Firstly, I must add that this topic does not relate to my CMS term project for this term at AFDA. It is merely a topic that has always interested me. This project focuses on the ‘devolving’ of a subject into his/her void.
‘Filling the void’ means that there is something missing in your life and instead of dealing with it head-on, you fill that hole with tons of other stuff that is either simply a distraction, detrimental for your health, such as mental or eating disorders, someone else’s health, or could be something that is a little out-of-the-ordinary, such as sexual fettishes. In the end though, these are all temporary setbacks before you have to explore what it is that you need for your life to be complete again.
The world looks to Hollywood for the latest fashion and trends, the most popular celebrities and the best plastic surgeons. The media in general puts a lot of pressure on society and dictates how we are “supposed” to look in order to be beautiful or desirable. Many women think that it is only them who have all the pressure to look, dress and act in a specific way, but men too have this expectation hanging over their heads. The latest craze is bodybuilding. Who in their right mind wants to look like a puffed-up, orange, action figure doll? Anyways, the sad thing is even though the media’s perception is warped, some people crave this idealistic ‘beauty’.
In general, it is not healthy to be overweight, and most people worry about gaining too much weight. However, some people worry about this so much, that that they actually become obsessed with their weight. This is called anorexia nervosa, also known simply as anorexia.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes one to obsess about their weight and the food that they eat. The idea of anorexia nervosa is excessive weight loss as quickly as possible, and even beyond the stage that is considered ‘healthy’. People with this disorder develop an actual fear of gaining weight. This consists of excessive exercise and eating a limited amount of calories, or even starving oneself (Wint and Yu, 2012).
Interestingly enough, anorexia is not always about food. A lot of people turn to anorexia nervosa in an attempt to gain control over certain aspects in their lives that they are not dealing with correctly. Most of these issues stem from emotional problems (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2012). It is clear that a lot of people suffering from anorexia nervosa have low self-esteem issues on top of their emotional problems. Some people claim that anorexia relates clos ely to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and genetics. But no one knows the exact “cause” for anorexia nervosa. In this first image, we see the catalyst of anorexia – how much a person weighs.
But on a side not: how can we help those with anorexia nervosa? The first step is to accept that you or the person involved needs help. Until this confession is stated, there is going to be an uphill battle with this disease. Another point is to look out for symptoms of anorexia nervosa. These include extreme weight loss, fatigue, dizziness or fainting, hair falls out, constipation, absence of menstrual cycle, refusal to eat, denial of hunger, depressed, lieing (especially about food intake) and more. Another point is to do some research! In this second image, we see the subject eating very little (calorie counting), and we see how her body is starting to change due to excessive exercise, calorie counting, skipping meals, etc.
The extreme “red flags” to watch out for are: skipping meals, excuses for not eating, eating low-calorie foods, repeated weighing of oneself, frequent checking in the mirror for imperfections, complaining about being fat, not wanting to eat in public, etc. In this third and final image, we see the detrimental effects of the subject’s new “diet” on her body and how unhealthy she has become.
The final point is to love yourself. Who cares what anyone else thinks and who gives them the right to dictate what is beautiful and what is not?
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012). Anorexia Nervosa. [Online]. Available: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anorexia/basics/definition/con-20033002 [Accessed 27 October 2014].
- Wint, C. Winni, Y. (2012). Anorexia Nervosa [Online]. Available: http://www.healthline.com/health/anorexia-nervosa#Overview1 [Accessed 27 October 2014].
- Mark, N. (2012). Anorexia Nervosa Symptoms, Causes and Treatments. [Online]. Available: http://totalweightlosstips.com/what-is-anorexia-nervosa/ [Accessed 27 October 2014].
- (2014). American Bodybuilders. [Online]. Available: http://fitnesssofbodybuilders.blogspot.com/2013/01/america-bodybuilders.html [Accessed 27 October 2014].
- (2014). Anorexia Nervosa. [Online]. Available: http://youcure.me/en/guide/anorexia-nervosa-221 [Accessed 27 October 2014].