Say No to Anorexia

I stumbled upon a post that promoted 40 shocking posters and I loved most of them until I came upon this one:


“You are not a sketch. Say no to anorexia.”

Had the add just said “You are not a sketch” I would not have a problem with it. It is the “say no to anorexia” line that gets my blood boiling. You cannot just say “no” to anorexia. It’s not a drug someone in a dark alley waved in my face and asked in a raspy voice, “Ya wanna try anorexia?” That campaign doesn’t work with drugs anyway. I was never offered the choice of saying “no” to my anorexia. That’s not how it works. That’s like saying, “say no to autism” or “say no to cancer.” That isn’t something that is possible. A strategy like this doesn’t work with anything. You can’t tell someone who is having trouble sleeping to just go to sleep and expect it to be fixed just like that. You cannot just tell an anorexic person to eat and stopping projecting their feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, etc., onto food and starvation and body image.

Anorexia, like any eating disorder, is a mental disorder. It’s not a drug addiction despite the addiction-like symptoms.

On top of that, this puts the blame on modeling agencies when I, personally, rarely ever wanted to look like a model when I was deep into my anorexia. The thinspo I looked at rarely ever contained models. I can’t think of anyone that ever did. Not that anyone did or does, it’s just not the usual target.

It is an offensive and very misinformed ad. Eating disorders are a problem, but you cannot fix it with an ad. It’s not ad related. Eating disorders have been around for a long time. Our current photoshop skills and all that may be a trigger but not a cause.


8 thoughts on “Say No to Anorexia

  1. this girl says:

    I’ve not once heard of someone (ED sufferer or not) aspiring to fashion sketches, I mean when you look at them they aren’t even proper proportions. It’s like saying ‘you can’t grow your legs a foot longer so you are a failure’. Ugh that add is just really offensive.

  2. Before I even read what you had written, this advertisement had built up anger inside of me. This is why eating disorders have such a bad stigma in society. They are seen as something that over-privelaged teenage girls ‘catch’ in order to get attention and look ‘pretty’. This stereotype frustrates me to no end! Would you ever see a picture of a thin man with that slogan? NO!
    There is SO much wrong with western society in regards to appearance and mental illness, and I honestly hope that something can be done in the future to turn this view around.

  3. So true – I had seen that ad but not had that reaction, but I completely see where you are coming from. My boyfriend’s sister has been anorexic for the last 30 years or so, and so many people he has spoken to about it just say, “Why don’t you just make her eat?”. I can see how this ad just reinforces the stigma around anorexia rather than encouraging people to try and understand the disease and its many facets. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Yes! It bugs me when people treat anorexia like it’s a choice, not a disease like cancer or heck, even any other mental illness. Like if people joke, “I wish I was anorexic!” they have no clue what they’re saying and it makes me really mad. They can’t and won’t understand all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes unless they deal with it first-hand, and it’s not glamorous.

    • A lot of people support this campaign and it just bothers me. I know their hearts were probably in the right place, but I feel like it’s just unprofessional to do something like this without doing any research.

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