Thursday, 30 December 2010

What's happened to childhood?

I stumbled across these awful comments on a website that made me so sad.

"hi i just turned twelve and i really need some help my best friend is having a pool party in two weeks and my body is disgusting i cant even look at my self i weigh about 106 and im about 4’11 id really like some tips on how to become anorexic and fast thank =]"

"i am 5 4 and 110 and trying so hard not to eat, but sometimes i let it get the best of me. how do you only drink orange juice for breakfast and that is it. how do you stay motivated. do you exercise. help me i want to loose 15 lbs and be like nicole richie."

"I'm 11 years old..
i am 5’4 and 148.8 lbs.
i want to become skinny before the summer..
so i can go swimming at the public pool..
& wear my two peice..
and i dont want to feel down or disgusted of the way i look..
I always think of starving myself the next day..
but then i eat.."

There are so many more comments like this, all from such young girls. My heart really goes to them, I remember being 11 and thinking I was so fat. And wanting to not eat. 

This type of thing makes me scared to have kids, especially a girl, I'm scared she'll get an eating disorder and... god forbid have my terrible genes!

How are we meant to stop this 'want to be anorexic' pandemic? 
There are the obvious answers (stop skinny models/get more diversity in the media) but I think it's more deep rooted than this. What are we meant to do??


Sairs said...

This is really sad. I didn't realise how young these girls were getting eating disordered thoughts were. I wish I could take the hand of each one and show them my journey and how awful it was and how good it is now and that it doesn't matter as long as you are happy and healthy. Thanks Battle for posting this, I think it's really important that all of us are aware of this so we can be more mindful of our own behaviours in public areas where kids hear what we say. I hope you have an awesome new year :-)

Heather said...

Campaign for ethical fashion - fashion that doesn't hurt anyone, including the consumer.
'Childhood' is becoming a scarce phenomena. It's sad that in the west, we have become obsessed with 'skinny' whereas in the developing world children learn as soon as they can walk to do all the household chores.
How do we stop it? Should we simply lament the passing of the era of childhood? I just don't know.
Have you seen The Truth About Online Anorexia? It addresses this and is definitely worth a watch.

Happy New Year x

Anonymous said...

I think part of the problem is that people are just so terribly uninformed. (I'm actually planning to write a post about this sometime this week...) These children think that being anorexic is glamorous and amazing and all fun and games. They think anorexia will make them happy. But, and I think you and I can personally attest to this, THEY RUIN EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. So I think something that we could do is to better educate these kids as to the consequences.

One thing that I think they are being mislead about (I'm in rant mode, sorry) is the fact that eating disorders are not choices. I don't think someone can become "anorexic and fast." It's a disease that develops over time. It may feel sudden when things get out of control, but it really has neurological, biological, and environmental causes that stir up over a long period of time.

Also, I can relate to what you're saying about having children. I mean, I'm terrified of childbirth, but I also would not want to have a child because I could pass along such misery to them. I think if I ever wanted children (and I'm leaning towards no on this) I would adopt.

Anyway, happy new year, Battleinmind! May this one be 10 times as awesome as the last.

Wishing you well,

Zena said...

Its so so sad, I am dealing with this with my daughter,shes nearly 8, overwieght and already comments on fat she is, I wont even take her for a true physical cause they go on the "obesity" rant, and I dont want her to hear it, I always feared passing on my horriable genetic disposition to Eds and I fear that in these days and times my worst fears will come to fruition, I want to help her become happy and healthy but I know at her age any talk about food or wieght for me turned negative in my head, I wish wieght didnt matter, EVER, but the truth is girls who are predisposed to these diseases are really in the hole beacuse the media, other children, professionals, and pretty much anyone they come in contact with are obsessed with "health" or thinness, people eguate health with thinness and its just not true, I feel so bad for those girls, I remember, being that age and wishing to dissipate into nothingness, it does happen that young and its so scary, for my own daughter as well as the millions of other young girls who struggle with body image and/or other mental illnesses that make them vulnerable.

Thankyou for posting this to make others more aware of the damage that is already being done to these young minds and precious souls, they dont deserve to suffer this way, actually we dont either.

Love, Tara