So throughout the semester it's come up a couple of times in my blog how important the issue of eating disorders are. Well this past October I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go a conference in Florida for the weekend. Although I didn't go to every lecture (I kind of chose the ones I thought would be most interesting and most beneficial to me haha) With this class in mind (& remembering I would eventually be needing a social justice event) I decided to attend a lecture entitled: More Alike Than We Are Different: We Can All Be Affected, We Can All Recover. The speaker was a bi-racial woman who opened by describing herself as a “crusader for joy and our common humanity.” In her speech she talked a lot about how the media places these unattainable standards on woman, one of them being that they feel they must be of a single race. She herself grew up bi-racial and although she was accepted amongst her peers and in her own community she sometimes felt that stepping of her own comfort zone opened her up to a world of judgment that somehow surrounding herself with others who did not know she was bi-racial would allow people the opportunity to judge her. But of course as she got older and understand more and accepted herself this became a non issue. This brought me back to the Anzaldua article about her being a mestiza—a person not belonging to a single category but multiple categories and that these categories intertwine. The speaker of course also talked about how hard it is to be a woman in today’s society; having to constantly live up to impossible demands that society and the media are continually placing on us. I also related the speaker’s points to Cinderella Ate My Daughter and how the media speaks to different sexes. The speaker talked a lot about the media and how young girls are forced to look at pictures of women that are unrealistic—this reminded me of Noelle’s blog post about the media article. She posted a picture of a girl wearing a shirt that says “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!” This is actually a popular picture in the eating disorder community. In her speech, the speaker also touched upon men being affected by eating disorders as well and how a man with an eating disorder is seen as weak and less of a man.
Before this class I wasn’t exactly sure eating disorders were a feminist issue but now I understand how they are. Eating disorders are a feminist issue because of the simple fact that it is an inequality an discrimination towards a group of people who don’t feel comfortable in their own skin because of the unattainable standards media has put in place for them.
Eventually, I hope to one day be the standing in the speaker’s shoes giving my own talk <3