Why we don’t need pictures of skeletal individuals to raise awareness of eating disorders

Now… I fear this post may become somewhat of a rant! I have a real pet hate of the media’s need to publish pictures of excruciatingly thin people when talking about eating disorders. Programs like Supersize Vs Superskinny end up making me so angry. One of the first things that is told to people who suffer with problems with their eating is that it’s NOT all about their weight. Not only are the images, in a way, offering the idea to young people that such a size is not only achievable but that you can look ‘ok’ weighing the same. I’m not even really raging about skinny models or mannequins now, but more about the ‘look at me at my lowest weight’ type articles that fill trashy mags.

It makes me sad that these images are such an important part of a sufferers story for a number of reasons:

  1. Eating disorders are not ALL about food/weight, showing images of very very thin people not only implies that you have to be that thin to be unwell, but also minimises all of the psychological symptoms of the disorders. 
  2. It’s not a good image to portray to people who are unwell with an eating disorder and can feel that these kind of weights are what they should look like.
  3. It makes a statement that your weight has to be very low to have an eating disorder and completely over simplifies the range of different weights of sufferers. 
I read an article by a B-eat ambassador who had been told my a journalist that she would need to provide images of her lowest weight to prove she had an eating disorder and this made me rage! I want to see images of healthy people who have overcome eating disorders and can celebrate having their healthy bodies back!! 
Kate xx

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