Body Shaming Didn’t Cause My Eating Disorder 

Somehow, the highlight of Lady Gaga’s Superbowl performance has become a roll of fat on her stomach. People are either disgusted or empowered by the way a singer dressed during a football game. Some people poke fun at her, saying she should have covered her stomach or exercised more before taking the stage. Others say that the public scrutiny of celebrities’ bodies causes eating disorders. While body image and impossible beauty standards often contribute to eating disorders, they are not the cause.
Eating disorders are not about vanity or glamour. When I am starving or bingeing or purging, I am not thinking about Victoria’s Secret models or fitting into a certain size. Instead, I am usually thinking about a bad grade I got, failing friendships, unrequited love, being quiet when I should speak, and speaking when I should keep quiet. Eating disorders are used to numb the pain that is inevitable in life.
For some reason, from a young age I decided that I could not handle life like everyone else. Instead, I used food, exercise, and laxatives to cope with stress and sadness. Yes, I felt that my body was less than desirable, but that merely masked the deeper self-esteem issues I had. I believed that I was not strong enough to conquer life’s highs and lows.
By reducing eating disorders to diets taken too far and unrealistic beauty standards, we ignore the needs of those who are struggling. We forget that people with eating disorders need support, love, and to be validated.

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