An article was published this week by the online mag Mamamia; a good fun site with lots of great parenting articles that I love to read. So why am I so ticked-off this time?
Oooo, well, it *might* have something to do with this:
Quote from Why do so many women lie about what they eatTwo things immediately ticked-me-off regarding the contents of this article (written by a freelance graphic designer):
"...Liarexic. Yes, we know that some people object to the trivialisation of anorexia by other forms of disordered eating adopting their suffix.
But we didn’t make up this name, we’re just telling you about it.
Apparently Liarexia is the notion that people, namely women, will eat large amounts of food (or a particular type of food eg: burgers and fries) in public yet strictly limit their portions in private. A new eating disorder if you will."
firstly the perpetuation of media-concocted-passing-itself-off-as-medical bollocks, and
secondly the flippant and arrogant way in which are instructed not to be annoyed by the fact that they doing exactly that; perpetuating the bollocks.
Yes fine, you didn't make up the term, but you know what - the "she started it" excuse didn't wash with your mum, so why try it on with us?
But of course it is not this article in isolation that is so damaging - it is the rapidly increasing trend by the media to just make stuff up!! In addition to Liarexia, here are some of the others I've heard recently (all [abridged] definitions courtesy of such paragons of wisdom as: Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia):
tanorexia (a disease like anorexia, no matter how tan a person is they never think they are tan enough)
Brideorexia (When a bride goes overboard trying to get skinny for her wedding day)
Sexual-anorexia (loss of "appetite" for romantic-sexual interaction)
drunkorexia (The practice of replacing meals with booze.)
wannarexia (An imaginary disease most commonly found amongst preteen to teenage, overweight, females whom claim to have the eating disorder anorexia)
pregorexia (The state of being extremely skinny to the point of being nearly anorexic when pregnant)
exorexia (someone who exercises far too much, to the point of obsession)
and, oh joy...
fatorexia (opposite anorexia. Thinking ones self is too thin)
But surely just repeating these new little invented nick-names is just a bit of fun? Yay! I mean this kind of thing wouldn't embarrass someone into hiding an eating disorder would it? Well then perhaps you can explain to me why we don't make up witty names to have a good laugh about how smokers are increasing their risk of cancer? Perhaps we could call them cancer-groupies. No? Why not? Because it would be disgusting. Abhorrent. And completely unacceptable.
So why is the trivialisation of the most deadly mental illness acceptable?
Continued minimisation not only reduces the seriousness of this disease in the eyes of the general public, but it humiliates sufferers and perpetuates the stigma associated with it.
But it's all in good fun, so it couldn't really be serious...
At the time I wrote this 11,155 people 'liked' this website. That's a lot of people who have just been influenced to think anorexia is a joke.