This week my friend Pauline Campos approached me about participating in her #BodyThanks Twitter party on Monday night at 8 pm CT and donating a copy of THE OBVIOUS GAME, since Diana struggles mightily with body image and anorexia in my novel. I said yes, and I'm excited for the conversation.
Later this week, someone passed along to me a post a guy wrote about why you should date a girl with eating disorder. Chief among the reasons: Hot and a cheap date because she doesn't eat much.
You know I wrote something, right?
Here's the beginning:
[Editor's Note: ED trigger alert]
Last week, the misogynist-troll website Return of Kings published 5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder, by a writer named Tuthmosis. When I first read the post, I thought surely it was written ironically. (Of course, I also thought that the first time I heard the lyrics to Blurred Lines.) The “reasons” included hot thinness, cheapness to date, and wildness in the sack. Ugh. Understandably, the Internet freaked out. Then the site’s publisher posted a response to the freakout, including this paragraph:
I want to make it clear that we at ROK are not promoting eating disorders. These are devastating illnesses on those whom they afflict, and we wish sufferers are able to receive the treatment they need. It is unfortunate that sufferers continue to be stigmatized by society, so it surprises me that Tuthmosis’ article has been angrily received when it attempts to reduce stigma by encouraging our male readership to give women with anorexia and bulimia an opportunity for real intimacy.
I had boyfriends when I had anorexia. And they may have thought they were benefiting from some of the items on Tuthmosis' list. Yes, I was thin in a fashionable way … before I got thin in a starving-person way. Yes, I was an extremely cheap date – for dinner in high school, of course, but also for drinks in college. Someone who ate six hundred calories all day before going out gets wasted on one cocktail. Sweet, right?
Please to read the rest on BlogHer. When I finished writing it, my hands were shaking with anger.
All I can do, though, is keep repeating that eating disorders aren't cute, they're not just for white girls and they aren't vain or a cry for attention. Eating disorders are serious psycho-social-biological maladies that can be a matter of life and death. Please join us on Twitter on Monday night with the hashtag #BodyThanks as we move into the week of Thanksgiving -- a week very triggering for some -- being thankful for our families, our friends, our lives and the bodies that carry us through them.