Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rant: Body image, society, and disease (part 2)

In this twisted situation where it seems every woman on the planet is either too fat or too thin, women are rebelling in different ways. The pro-ana movement is girls trying to take control of their body image by taking control of their weight, the fat rant tells society where to get off (and yet is done by a woman who, to me at least, looks healthy rather than fat).

The body image issue is of great personal significance, because with the illness I have, I have been both very thin, and very fat. While I was thin, I was very ill, and while I was fat, I was very affected by side effects, but much healthier. I was told by society that I looked much better ill than healthy. To this day, five years after the fact, I still do not like the way I look, and I am still aggressively working to change it -- and I don't even know what I am "supposed" to look like.

Recently this topic came up among people with the same illness I suffer from, and responses ranged from "you look great, what are you worrying about" to "be grateful you can eat". At my present weight I have been told by a medical professional that I would ideally be 10-20lbs lighter than I am. My perception of my own body has been so warped by rapid changes and society's images that I now no longer know who to believe.

continued in next post

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