Hey Fatass! | Teen Ink

Hey Fatass!

April 18, 2014
By Anonymous

Luckily, I’m not wearing any mascara today. The tissue around my eyes is swollen and the capillaries so red you can see the stress on each one. My face is tear-streaked, but the tears have mostly slid away and only the taste of salt and the dry cracked skin remain. A burning sensation spreads down my throat and threatens to bring another cascade of tears, but it’s unlikely they will come due to my overwhelming dehydration. With every shaky breath, I feel the intense irregularity of my quickening heart. Despite the pain I sit up slowly, position myself carefully, and shove my fingers as far back into my throat as I can. I know I ate Cheetos first, as a marker, and I’ve yet to see orange. So I’ll keep puking through the pain. I starved for three days before binging, and damn it, I will not let this slip up ruin me. Hunched in my bathroom, hungry and crazed, I am slowly killing myself.

My entire senior year of high school I struggled in silence with what doctors define as EDNOS – Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. I starved myself for days on end, eating 100 calories one day, 300 at most the next. If I broke down and ate, I stuffed myself until I my stomach threatened to burst. Immediately I would experience withdrawal, shaking and screaming inside that I needed my fix; I needed hunger again. Chugging two cups of water and puking everything up again, I’d feel relief. There were days I finished my last food choice over the toilet to ensure not one drop of it stayed inside of me. If I needed to cool down my throat, I would just eat ice cream – and then purge it of course. No one and nothing could keep me from my addiction, even though I knew I was hurting myself more and more every day.

So, tell me again how glamorous eating disorders are? Please. Every week, I hear girls say they’re “just going to stop eating this week” or they’re “going anorexic till Spring Break.” A girl I trusted enough to confide in once told me she “wishes she had my skills and could be anorexic” and she “didn’t even like to puke.” I couldn’t believe my ears. No one likes to puke. I didn’t purge because I wanted to. I purged because I would cry and shake and hate myself if I didn’t, because somewhere deep in my mind called out and enticed me every day. You cannot “go anorexic for a week.” If you are an anorectic, the addiction consumes every waking moment of your life. Don’t eat! You’re fat! Don’t you dare! What are you doing you WHALE? Okay, I understand. I won’t eat. I can’t.

In the medical community, Eating Disorders don’t receive the same amount of attention as other medical disorders. Some doctors diagnose them more slowly, refusing to believe that people suffering from Anorexia or Bulimia are really sick. These same doctors, and a lot of the general population, don’t feel the need to classify these diseases as real mental and physical disorders, but often say that girls with eating disorders do it for the attention, or that they’ll be fine if they will just eat. They don’t understand that an eating disorder is a real and serious disease, just like bipolar disorder or high blood pressure.

My eating issues affected every aspect of my life. A classifying sign of addiction says you will begin to change your social and living patterns to get your fix. I had long since altered every friendship to my name to ensure I never had to eat in front of anyone, hiding myself away in the dark, cool corners of school every day during lunch. Despite the easily available pictures of emaciated waifs slowly dying or dead from their refusal to eat, people still want to trivialize these disorders. Instead of seeing them as horrendous problems, people now use them as dieting goals.

Eating Disorders have become glamorized ideals. Instead of seeing them as horrendous, life altering diseases no one can control, many people want to learn how to have one. As I started my spiral downwards, I found slippery slopes every step of the way, hands pulling me downwards even if I tried to claw my way out. Tumblr, a popular blogging website, played the role of the drug dealer in my addiction. When I first got into “fitness” and “losing weight,” I turned to Tumblr for something called thinspo. Thinspo, an abbreviation of thinspiration, is pictures of girls. Beautiful, extremely skinny girls with things written over the pictures such as “Would you rather have a thigh gap or that cake?” or “Hungry to bed, hungry to rise, makes a girl a smaller size.” My favorite at the time was a long paragraph that started with “Hey Fatass!” and ended with “Don’t eat. You’ll be happier.”

I believed it. I believed it so strongly that nothing could stop the debilitating craving for skinny. I spent days scrolling through blog after blog, turning to these role models whenever I wanted to eat to remind myself of exactly what not eating could allow me to become. I once walked for 4 straight hours on a treadmill until I was dripping sweat and could hardly stand, the distinctive buzzing of the ever-looming fainting spell ringing in my head, all while scrolling through pictures. These images perfectly enabled my addiction every step of the way. The people in these images believed this was the right path, so I did too.

Any age girl on the Internet has access to these images. However, such images aren’t just on Tumblr. You can find sites everywhere devoted to becoming a rail thin, broken version of you. A quick search such as “Pro-Ana” meaning Pro-Anorexia or “Pro-Mia” meaning Pro Bulimia will give you pages of tips and tricks on how to perfectly portray an eating disorder. I found these sites when I was 16, but I knew girls on Tumblr as young as 11 battling the same demons, just as horribly depressed as I purely because of the size of our bodies. A website recently posted an article by a man titled “Why to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder” describing how your girlfriend would surely be hotter and cost you less money if she didn’t eat. I cried when I saw it. This constant trivialization of eating disorders and the mentality people adopt about “wanting to get one” has caused these types of websites to take off.

Despite the severity of the problem, it hasn’t gone anywhere. The majority of women today are unhappy with their bodies, and the number of girls with eating disorders has risen to an alarmingly high number. Steps have been put in place by some sites, such as Tumblr. When you search for something such as “Thinspo” or “Pro-Ana” you will now receive a warning trying to redirect you to a counseling page. However, if you simply click no, the notification will go away and you can continue scrolling. The real problem behind these sites isn’t the sites themselves. The cultural mentality that drives girls to them needs to change. I luckily escaped my addiction, and put myself through a slow and painful rehab, but many are not so lucky. Anyone should think twice before talking about how you want to starve yourself or how you wish you could just puke it all back up. And anyone should think twice before promoting an article making light of these serious diseases. I promise you someone out there struggles every day, battling a force so drowning most people can’t imagine it, and it is not something to joke about. And if you’re ever considering going down this path, don’t. Eat. You’ll be happier.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 19 2017 at 1:46 pm
SmilesForTheCamera BRONZE, Richmond, Virginia
3 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you're strong enough to have gotten yourself into this mess, you're strong enough to get out of it.

I was THIS close to crying when I read this article. I've been on Pro-Ana websites since I was 11-12, and I'm still not yet recovered from Bulimia Nervosa (I'm getting there, though slowly), and I can relate to every word you said. Your ending was worthy of a standing ovation. Congratulations