Anorexia – An Equal Opportunities Eating Disorder

My usual magazine rack railway rage was diverted to the Daily Mail. Generally I try not to get annoyed at the Daily Fail. It is the Frankie Boyle of the media world spouting bile and prejudice hoping to gain attention. But today, I cracked. At this headline:

Doctors Let Former Private School Girl Die of Anorexia

Accompanied by a suitably winsome picture of a beautiful girl, in a white dress.

Most headlines tell you something of the paper’s values. The implication of this one was clear. A private school girl! One of us?! And the doctors (am guessing code for feckless NHS staff, probably aided and abetted by unwashed nurses) let her die. When there are so many benefit claimants to choose from.

I accept the futility of believing facts should get in the way of invective, but I am going to try. Daily Mail journalists, allow me to read you the news. Anorexia is an equal opportunities disease. Honestly, as illnesses go, it is positively loony left. It might choose women more often, but is perfectly happy to accept men too. It sees no age barriers, although there are certain neural functioning requirements, probably achieved around age 4, but hey, if your brain got there earlier, it would be totally cool with that. Disability is fine, but may require adjustments in case you can’t meet obsessive exercise requirements. But don’t worry, anorexia will find a way round.  All eating disorders positively welcome sufferers of all races, and will find ways of ensuring any issues of sexuality or gender alignment do not prevent you achieving your maximum potential as a sufferer. And of course class is absolutely invisible to anorexia, even if you are the offspring of the kind of benefit claiming, taxpayer parasite scum that the Mail warn us all about, anorexia will welcome you with open arms. Skeletal matchstick arms, but open .

Of course all of these issues may play a huge role in whether you are diagnosed, how you get treatment and if it isn’t available, whether you can pay for alternatives. But frankly, that’s not anorexia’s problem. Quite simply, it doesn’t care. And clearly, nor does the Daily Mail.

4 responses to “Anorexia – An Equal Opportunities Eating Disorder

  1. Reblogged this on faithandmeow and commented:
    So true, and so well said. This is just one of many myths and sterotypes that STILL abound when it comes to eating disorders, who gets sick with them, and why.
    Take myself for example. I’m one of those ‘welfare brats’ who has never had a job and lives off the taxpayer – after growing up in a poor single parent family also subsidized by the taxpayer. We went without a lot, and I learnt to appreciate every single thing I had. Not only that, but I didn’t care about fashion (beyond just wishing I had a clean and untorn outfit to wear on free dress day to school, a clean uniform that fit, or shoes that weren’t falling to bits). I didn’t lust after models or read magazines. I rarely watched TV, and I certainly didn’t want to look like those people.
    And I have anorexia.
    Another faulty belief is that where the sufferers are seen as ‘spoilt’ and it’s assumed that if they knew what it was like to struggle and not know where your next meal came from, or even if you would eat this week, and people were dying all around you – you wouldn’t be so selfish with your food. But people in these very situations DO also get eating disorders. Not just that, but thinking of the starving children in Africa never cured anyone’s eating disorder, in fact many people with eating disorders are very active in their community volunteering and trying to help those less fortunate in every way they can.

  2. Yes it can affect anyone. I saw a comment on Youtube recently about it being a disease of the Privileged (one of the sufferers went to Private school) & I know from my own experience that it is not that clear cut.

    (Ps, I love your blog, only recently found it :-))

  3. I hate it when they dig up the private education bit… My (recovered from ED) son was privately educated and the support he received from his wonderful school was exemplary. Indeed he claims it saved his life and the school is still supporting him today in various ways, even though he left almost 12 months ago after A levels.

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