The Girl with the Eating Disorder

Kaylee Peterson

Popular Culture


The Girl with the Eating Disorder

“Shes so skinny,” someone whispers. “Dang is that backpack gonna make you fall over,” he blurted. “EWWWW, why would you want to look like,” she blaired. I could go on for days with insults of my weight. All these things I have had said to me within the past four years. My life wasn’t always like this though. It only got like this until I became depressed. I had divorced parents and visiting my dad was a real bummer, but I had too to do it. To fight the pain of being away from home I worked out compulsively. Now because I was depressed food sounded horrible so I slowly stopped eating. Once I stopped eating I saw fast results of a different body and then the addiction set in. From that summer on for the next three years to come I would learn to starve myself slowly. I was so depressed I got down to under 90 pounds. I am lucky I have a boyfriend who helped me each and every day and never gave up on me. If it wasn’t for that one person caring so much I truly believe I would’ve stopped eating until I literally starved myself to death. Death is almost inevitable with this mental illness without the help of others. This is a mental illness society should not take lightly. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, “Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.”(Eating Disorder Statistics, I feel not enough people know that. Not enough people realize how sickeningly horrifying this mental illness is. It has depression, addiction, excessive exercise, starvation, compulsion, anger, and hair-loss as just some of the symptoms. This illness will literally take a person chew them up for years and spit them out to die. I want to show society that this should not be taken lightly and that it is society’s fault most the time. Because of the lack of knowledge society has about eating disorders and the harsh media all around us women have been more susceptible to falling into the long scary road of eating disorders.

One big thing about this disease is the way people portray it versus the way it really is. There is a show called “The Red Band Society” that aired on FOX this fall. In the series a young girl named Emma had an eating disorder so severe she was living in the hospital. She did have friends and a family but the way they treated her was spot on. Her friends would just ask her to eat, like its no big deal. Her parents didn’t know what to do so they did nothing. One specific episode some teenage girls came into the hospital and asked Emma how she was so skinny. When Emma told them she had an eating disorder they told her she was amazing for her perseverance to not eat. They were acting is if she was lucky to be able to starve herself. Some people so sadly portray eating disorders as something cool. I can remember a specific incident like this for myself. I was at a water park with my boyfriend and two girls walked by me and whispered, “look at her she is so skinny, how is she so skinny.” This moment was so sad for me because I felt good they were saying it. Sometimes society just doesn’t understand what is really going on under the skin and bones. They just assume I want to be like that and move on. Also sometimes people think its easier to ignore it so it’ll go away but with an eating disorder thats not the case. In the show she pretends to get better so she could go home. And from that she got worse. This is just like real life. We all pretend were okay, to make others happy when it reality we are just hurting ourselves more. Eating disorders should not be a “oh you’re better” or “oh you’re not better” case. They need to be watched, cared for, loved, cherished, for months until its all okay and even when its all over its still not over.

This impact of society not being acknowledged enough about eating disorders is a very bad thing. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders tells us that, Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the US,” alone (Eating Disorder Statistics, The scary part about it is only 1 in 10 people will receive the treatment they need in order to fully recover. The fact that there is so many people around us suffering, but no one is smart enough to say something and make them get help is a real bummer for society. Personally going through the disease I can confidently say very few people will take the time to actually help you get better. All the people you believe care get scared and pretend like its not happening. Also going through the mental Illness I have watched others on social media go through the same thing as me. Now most people post on blogs and other sites for support. A blog I closely watched as I went through anorexia was called This girl, Julia, is the same age as me and we both went through Anorexia about the same time. I believe this was the only way one can get support when going through an eating disorder. To seek help from others who are going through the same thing. Although I do not think this always works the best. If society knew more about these blogs and posts these girls with eating disorders make I feel it would be a much better world. People could really see what someone is going through and see how they do need help from more than just another suffering women. In all society is lacking knowledge very heavily in the area of eating disorders and it is an absolute shame for those who have to experience one. With this lack of knowledge comes triggering ads and media who are pressuring women to unknowlinging start an eating disorder..

According to the National Eating Disorder Association“Over 80% of families and children watch tv daily”.( This means that 80% of people are going to see something negative about a body in one way shape or form that day. Media is one of the easiest ways to effect a girls decision on whether or not shes going to eat that piece of bread or not. ANAD reported that, “69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.” (Eating Disorder Statistics, Think about it you log on to your tumblr and scroll through your dashboard and a posts of unhealthy skinny women kissing men comes up. That tricks that woman’s brain into thinking if I want to be beautiful to get that guy I need to be skinnier. Or when you turn on the tv and see a commercial of a woman with a perfect looking body eating a greasy burger. That is just not right! If people didn’t put out ads of skinny women advertise weight loss supplements and say how skinny is good this would be much less of a problem in todays world. Media is one of the biggest triggers to women. Its so easy to convince yourself you need to look like that because you can see on the screen or the picture exactly what it is you want to look like.

Eating disorders are one of the most complicated messed up illness ever to be heard of. They forever make you remember the bad times when you were underweight. But they do make you a stronger person in the end. When you concour an eating disorder its like no one can stop you at anything in the world. You are invincible. This is what i want people to know. To encourage others! When you see someone struggling       bring them up and make them be proud. Learn about mental illness because you will learn to appreciate them and will learn how to help others going through this. Don’t fall into negative media and dont be the one making negative media. It does nothing for society or for us as humans.

Work Cited:

“National Eating Disorders Association.” National Eating Disorders Association. N.p., n.d.

Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

“ANAD.” Eating Disorders Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Nagle, Margaret. Red Band Society. Oct. 2014. Television.

Julia. “Lordstilllovesme.” Weblog post. N.p., n.d. Web.


5 thoughts on “The Girl with the Eating Disorder

  1. i have found your essay really interesting and real ,my sister used to suffer from this illness and i know how hard it can be and what effects it has ,Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that affect a person’s emotional and physical health. They are not just a “fad” or a “phase.” People do not just “catch” an eating disorder for a period of time. They are real, complex, and devastating conditions that can have serious consequences for health, productivity, and relationships.

  2. Hello Kaylee,

    I really appreciate your paper, it made me tear up a little. I agree that people with disorders need to be “watched, cared for, loved, cherished, for months until its all okay and even when its all over its still not over”. It’s horrible how people judge when they don’t know the real story and the struggle. I’ve had my share of body-image problems, and am recovering from a binging disorder that resulted in purging a lot. Even though I didn’t binge and purge to lose weight (more because I binged to the point where my body couldn’t take it), I do think it was related to trying to cope with self-esteem issues, which is unfortunately a common issue. Overall, very good paper, thank you again for sharing this very personal issue,

  3. I really enjoyed reading you paper! I also can relate. I myself have suffered from both Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa and my 14 year old cousin is currently in the hospital for Anorexia Nervosa right now. Eating disorders are so terrifying to have and to watch and feel so helpless. It is so sad what eating disorders do and how society encourages them! Thank you for raising awareness!

  4. I want to say I can relate to this story but that would be a half truth. I have struggled with weigh problems since I was a kid. Being told you’re obese at the age of 12 is disheartening and soon you become what I call “skinny crazed”. All I could think about was how I was fat and no one would like me. Well in high school I got a boyfriend and soon he was “skinny crazed” he made me practically starve so I was thin and you are right about the addiction that comes with it. Soon I too was slowly starving myself because of all the positive results. Well I soon realized it wasn’t healthy and didn’t want a guy or anyone telling me what my size should be. I also have friends who are starving themselves and telling them a”just eat” is terrible. I loved your essay and glade you shared your story. (sorry for such a long comment!)

    • thank you so much for being so open and honest. I am so sorry about your story. I know people tell you sorry and you probably have heard it a million times but trust me I know where you are coming from and it touches me deeply. You are incredible I hope you can overcome and come out a better person. eating disorders are horrible and disgusting> all i hope is we can make sure our kids don’t feel like we did.

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