“I Looked ‘Anorexic’”

Just like when people use "starving" incorrectly, I also get mad when people use the term “anorexic” incorrectly. Someone whom I am acquaintances with was describing their childhood years to a friend today. They were very poor when they were little and didn’t get to eat a lot because of lack of money and food.

“I looked seriously anorexic,” they said.

And I corrected them but they didn’t hear me. “You looked really skinny.”

It is just like with “starving”. We know what the word means, but we don’t use it correctly. I myself have never said “I looked ‘anorexic’” even when I was really skinny. The problem with saying that phrase or even using that word in that context is that “anorexic” is not a look. The media has painted as something negative. Not that it is positive, but when people think “anorexic” they think skin and bones, literally. They think of someone that looks like a walking skeleton; someone who is seriously malnourished, which is what they are. Anorexia just might be the cause of their malnourishment.

Anorexic is not a look, it is a mental disorder, which is why it bothers me so much when people say, “I look anorexic,” or, “she’s so skinny she looks anorexic,” or, “I bet they’re anorexic, look how thin they are!” Some people are very thin naturally. Some people are thin because they actually worked for it. And some people are thin because of the mental disorder Anorexia Nervosa. I was skinny when I was diagnosed. I was so underweight my period had disappeared (unfortunately damaging my reproductive system. Children are not likely in my future) and I was too thin to support myself anymore. But I still didn’t think I looked “anorexic”. I probably didn’t look malnourished, or maybe I did. I still suffer from body dysmorphia so I don’t know, nor will I ever.

Also, an eating disorder looks different on every one. It rarely ever looks exactly the same, both physically and in mental effects, even though a fear of weight and food and fat is generally in all that suffer from one. So you can’t look “anorexic”, but you can look skinny and malnourished.

In other news, I have gotten back into exercising and seriously should have done it sooner. Since I started on Saturday with little things and got back into it on Monday starting a 5 week Fit for Prom/Summer challenge I have gotten better faster than I got over those 3 weeks when I sat and did nothing. It’s odd, but the more I exercise, even while sick, the better I feel. This is always true, no matter if it is a simple cold or, apparently, the end stages of walking pneumonia.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

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9 thoughts on ““I Looked ‘Anorexic’”

  1. I get annoyed with that too. It’s like it’s NOT okay to call someone fat because they’re big… but it’s OKAY to call someone “anorexic” because they’re small. I just don’t understand.

    • It doesn’t make any sense. I’m sure being called anorexic is just as hurtful as being called fat, yet it’s still more accepted.

  2. On which subject should I leave my thoughts? I never thought about the “look anorexic” topic that way, but I feel that you are right. Regarding exercise, it absolutely always makes me feel better. It’s just that when I am not feeling well, I have a hard time motivating myself to get started!

  3. ohh my. i hate when people say, you/they look anorexic. it makes me sick. the other day on facebook, one girl commented on another friend’s picture from when she was younger and said, “omg you look ano.” ano as in anorexic. i wanted to just be like, really? really?

  4. You could almost replace “anorexic” with “cancer” as in, “Wow, they look like they have Cancer.” That would be offensive though, so nobody says it, and yet, they think using the term “anorexic” is okay.

    • Maybe I’ll start saying that next time I hear them say someone looks anorexic. “You mean they look like they have cancer.” “No, anorexic. That’s so mean!” “So is what you said.”

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