I was totally digging this doctor on “The Today Show” who talked — okay, ranted — to Ann Curry about the constant pressure on women to be skinny, including during pregnancy. “Mommyrexia” is when pregnant women cut back on eating or add excessive exercise to their regimen because they’re worried about gaining quote-on-quote “too much weight” when there’s a bun in the oven. Clearly this eating disorder is scary and sad for both biological and cultural reasons. And you don’t usually get such sharp, feminist cultural commentary on “Today.”
But then Dr. Nancy Snyderman told us what she really thinks: “I think this is an Upper East Side, white girl, obnoxious problem. It’s irritating to me! We want perfect babies, perfect bodies, perfect lives. I just find the whole thing vulgar.” Ooof. Good job making women with eating disorders feel even more like the problem is them being selfish, not our culture. I am sure that will be really helpful, Dr. Snyderman. [BuzzFeed] Keep reading »
Palace PR disaster: Kate Middleton is the new “thinspiration” icon held up by pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia bloggers. Kate has always been slender and athletic, but she dropped a noticeable amount of weight before her wedding. That makes me sad, because I’ve been a royal watcher for years and I’ve always thought she looked pretty just the way she was. Whether Kate’s weight-loss was from exercise, or from nerves over being watched on TV by a billion people, or some combination of the two, we don’t know. But “The Today Show” has found that women suffering from eating disorders are fawning over the Duchess’s new figure. Keep reading »
We’ve grown used to seeing irresponsible teens and bad parenting on the MTV show “16 And Pregnant,” and that’s part of what makes it such a compelling and powerful watch. It teaches cocky adolescents that having a baby is more than just dressing infants in cute clothes and parading a kid around in a stroller at the park. But on last night’s special 1.5-hour long episode of the show, featuring anorexic pregnant teen Kayla, Kayla’s mother Deb was the truly horrific parent.
Kayla’s anorexia and struggle with her eating disorder made her pregnancy doubly difficult. Her complex and uncomfortable feelings about her body had her skipping meals and unwilling and unable to eat food, even though she knew taking in nutrients was absolutely necessary for the health of her child. But despite several close calls, and a complete lack of support from her mother, Kayla gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Over and over, we see Kayla express — in an articulate and nuanced way — how her eating disorder has skewed her brain’s ability to do what’s right for her baby. But then, just weeks after giving birth, and knowing that her daughter had long-struggled with anorexia, Deb asks her daughter to go on a diet with her. Keep reading »
Scientists and health practitioners are constantly looking to discover what causes and triggers eating disorders, and scientists at Oxford University have seemingly discovered a link between birth dates and anorexia. A study of almost 1300 anorexic patients found that most of their birthdays fell in the spring months, from March to June. That’s led scientists to hypothesize that a disposition toward eating disorders may be linked to a mother’s lack of vitamin D while pregnant, since women typically receive less vitamin D during long winter months. The study also noted that several celebrities who have struggled from eating disorders — including Karen Carpenter, Alanis Morissette and Victoria Beckham — were all born in the spring. [British Journal of Psychiatry] Keep reading »
A T-shirt inspired by Kate Moss‘ controversial personal motto, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” is being sold on a UK website and marketed to children. As you can imagine, people are outraged, especially those who work for the campaign, Beating Eating Disorders (BEAT). The organization called for a ban on the “dangerous” tees. The website selling the line of “size-zero slogan” merchandise, Zazzle, declined to share their opinion of the T-shirts. “Zazzle is a custom products platform, it enables all users to create their own products that feature their own content. In this way, Zazzle is an outlet for users to express their personal opinions and viewpoints,” said a spokesman for the company. Which of their users believes that it’s appropriate to design a T-shirt like this for kids? And even more pressing: who is buying them? A parent who would spend money to buy this shirt for their child must be a cuckoo bird. What do you think? Should these T-shirts get 86′d? Or do I need to lighten up? If there’s some irony I’m missing, please alert me. [Daily Mail UK] Keep reading »