Catherineib: Eating disorders aren't the fault of the fashion industry. I should know

Share
Related Topics

It's London Fashion Week, and with that comes the inevitable return to what has become known as "the size zero debate".

The question posed by most journalists when naively attempting to cover a story on the subject is whether or not the fashion industry is to blame for the rise in cases of eating disorders, more often than not lazily jumping to the conclusion that yes, this constant bombardment of skinny "role models" forces girls and women to "become" anorexic. If only life were that simple.

As a recovering anorexic and bulimic, I can tell you quite simply (if you ask me directly, quite abruptly) that no, the fashion world is most definitely not, nor has it ever been the sole cause of the development of an eating disorder. Just as Marilyn Manson was the scapegoat for the Columbine shootings, the media points the finger at what, to them, is the most likely explanation – or with regards to size zero, sells the most copies of their magazine.

The tired conclusion that stick-insect models and rake thin celebrities are behind the huge number of people suffering with eating disorders only perpetuates the stereotypical belief that anorexia is a lifestyle choice – a diet gone too far. This presumption angers me beyond belief.

Throughout years of treatment being an inpatient, outpatient and using internet support forums, I have not met one single person who claims images in the media have played a part in them forming an eating disorder.

I can assure you that nobody makes a conscious decision to become so ill that they have to spend months or years in hospital away from their loved ones, be force fed through a naso-gastric tube, or observed around the clock with not an ounce of dignity to their name.

I would not wish any aspect of this illness upon my worst enemy (not that I have any, but a saying is a saying): to generalise it to the point of accusing catwalk models belittles those who have fallen victim to it and completely dismisses the sheer complexity of eating disorders as a whole.

The author blogs at www.independent.co.uk/catherineib

You can start your own Independent Minds blog at www.independent.co.uk/blogs

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Recruitment Genius: Transport Administrator / Planner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: Every privatised corner of the NHS would be taken back into public ownership

Philip Pullman
 

Errors & Omissions: Magna Carta, sexing bishops and ministerial aides

John Rentoul
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee