Starved

This is the deal with this post. I’ve started it half a dozen times if I’ve started it once. I've been meaning to post about Starved for awhile. But I honestly didn't know where to start. I still don't. I think of all of these things to say and then I sit down in front of the computer and nothing. Zip. Nadda.

I first heard about it on Denise's blog when she posted a Daily Dose of Anger.

I don't like this. It upsets me, it makes me angry, it makes me sad. But I think mostly it scares me. This is what worries me.

I worry that it’s going to establish stereotypes of what disordered eating is. Those of you who read my backgrounder can look and see that I don’t really fit in with any of the four characters. My issues aren’t their issues. It doesn’t change the fact that I have issues and at some point I should have had treatment and/or counselling to deal with them (technically I did try once upon a time - it didn't go well).

I worry about the teenager who is going to see this show just as they were about to ask for help. I worry that they think that people won’t take them seriously because people are laughing at it and making fun of it on tv. Or that they will ask for help and then have their friends say that they just heard it on tv and nothing is actually wrong with them.

I worry about the person who is recovering from an eating disorder and is flipping through the channels and comes across this show. Unlike the internet there aren’t going to be “TRIGGER” warnings (or at most they might have warnings after commercial breaks which doesn't help when you are flipping).

I worry about the young girls on the pro-ana sites who will watch this and see if they can find any new ways of losing weight or purging. (If you don’t know what a pro-ana site is click here for a definition- it’s scary shit).

I worry because people die from eating disorders. I worry because eating disorders are complex. In many ways they are like an addiction but they are NOT an addiction. There’s no simply cause/answer/solution/treatment. Seriously underweight people don’t simply need to eat more. Seriously overweight people don’t simply need to less. There are so many other factors at work there.

Have you ever been to a message board for people who are underweight that is full with recovering anorexics and bulimics? I have. I’ve heard their stories. I’ve heard their struggles to get treatment, to gain weight. I’ve heard how they struggle every damn day. And let me tell you – it’s not fucking fodder for comedy.

I know I could simply just not watch the show – which trust me, I won’t. I don’t actually get the show anyway (at least I don’t think I do). And to be honest, if it’s not the Food Network Canada, TLC, Discovery or CSI I likely don’t watch it. So I’m speaking out about why it worries me. And why it should worry you.

For more information on eating disorders see:
NEDA

NEDIC (not as good at the American equivalent but still a good resource for Canadians)