rebellion is not a disease
January 13, 2002 02:41 PM

The difference between revolution and rebellion is subtle sometimes. I've been thinking about the "anorexia is a lifestyle, not a disease" thing. And I've come to this conclusion. Which is that anorexia is a disorder. It's a word with little relation to its origin (Greek - "an" is a prefix meaning "without" and "orektos" is a verbal adjective meaning "desirous") that was coined specifically to describe a disorder. In this case, perhaps the disorder is actually an attempt to create order out of chaos. But then, you can make the same argument for schizophrenia and a host of other things. My point being: from a purely semantic perspective, anorexia is inherently a "disease". If it's to be a "lifestyle", another word is probably in order.

Word aside, I have to take some other issues. And you need to go here if you came to my diary on a search for "pro-anorexia" sites. Trust me. You need to go there.

I can understand the usefulness of seizing control of the body when the world seems uncontrollable. I can also understand why one might feel a need to hold to a body type that isn't loaded with others' expectations - for instance, if you grow up in a community that demands women be breeders. As I've said before, I'm well aware that my body makes it easier for other women to accept a feminist message from me. I'm neither conventionally attractive nor stereotypically ugly, and this makes things easier. Still, I have to wonder whether this thinness thing is revolution or simply rebellion. When you react against an image forced on you by going in the opposite direction, doesn't that image still control you? What does rebellion accomplish, other than validating the influence of the thing against which we rebel?

My other, smaller issue, is what I perceive as hypocrisy among some of the "pro-anorexia" websites and zines. In order for this "movement" to be considered as the independent and empowered choice it purports to be, I see girls (they're almost all girls - largely female, rarely over 25) claiming that fashion magazines and other images of super-thin beauty aren't their motivation. That these images play no role. And yet, on the same pages, I see multitudes of these very images. They're not presented as ironic. They're presented as a goal. The rhetoric is in apparent direct conflict with its presentation.

I can't buy the rhetoric. It sounds like excuses. Like the things some smokers and drug addicts and overeaters and diet pill poppers say to justify their habit or addiction as "not really that bad". I say, fuck that. However unhealthy your choice may be; if it hurts only you, it's your choice. Stand by that rhetoric, and I'll support you, whatever the cause.

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your wicked thoughts

you bastards r killing people

these are the thoughts of Dionne on July 24, 2003 08:49 AM

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