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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An Opinion on the Controversial New Body Trend- Girls Dying to Achieve 'Thigh Gap' Look

Controversial New Body Trend- Girls Dying to Achieve ‘Thigh Gap” Look
By: Christine McFarlane

As a woman in recovery from eating disorders, I find it disturbing to hear of another dangerous trend - it is called ‘thigh gap.’ I read about this via a link to a Globe and Mail article and video.

The objective with this new fad is not to have your thighs touch. I remember when I was in the throes of my eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, my obsession with being as thin as possible had me engaging in many problematic behaviors. Whether that was being extremely restrictive in what I allowed myself to eat, or taking laxatives, purging or exercising, this obsession could have killed me.

As it was, I landed in the hospital countless number of times where I was watched like a hawk and forced to eat. I remember people telling me “oh you’re just doing this for attention, why don’t you just eat,” and I remember the pain those comments brought me because I knew it was a lot more than not wanting to eat. It was like something evil had a grip on me, and wouldn’t let me eat. It pained me to sit at the nurse’s desk while I was in the hospital and eat what was put in front of me. I would cry, when I was told “you have to eat everything on your plate,” and when I was weighed and found out that I had gained a pound, I thought my world was going to end.

Well I got through that part of my life, with a lot of treatment and therapy, and though technically I am no longer considered anorexic, I am considered EDNOS which means (eating disorder not otherwise specified) and it is still a daily struggle to be accepting of where I am now.

Trends like this are disturbing, and it is something that I wish as a consumer society we didn’t have to deal with. As women, we are inclined to judge ourselves and our bodies very harshly, particularly when it comes to comparing ourselves to those in the modeling industry and the celebrities we admire.

I remember the impossible standards I set for myself, and how it could have killed me.  I am lucky, in the sense that it didn’t, and I am lucky in the sense that I now have people in my life who accept me for who I am, and don’t judge me as harshly as those in my past did.

This ‘thigh gap’ trend needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. When I saw the video on the Globe and Mail website and then did another quick search on other links, I was alarmed to see that this trend is happening on websites, tumbler and among young girls.

It reminded me of my own fight, and how miserable I was. My eating disorder clouded my judgment and stopped me from enjoying so many things. It made me focus on something unattainable-being as skinny as possible and perfect, and I wouldn’t wish that battle on anyone-not even my worst enemy.

It is important for all women, young and old to develop good and healthy self-esteem. To know that there are more important things in life than what size you are.

Believe me, I fight the battle every day. Below is a poem that I wrote:

Fighting the ED Voice:

My stomach grumbles
My head hurts

A voice tells me
“don’t eat”

I feel faint
I try to stay steady
But my limbs
Don’t want to

My stomach grumbles
My head hurts

A voice tells me
“don’t eat”

My thoughts
Are not coherent

A voice tells me
You don’t need to eat
You don’t need food
To stay powerful

I want to cry
Because I’ve been through
This before
And could have

My stomach grumbles
My head hurts
I’m not going to let
My ED voice win

I make a plate
Of food
Pick up my fork
And eat

You’re not going
To win
This time

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