By Ayelen Hamity, AnyBody Argentina team member
“Joy Bauer's cleanse: Cut out these 4 food groups for a healthier you” (www.today.com)
“Pizza Doesn't Give You Acne—But What About Sugar?” (www.theatlantic.com)
A 28-year-old woman presents with severe malnutrition, marked hypoproteinemia (abnormally low level of protein in the bloodstream), and vitamin B12 deficiency due to restrictive dieting. When she was 14, she was reportedly told by a nutritionist to eliminate fats from her diet to help control severe acne that didn’t respond to traditional treatments. By age 16, she had restricted her eating to an extreme “lacto-ovo-vegetarian” diet*. By age 24, she no longer ate eggs and milk products. With time, the diet became one of only raw vegetables and had resulted in extreme isolation from her friends and family. Despite severe weight loss, this woman did not have the common behaviours of anorexia nervosa: she did not care about being thin nor did she demonstrate body dysmorphia. Her severe malnutrition was a result of the strict belief that certain types of proteins and nutrients are toxic and should be avoided at all costs.
Look at the above headlines in juxtaposition with the case study: a socially-accepted narrative urging its readers to be healthy through the restriction of certain 'bad' food groups stands in sharp contrast with a case study of a woman who did just that. During my research about Instagram in another post, I came across a lot of literature that explored the dark side of 'fitspiration', as well as a somewhat new (as far as we can tell) obsession with being healthy. Many articles and research, such as Strong is the new skinny, have popped up trying to understand this almost ubiquitous obsession with fitness and health. What exactly are we dealing with? At what point does an obsession with health become unhealthy?
This post was originally posted on OfficeMum.ie in Ireland and has been reposted here with permission from the author Andrea Mara. Thanks, Andrea!
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Like many parents today, what little I know about online games I’ve learned from my kids, and most of what mine have played so far have ranged from clever to educational to downright silly. But one game stopped me in my tracks when my nine-year-old showed it to me recently – it was a plastic surgery simulator game that had come up on her Kindle when she searched for ‘free games for kids’.
To show me how it works, she carried out cosmetic surgery on her (animated) patient’s nose. This involved marking where the incision should go, using a scalpel to cut into the skin, moving a bone inside the nose, then gluing and stitching up the wound. And once that game was over, some of the other suggestions included ‘Pregnant Mommy’s Surgery – Caesarean Simulator Game’ – I kid you not.
I was really surprised that the cosmetic surgery game existed at all – I mean, who wants to play a game that simulates cutting into skin and delving into someone’s nose – but I was particularly surprised to see it marketed to kids. Not only is it graphic and gross, it’s also sending a really negative message to little girls. Don’t like how you look? Just go under the knife – because you are nothing beyond your appearance.