Why can't I look the way I want? I have heard this uttered many a time, in school corridors, cafes, bus stops, at sleepovers, in movie theatres over buckets of popcorn, before the trailers conclude and the lights dim. It's a universal theme.
I have come to the conclusion that we as a society, are confronted with so many images of beautiful bods, celebrity make-overs with titles that scream 'half their size' and congratulatory-style articles when a celeb sheds weight post-pregnancy, that body image is part of our conditioning.
But at what point is it okay to intervene in someone's eating behaviours? Do we wait until it becomes dangerous, to the point where they are rail thin, or have gained three dress sizes? Is it okay to say "you're gonna get fat if you eat that". Or will threatening someone with the ugliness of weight gain create eating issues that could potentially become life threatening?
I fear the latter prevails. And I know, because I've been there.
This story about a 20 year old girl who died of anorexia over the weekend, saddened me.
We have a responsibility to our friends, siblings and loved ones, to help and support each other. Threatening someone that they will "get fat" is no way to help them overcome eating issues. There is something deeper going on that needs to be brought to the surface and if this can be can be done with love, the issue can be addressed and a potentially life threatening situation avoided.