Feeding the New Demographic
Being a sibling of a recovered anorexic, I was very moved by this article in GQ. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are two very complicated mental diseases that go unnoticed by a very large majority of people, for both women and men. For me, this article brings out numerous key points that were brought to my attention as my fraternal twin sister was diagnosed with anorexia during our freshman year in high school. Learning the classifications of this disorder is only scratching the surface. The multiple connected disorders, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression, and Anxiety to name a few, are, in my opinion, the main battle facing men and women with this disorder. We see it as an issue solely based on weight and body image but that is not always the root of the problem. When faced with this question in our AP Psychology class my senior year, my sister could not always see the textbook answer to how anorexia was only this one definition. Seeing the depression, anxiety and countless other choices that branched from this disorder that she had faced made her see how extensive and see so much information that the textbook answer did not cover it. Having less than 15% of the body mass that was required to be considered an anorexic by the basis of this book was not enough acknowledgement for the criteria on this disorder.
I will be honest, even when visiting a family week for her institution, Laureate in Tulsa, Ok., we were told about how rare it was for men to become anorexic. If I remember correctly it was to do with the fact that since men do not need much body fat and it plays a lesser role in their ability to function and, more specifically, to reproduce that it was not as much a "problem" with the male species. Following this article, I see the other side of how it affects men. However, I still believe it might have more long term effects to women, mainly do to the lack of information on what the differences are in this particular article.
One rebuttal that I find very concerning in this article is how many of the men in this article mentioned the extent of how many of the women that they had encountered through these programs had been abused. I am wondering how they defined abused in this situation because it could be lead this article in many directions. If they mean abused as in maybe verbally, name calling or bullying, I could see this being a very acceptable reason as to the effects of this disorder as I have seen this be a very prominent way of controlling the names affects towards the women. If they mean sexual or physical abuse, I have not heard of this being as common, at least when associating with my sister about some of her friends through treatment. I feel like the journalist might not fully know himself but I still feel it should have been addressed more explicitly.
As to my Cross Cultural Journalism professor, Mr. Earnest Perry, I felt very drawn to this article because of our discussion towards seeing the other demographic. We usually ASSUME that girls are the only demographic being addressed with eating disorders and this article certainly disproves that theory and I for one am glad this journalist decided to find the uncovered minority.