Thought Catalog, the mini-memoir site where Millennials share their thoughts and opinions, ran a piece last week entitled "I Love My Eating Disorder." Submitted by an anonymous user, the essay opens with controversial and frankly upsetting statements.
People talk about eating disorders like they are the worst thing in the world and always bad. But here’s a fact to consider, I don’t live in a vacuum. I am out here in the real world. An eating disorder might be “bad” but is it really worse than being fat? Than being alone? Than hating myself?
Men want thin women. It’s just a fact.
Yes, an eating disorder is "bad" in that it's an unhealthy way to live your life, but what's worse is that we live in a society that drives people to deprive and harm themselves in order to fit a certain mold. I think that men — at least the kind of men that are worth your time — want healthy, confident women. Starving and torturing yourself to find a worthwhile partner seems counterproductive.
The essay goes on to explain the anonymous author's decision to become "hot", "thin", and an inspiration to other women who have a similar vision for themselves.
I know the kind of life I want to live. I want to be happy. I want a man to adore me, not just say he adores me even though I am flawed, but really, really adore me. There are things I need to do to achieve my goals and I’m willing to sacrifice for what I want. Isn’t that really, something we praise most of the time?
Though Catalog, which often runs pieces entitled "Things You Realize After a Break Up" and "23 Signs I Drink Too Much Coffee" and "I Went to A Pediatric Psych Ward", aims to be a generational voice. And while they are tolerant of all opinions, was running a pro-anorexia piece, something user-based sites like Instagram have struggled with, responsible? The Thought Catalog mission statement explains:
We believe all thinking is relevant and strive for a value-neutral editorial policy governed by openness. The more worldviews and rhetorical styles on the site, the better. We want to tell all sides of the story.
"I Love My Eating Disorder" tells an interesting side of the story, and TC isn't around to diagnose or cure, but a trigger warning or links for finding help would have been appreciated. Still, perhaps the essay could help someone who is struggling. Commenter lizz says:
One of the bravest articles I have seen on this site in a long time.. Thank you. I can't help but not only emphasize but agree with you on so many points.. I've struggled with my weight my entire life, but if there is one thing I have learned its that the right people will love you regardless. And I hope you can find these right people. But more so I hope you can learn to love yourself, thin or not. We are beautiful.
Hopefully the writer gets that message.
Image: Bustle Stock Photo