How many times have you seen models who look like this..?

models-too-thin

Or this?

gianfranco-ferre-skinny-model-spring-2012-milan-2__opt

Or…this?

anorexia-nervosa-02

Doesn’t the model depicted in the above picture remind you of Chuck Noland from “Cast Away” who was stranded on the island for years and looking like she can easily and effortlessly gulp down 10 Big Mac’s at once? Okay..except the gender difference and maybe minus the beard..

In medicine, this condition is known as Anorexia Nervosa. This is a psychological eating disorder that affects MANY people in the world including athletes, models and famous celebrities. The American singer Karen Carpenter from The Carpenter is one of the victims who had died from this eating disorder at the early age of 33 only. It is conservatively estimated that 30 million people suffer from this disorder including males and females, many cases of which are NOT reported.

So how did Anorexia Nervosa creep into people’s life without them realizing..? After all we’ve only heard of people dying from starvation out of poverty..

Well, I believe this is due to how society of our generation has instilled a very rigid standard of beauty in us where beauty is translated to having big sunken eyes, tall nose, THICK lips, hollow chin, big breast, narrow waist, big buttocks, skinny legs..and the gap. DID I JUST SPELL ANOREXIA??

It is natural human instinct to seek for acceptance and feel the need to fit into the majority population, since it has been ingrained deeply in our brain from the beginning of human evolution. But to blend in at the expense of one’s health is another whole new story.

Very often people who suffer from anorexia exhibit a few typical characteristics or behaviours as follow:

  1. They either refuse to eat or eat way below their daily caloric need for an extended period of time in hope to achieve the body figure endorsed by the society. Some would go as far as eating only a Graham cracker a day to keep the weight low.
  2. Engaging in excessive and vigorous physical activity right after meal hoping to burn off the calories that might cause them to gain unwanted weight.
  3. You may have guessed it. Over-the-counter drug abuse. This includes thyroid supplements that spike metabolism of the body or ipecac syrup that is often used to  induce vomiting. All for the same purpose and I hope none of these signs are screaming your name!

People who suffer from Anorexia find it very difficult to cope with daily activities, for the limbs are constantly cold, they feel lethargic and hungry throughout the day, their span of concentration is incredibly short due to the lack of essential nutrients to the body. In the long run, Anorexia might cause serious medical complications such as heart problems, low blood pressure, weakened bones, dental cavities, menstrual disorder or DEATH.

In my opinion, more lights should be shedded on this seemingly “trivial”condition, because this eating disorder is obviously not gaining the public attention that it should have and people are literally starving themselves to death not out of poverty, but under the influence of misconception of beauty. Fortunately, the french government has recently taken some actions against the continuous spread of this facade that distorts the public’s perception of beauty by the social media. Kudos to you François Hollande!

Everyone is entitled to have their very own definition of beauty and beauty should not be standardized into only ONE perception. How should individual uniqueness fit into this diversified world if everyone had to conform to one type of physical appearance that is deem ideal? What differences would it make between you and I?

Anyway.. I do think that many sufferers of Anorexia might not recover completely in their whole life..instead it would be a life long inner battle that takes place in one’s own confinement..and only people who’ve gone through it will truly understand the struggle within.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT!

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5 thoughts on “Here’s how you can literally starve to death!

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