Becca Reads

11.27.2006

Anorexia and Miscarriages

That anorexia is one of my greatest fears for my daughters reveals how privileged my life is. Yet there it is: this is my life and that is my fear. They are just five and ten, but I scrutinize them regularly for perfectionist tendencies and unhealthy eating, though I'm not sure if I'm looking for signs or causes. One of the many reasons I hate my own overly-critical nature is my pop-cultural sense of parental pressure as yet another cause. I am ever vigilant in promoting positive body image and condemning our cultural focus on thin, even as I am secretly thankful for the lanky bodies that I hope will protect them from the compulsion to diet. So I read this article with fascination and fear. How do people bear it?

On the other hand, I found this essay completely uninteresting, in part because, although the author is almost my age, I am of a different developmental demographic, which is to say, fear of anorexia, not fear of miscarriage, but also because I feel like I have read this essay so many times (career woman certain she could have a baby later discovers otherwise, regrets, and tries to warn younger woman), and I'm sure it's a painful experience that I'm glad to have missed, but I'd rather read an essay that says something new.

2 Comments:

  • It runs in my husband's family, and my sister has had issues with it, too. Which makes for a certain panicky subtext to Baby Blue's weight-gain issues, yes. Just reading the article makes me hyperventilate.

    By Blogger Phantom Scribbler, at 11:03 AM  

  • "if you are constitutionally slender and it's easy for you to diet, and you like ballet, and you live in the United States, and you're 13, and your personality is perfectionist, your chance of developing this illness is very, very high."

    That sentence alone made me panicky for my beautiful, slender, perfectionist, picky-eating, dance-and-gymnastics-loving 6-year-old. But ultimately I thought the article was at least somewhat hopeful--the author seems to have found an approach that works better than anything else I've heard of. If MG, God forbid, shows signs of anorexia in 6 or 7 or 8 years, I'll remember it. Thank you.

    By Anonymous elswhere, at 12:57 PM  

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