Should Weight Never Be Discussed Just Because It’s Triggering For Those With Eating Disorders?
Julia Allison, former dating columnist, occasional “It’s On With Alexa Chung” guest, and subject of snark from yours truly, is issuing herself a fitness challenge! The challenge: to lose 10 pounds in 30 days. She’ll be documenting the whole process on her “lifecast” so that the accountability she feels towards her readers will guilt-trip her into accomplishing her goal. To kick-start it, she did the Presidential Fitness Assessment at Equinox and posted her measurements on her blog. ["I’m 5’4” 1/2, 137 pounds, with a bust of 33, waist of 26 1/2 and hips of 36, butt of 40, and a BMI of 23.8 percent."] She got the following email from a reader as a result:
“I don’t think it’s smart to post your measurements (including weight) on your lifecast. It could be insensitive to those struggling with these issues. Although you may not mean it, it can come across as though those numbers are important markers of being ‘pretty’, ‘successful’ etc. — you catch my drift! I see that you have struggled with bulimia; so, there could be many others too. Well, there are. Just a thought!”
Here’s a first. I’m going to defend Julia on this one. She’s not posting her measurements for s**ts and giggles — she’s doing it because she’s doing a fitness challenge and it’s the way she can measure her progress, which she’s documenting on her blog. Could these numbers be a “trigger” for those suffering from eating disorders? Sure, but so are a lot of things — “The Rachel Zoe Project,” premiering tonight! — and it’s not really the job of individual people like Julia Allison to tiptoe around them and their issues if she doesn’t have the desire to.
Julia feels similarly. She responded to the reader explaining her reasoning behind posting her stats, also saying, “It’s equally important for me to emphasize that this is NOT a struggle to lose weight for the sake of being ‘skinny’ — I don’t feel ‘fat’ … but I do feel out of shape.” Fair enough.
What I did find awkward, however, was that Julia then proceeded to post her weight in previous years, telling the reader, “108 soph year of hs, 116 when I graduated, 125-35 throughout my bulimic years in college, 140 in 2005 when Alex & I dined out constantly, 122 when Jakob dumped me in 2007, 127-30 through much of 2008, and finally 134-7 for most of 2009.” Um, Julia, this girl wrote to tell you that she, essentially, found posting your weight to be triggering and you respond by telling her your stats for the last two decades? That was way harsh, Tai. [NonSociety]