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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Define "Glamorous"

Define "Glamorous"

I have to rant a little bit. I received a concerned letter from a kind person who was worried that my blog was “glamorizing” eating disorders. That really upset me, not because they said something (actually I’m glad they did), but because I have such strong feelings about “pro-anorexia/bulimia” websites.

Let me just set the record straight. [Note: What follows may upset some people. For that, I am sorry, but you need to hear the truth. I am being honest ... and blunt.]

No one with an eating disorder would wish it on ANYONE. It is a prison. It is hell on earth and in your mind. It is torture. Every girl here wishes she could have a “normal” relationship with food.

Eating Disorders are not glamorous. They are gross.

You get a hairy peach-fuzz all over your body. You veins bulge and your hair falls out in clumps. You skin becomes dry and chapped and feels like sandpaper. Your nails are brittle.

You eat gross things like cauliflower and hot sauce, mustard with a spoon, pickle juice, whipped cream with salt, butter flour and sugar mixed together. When you’re starving you obsess about food and all sense of what tastes good goes out the window. I’ve eaten dry cake mix out of a box. I’ve eaten spoonfuls of mayonnaise.

If you’re bulimic you spend time with your head in a toilet. Your head and mouth are right next to where people urinate and defecate. Don’t think you’re not getting that bacterium in your mouth, because you probably are. All the blood rushes to your head and face when you purge. Your cheeks swell. You get mouth and throat sores. Your teeth look rotten and your breath and fingers smell like vomit.

Sometimes you might hide in your room and purge. Then you have to hide bags of vomit in your closet or under your bed. You get it on your carpet and your sheets. Sometimes you might chew food and then spit it into empty water bottles. Vomiting can cause your esophagus to rupture, which will kill you. And there you’d be: dead in a pile of blood and vomit.

You might start drinking inordinate amounts of soda and coffee. You exercise for hours and hours and people stare and make comments. You don’t want to shower because you hate seeing your body, so you stink.

If you decide to use laxatives you might have explosive diarrhea. You might even you defecate in your pants because your muscles are weak and you can’t hold it in. Your skin starts to hang off your body and you look wrinkly and much older than you are. Your eyes look dead. They lose their moisture and can turn yellow. Your skin looks sallow and dull and you have dark circles under your eyes. Your eyelashes fall out. People think you’re a drug addict.

You don’t care about getting dressed because your body isn’t worth dressing. So you wear pajamas all day and don’t bother with makeup. You don’t feel. You can’t love. You lose any interest in dating, or even a desire to be close to someone.

The Awful Truth About Pro-Anorexia Websites
There is a big difference between this blog, which tells of my terrible struggle with my eating disorder, and pro-anorexia websites.
The men (yes, they’re mostly men) who run these pro-ana sites are pedophiles. Why else would they solicit pictures of anorexic women? It’s because anorexic women look like small children.
In addition the operators of these websites clearly don’t have eating disorders. I know this for two very different reasons:
1) Eating disorders are SUPER competitive. No eating disorder wants the competition or to feel like someone else is “better” at it.
2) Someone with this would never want anyone else to feel trapped this way. It is a prison. It is a lonely, isolated HELL that makes you CRAVE death. It is a grave. It will kill you. Period.

You want glamor? Anorexia, or any eating disorder, is NOT glamorous.
Going to the bathroom with a door open and someone standing outside listening to me is more glamorous than an eating disorder. Not being able to flush my own toilet is more glamorous than an eating disorder. Being weighed in a hospital gown is more glamorous. Recovery and everything that comes with it – being gassy and sweaty and hyper-metabolic and hairy – is more glamorous because it means I’ve chosen LIFE.

And LIVING a real LIFE is glamorous.


  1. Camilla~
    I am not sure if you are referring to my letter. If so, please note that I said the NEWS REPORTER made it sound like your blog glamorized EDs, but once I actually read your blogs, I realized this was not the case.
    I hope things are going well for you. I wish you the best of luck.

  2. Camilla,

    I am currently suffering from an ED myself. I find that your blog is something I can relate to, and that motivates me to keep working on recovery. There are days when all I really want is to let the ED take over and I find myself angry at my team for suggesting that I consider a higher level of care. But your blog grounds me and reminds me of what my eating disorder really is and reminds me that I need recovery. You are an inspiration, and your honest posts help me immensely, even if it is just a reminder that it is okay that this recovery is hard and sucks. But I know it will be worth it. Thank you.