April 10, 2013

Look at me.


What can you tell about my mental health by looking at me?

NOTHING.

What can you tell about my metabolism, my health, my diagnosed diseases? 

NOTHING.

It is not all right to judge and evaluate and gossip about people's mental health status or health based on their appearance. 

1.  It is none of YOUR business.
2.  There's no way to tell if someone is "too thin" or "too heavy" by looking. If you're not on the treatment team, your opinion is not wanted and not appropriate.
3.  Mental illness is in the brain which you cannot see. The anguish and the suffering and the triumph and the healing of mental illness are invisible.
4.  Really, folks? Really?

Why am I bringing this up? Because sometimes even my friends can fall into whispering about certain advocates being "too thin" or "looks unwell" or "is a bad example." I'm horrified at comments about "she looks beautiful, just right" or "underweight" or "overweight" or "slim."

In the eating disorders world, with what we know about weight bullying and the difficulty of determining healthy metabolism/weight and the horrific symptoms of body image distress shouldn't WE know better?

Here's who talks about being "too thin" or "looks bigger than:" ED says that. Let's not let ED have real estate in our heads, folks. Let's not diagnose people by appearance or think we understand what is going on in people's heads by appearance. We know better.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for saying this so clearly and so well Laura. A great reminder to not make comments about other people's bodies. This year I did an experiment when I went to the doctor and politely said I preferred to not have my weight taken. The nurse was great about it and when the dr. asked about it later I had a lovely discussion with her about weight stigma and eating disorders. I have NO CLUE what I weigh and I don't care.
    Becky Henry
    Hope Network, LLC

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