by Kati McConville
It was eight o'clock in the morning and it was time for Amy to wake up because she was going out to breakfast with her mother. This was something she hated doing. It wasn't because she didn't want to wake up early or she didn't want to be with her mother, it was something much deeper than that. For the past three years Amy has been struggling with an eating disorder, an endless cycle of fasting, bingeing, purging, pretty much complete misery. Amy hated eating in front of people. Well, quite frankly, she hated eating period. She couldn't stand the unbelievable amount of guilt she felt after any sort of food touched her lips. It wasn't possible to chew a piece of sugar less gum without thinking about the five calories her body was absorbing. She operated on a very routine daily schedule. She spent many hours a day browsing pro-eating disorder web sites. These sites helped Amy keep her mind off her growling stomach. She printed out pictures of dangerously skinny celebrities and put them inside her journal that was labeled "Thinspiration." Every day she posts online her total daily food consumption and the calories, fat, protein and carbohydrates associated with it. Many girls take part in these rituals to keep inspired to stay thin. They've become outrageously popular in past years, receiving thousands of hits each day. These girls are essentially helping each other starve.
In the Western society, women are given the message at a very young age that in order to be happy and successful, they must be thin. The pressure on young people, especially young women in our society, to be thin is enormous. Our society's obsession with thinness and perfection is perhaps the major contribution to eating disorders. Books, magazines, television, movies, web sites, and peers promote being thin. Being skinny and being beautiful seem to go hand and hand. Every time you walk into a store you
Kate Moss, often...