Apparently it's Eating Disorders Awareness Week? I actually had no idea, only found out when a friend invited me on Facebook (not just me specifically...I think she's one of the organizers and just invited everyone on her friend list). Anyway, there's a whole list of events happening - speakers, movie screenings, etc. What I've noticed is that most of them are not exclusively ED-related, per se, but more of a feminist celebration. It's as if "eating disorders awareness" has become synonymous with "body acceptance" and "girl power."
I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Part of me is really curious about how ED issues will be presented. Part of me knows I'll just get frustrated when the presentations don't line up with my personal experiences. Part of me wants to stay as far away from the whole thing as possible. I think most of my friends know about my ED, although I never discuss it and the whole topic has pretty much been established as Off Limits. So I'm super uncomfortable with the idea of being seen at any of the EDAW events.
And honestly, I have no desire to sit through a motivational speech on body image and female empowerment. I'm all for that stuff, but not in this context. There's already too much of the "anorexics just want to be skinny" mentality out there. Yes, I've spent most of my time entrenched in the ED wanting to be skinny and yes, my body image sucks. But there's so much more to it - like genetics and biology. A peppy girl power speech isn't going to cure my bad body image. And even if it did, that wouldn't cure my eating disorder.
That sounded way more bitter than I intended. To be clear: I think it's incredibly important to promote ED awareness. I also think it's incredibly important to promote positive body image. But I don't necessarily think the issues go hand-in-hand. I think it belittles the severity of the illness to associate it with this idea of female vanity.