Thursday, 7 February 2013

Perfection

It's not often you engage in deep conversation with a friend, or anyone for that matter, so when you do, I guess it's only natural to reflect on it afterwards.
Following a conversation from a good friend of mine, I was reminded of the social factors which can influence an eating disorder. It occurred to me as to whether any of these contributed towards my own illness.
I work in a newsagents, and during the worst days, I was very drawn to reading magazines with 'size zero' flashed across the front pages. They fed my mind and encouraged more weight loss. I never actually thought they were pretty as such, but did long to look that way. I didn't ever think I was attractive when I finally realised I'd reached this size either. I guess it was this idea of being perfect. This size (and smaller) is what the media was, and is, portraying as beautiful. Of course, to create these beautiful images, photo shopping and editing is key. Comments to models regarding losing more weight is definitely present, but this is so that professionals can create the 'perfect' piece of work, and ultimately make money.
The thing is, perfection doesn't exist. It never has and it never will. So where does this inhumane idea of perfection even come from? Who decided that the 'perfect' size was a certain set of measurements - and why are they always getting smaller!? It is dehumanising and has given everyone permission to judge everyone based on size. When you have an eating disorder, your identity gets lost. You become a set of numbers, which quite frankly, are never good enough for you. I actually said half way through this conversation that a woman I find very attractive is one of my best friends. She's a 10-12, not a size zero.
This industry is damaging both the women that they are working with AND the general public. I am well enough now to say that I haven't picked up a copy of cosmopolitan or heat for a very long time, and I know that I don't intend on reading one ever again, but that can't be said for everyone.
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