11:20:31

Anorexia and bulimia may be rarer than obesity, but they are all sides of the same coin. I don't think we can blame the media though. It's far more complicated than that.

maintaining a low weight carries just as many risks as a high weight, heart attacks, low immunity, lowered bone density and often problems with your kidneys and liver. the fact that there is a hige problem with obesity doesn't detract from the damage that anorexia does, and vice versa. By holding the two against each other and competing for the title of Most Unhealthy Eating Disorder, you miss the point and promote the myth that one is better than the other.

lissieloo Thu 14-Mar-13 11:21:08

thank you Katie, doncha just love pro-ana's.

usernameyoudlike Thu 14-Mar-13 11:39:08

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usernameyoudlike Thu 14-Mar-13 11:40:00

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"By holding the two against each other and competing for the title of Most Unhealthy Eating Disorder, you miss the point and promote the myth that one is better than the other."

Absolutely. Which, aside from being stupid, is also likely to make people hurt themselves more due to not having the "right" eating disorder.

usernameyoudlike Thu 14-Mar-13 11:41:08

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znaika Thu 14-Mar-13 11:44:53

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lissieloo Thu 14-Mar-13 11:45:50

its a red herring though. While being overweight is more common, being underweight is held up as more desirable. and theres this constant infighting and attempts to belittle anyone on the opposite end to you.

If you are overweight you describe yourself as a "real woman", thin people are "stick insects" and not sexy, etc.

If you are thin then fat people are "lazy" disgusting, have no restraint etc.

We do ourselves no favours.

I am anorexic. I know that, and live with it every day. It's not Heat magazine's fault though. I have a bug in my brain that copes with stress by rejecting food.

One of my best friends in an overeater. It's not Adele's fault, she has a bug in her brain that copes with stress by overeating.

Its not a competition.

Mitchy1nge Thu 14-Mar-13 11:47:58

anyway, collarbones are supposed to be visible

I think

lissieloo Thu 14-Mar-13 11:49:16

Absolutely. Which, aside from being stupid, is also likely to make people hurt themselves more due to not having the "right" eating disorder.

yes. and promotes the swinging between EDs.

znaika Thu 14-Mar-13 11:53:37

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lissieloo Thu 14-Mar-13 11:54:31

znaika, yep.

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