So I know, a few days ago I posted some ramblings and rantings about the Homeless Awareness Hunt. I’m not typically this much of a Negative Nancy, but I mean, this is my blog, and I use it as a platform to voice how I feel. It has come to my attention that there is another campaign to raise awareness that many are considering disrespectful.
Anorexia nervosa is an often glamorized eating disorder, with a huge community. There are Tumblrs, Flickrs, forums, Pinterests, livejournals, blogs, and other websites advocating pro-Ana (anorexia) and pro-Mia (Bulimia) ideals. In a recent SL campaign geared to showing the world what anorexia looks like for shock-value, many are saying that the photos look a lot like “thinspiration;” a photo that promotes, inspires, and often triggers anorexia or bulimia. I agree, but that’s not my only problem with it.
Perhaps the idea came from the shocking billboards made famous by Isabelle Caro, a french model who passed away a few years ago after a long battle with anorexia. But for me, there is a big difference between Isabelle Caro’s campaign, and setting your avatar’s body fat and muscles to 0. In fact, anorexia doesn’t always look like this, and it’s not always identifiable as the SL campaign suggests.
The campaign was started by a passionate person, who states that she has a friend who has dealt with anorexia. I think her intentions were good, but she should look at it this way– Just because you have a black friend who has dealt with racism all his or her life, doesn’t mean you should dress your avatar with a black skin and start a campaign against racism. It also doesn’t mean you have the capacity to understand what they’re going through.
Some people have even commented on the fact that eating disorders do not always deal with weight loss, but they can also deal with weight gain. I agree completely, and it may be a valid point. However, I won’t delve into that simply because the campaign was specific to anorexia, and not “eating disorders.” Still, it’s important to keep in mind.
Even some of the comments have me rolling me eyes. “I am thrilled that you took the time to consider this subject matter for a blog. It is sad, and all to often, that we see our top models in SL emulate RL models who are living with anorexia.” Wait, step back. Having a thin avatar is in no way comparable to RL anorexia.
I guess I’m also bothered by the fact that there is no real goal. She states, “I will be asking your help to show my friend that struggling with eating disorders isn’t easy and there are friends around the world who understand what she has been through right now. ” Anyone with anorexia knows it’s a struggle. You can’t make someone eat by telling them their body is alarming. It is completely mental, and they cannot just change their lifestyle in an instant. Just like an obese person’s addiction to food won’t let them stop eating.
For more commentary on this campaign please see the following: