As promised, I wanted to talk about the appearance of Morgan (aka Fatgrrl) on the Mike & Juliet show. Here are the videos (are you guys getting tired of Mike and Juliet yet? To think, two weeks ago I had no idea who they were).
Marie’s part of the interview bothered me, mostly because they filmed her bingeing for the sensationalist aspect of it…and in the voiceover the emphasized how “shameful” it is and how BEs “wolf” food down and consume “thousands and thousands” of calories. That bothers me because BEs already feel a huge amount of shame about what they’re doing, and I don’t see the benefit to making binge eaters feel even more shamed than they already do. I just don’t see why making someone feel like they’re dirty and shameful will prompt them to get help. I really feel like it’s tied in a neat little bow along with fat prejudice and the misconception that making a fat person feel like they’re disgusting, shameful and unworthy will inspire them to lose the weight and join the rest of society in the joy and bliss that the weight-loss ads claim all thin people feel.
This speaks right to the raison d’etre of this blog: shaming fat people is counterproductive, and that definitely includes fat people who suffer from BED. I wish Marie and Morgan nothing but the best, and hope that this experience ends up being a postive one for both of them. On her blog, Rachel responds to a perspicacious quote from Juliet:
Juliet surprised me by pointing out a brilliant observation:
Juliet: “When you’re anorexic you get attention and sympathy because you look sick, but with BED…”
Dr. Bartell: “Binge eaters get criticized and ridiculed. But it really is a disorder. We need to think of it like that.”
Bulimia and binge eating disorder eclipse anorexia nervosa, but anorexia is often glamorized because it carries what I call the “maiden in distress” element. When most people think of an anorectic, they often think frail, weak, and emaciated, compounded by the fact that anorexia most often develops in adolescence and predominantly among girls. There’s also another component: envy. I think many people also secretly admire the anorectic’s (perceived) sense of control and abstinence from food, as well as the fact that by DSM-IV definitions, anorectics are extremely thin. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard women say, “I wish I could catch a little anorexia.”
I would add that anorexics and bulimics, for a long time before they begin to “look sick,” receive a great deal of praise for their weight loss, regardless of the fact that they’re hurting themselves in order to achieve it. Whereas people who suffer from binge eating disorder, if they are obese, are immediately seen as “fat and lazy.”
Morgan and Marie were very brave to go on the show and speak so openly about something that affects many people in the fat community, but that must be extremely difficult to talk about when it is so personal. Thank you, ladies. You’re both beautiful.
Posted by mo pie