A Fragile Epidemic

By
December 2, 2004

Even the decision to write this pice was a difficult one, as the subject of eating disorders is extremely delicate, and it's often considered to be easier left untouched.  However, it is this mindset that perpetuates the increasing taboo nature of the one of the most prevalent and complicated illnesses that women in our society today are dealing with.  Particulary at Mills, a college campus that is extremely open and supportive of such a wide array of lifestyles and personal choices, as weel as difficulties, it seems only appropiate to wonder why anorexia and bulimia, ampng other eating disorders, have premeated the lives of so many women.

It truly hit home in Mills community when a young alumna recently died from a serious battle with anorexia. Was it the media that induced and fostered her illness, the preussure to look a certain way?  Possibly.  THere are so many pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia Web sites out there that give suggestions and support for how to maintain these illnesses.  Unfortunately, its is not only individuals and private groups who encourage focusing  on controlling your intake of food as a measure of worth.

There are "so-and-so" gets fat" headlines splashed about the taboid pages that line the check-out counters at grocery stores.  The media is obsessed with the fact that both Reneā€š Zellwger and Charlize Theron gained and lost nearly 40 lbs. for movie roles.  These women are celebrated as if they were martyrs.  It seems a crime for women to be distinct in their body-type these days and those who can maintain the stick figure are celebrated to an unhealthy extent.

These issues needed to be discuessed.  Last fall, a few women on campus tried to start a club that would address these complicated subjects, but it folded for lack of participation.  It is through dialogue, acceptance, honesty and support that we can help each other recover from what are considered by psychologist to be the most diseases to cure.  The time has come to address this silently growing epidemic bnoth at Mills and in society at large.


A Fragile Epidemic was published on December 2, 2004 in Editorial

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