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Womyn of Color and Eating Disorders


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#1
Lise441

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I have read several magazine articles (Essence, Honey, etc) about the rise of eating disorders among womyn of color. Being a womyn of color
(or many colors as some may say) I have had serious issues with body image and I will admit it's a struggle everyday for me. I want to know if any womyn have had issues with body weight or body image, has anyone suffered from a form or full blown eating disorder?

#2
BauboBBW

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i feel ya lise441! i've had issues in the past, and i'm glad to say that it's not quite as bad as it once was...but i still have a ways to go....
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"Don't compromise yourself, you're all you've got..." - Janis Joplin

#3
Lise441

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BauboBBW, thanks for sharing. I'm not sure of the degree of your problem with food, but I will admit this much I was a bulimic from the time I was 9. It wasn't as bad when I first started, but by the time I was 14 I found myself in Renfrew Inpatient Treatment Center. It did help, but like I said everyday is a struggle. I still can't pin point one the one reason but I can tell you being one of the only racially ethnic ballerinas in my group, along with cheerleading, tennis, and the constant criticism that came along with them definately had a lot to do with it. I know there are tons of womyn of color suffering and there needs to be a better avenue for them to speak out.

#4
blacklesbian

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What do you consider a eating disorder? I mean I have always been worried about my weight, but that's because, my body is how I make a living. I don't know, I kind of respect women who take care of their bodies, not women that are thin as hell, but I would like for a woman to be able to meet me, where I can take her. If your out of shape. I can't really work the magic, if you know what I mean. I feel that as women, it is important to hold on to your sexuality...whatever it may be. Since I was a young girl I promised myself that I would never let myself go, or allow myself to fall off of that sexy, bandwagon. Thats just me. But, do I count calories, work out 4 days a week yeah I do. I do these things because it keeps me sane. I can't knock people out, so I work out..tell me if I'm wrong.

#5
Lise441

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[quote]What do you consider a eating disorder?[/quote]

There are many different forms and variations of eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are not the only two out there. There are women who suffer from compulsive overeating disorder (COD) and women who suffer from disordered eating (I'll elaborate more on that if you'd like me to). I was diagnosed with bulimia nervosa at age 9, however my body perception is much better now than it was back then.

[quote]I mean I have always been worried about my weight, but that's because, my body is how I make a living. I don't know, I kind of respect women who take care of their bodies, not women that are thin as hell,[/quote]

I can certainly see your concern with your weight and appearance. I used to be a ballerina, jazz dancer, and cheerleader all at the same time so I know how you feel on this issue. Like you, I never liked stick thin women, not even when I wanted to be stick thin. I think being in shape is a good concern to have more for health than looks.

[quote]I feel that as women, it is important to hold on to your sexuality...whatever it may be. Since I was a young girl I promised myself that I would never let myself go, or allow myself to fall off of that sexy, bandwagon. Thats just me. But, do I count calories, work out 4 days a week, fuck pretty girls until they can't take it anymore?, yeah I do. I do these things because it keeps me sane. I can't knock people out, so I work out..tell me if I'm wrong.[/quote]

I never equated my sexuality with the desire to e thin. 9 times out of 10 a person with an eating disorder is using it as a coping mechanism to mask some other problem. For me it was like I can't control what goes on in my life, but I can control what I put in and take out of my body. So based on what you've said so far I don't know if you have one or are borderline because I'm not a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, but if you're really concerned about it I suggest you go see one and they will be able to give you an accurate evaluation.[/quote]
Sometimes you stand on the edge of a cliff and you jump. You jump because you're tired of being scared. Sometimes you jump just to feel the fall

#6
blacklesbian

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Thanks for the info, I don't need to see someone, I just like to have fun with my body. I do know some sisters who have eating disorders tho. But for the most part, it's over-eating that fucks them up. I have also seen thin girls over-eat like crazy...it just depends.

#7
Lise441

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Eating Disorders are not as simple as they appear on the surface. It's probably easy for someone to say "she's an anorexic because she doesn't eat." but it's more than that. A person can be anorexic, but is she a strict anorexic or a purging anorexic? Does she skip meals one day then eat the next? The same for bulimics, is she an exercise bulimic or a binge bulimic? What does she consider a binge? For some people a cookie is a binge, so I can certainly understand the confusion (refering to the statement you made about then women who overeat). Okay, I think it's clearn now that I've been an inpatient at Renfrew :oops:

I once read some where that the prevelance of COD among african-american women is higher than any other group of women. I do know that there are more studies now on women of color and eating disorders than there were which is a good thing because it brings the issue to light.
Sometimes you stand on the edge of a cliff and you jump. You jump because you're tired of being scared. Sometimes you jump just to feel the fall

#8
ilikemeuwill2

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When I was twelve years old, I was on amphetamines and a strict diet. I lost the weight. Went back to eating 'southern' cooking, gained the weight, went back on the diet, etc. etc. This continued throughout my life. Food was used to make me happy, or if I was sad, eat this eat that. My entire life, within my family, centered around food. It was not until I had been in therapy for some time, that I began to even know when I was hungry and when I was full.

What brings about eating disorders, is no different for Black Americans than it is for White Americans. It is usualluy an issue of trying to have some control over our lives. For too long, we have falsely made statements that a particular behavior is a 'white' issue. That can no longer be said regarding mental illnesses. Whether we like it or not, the "Black American" is rapidly becoming a dark skinned White person without all the rights and privileges thereto.

#9
Lise441

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You're right :!: It's not a white womans problem it is what it is and so many minority women suffer in silence. Someday this will end...
Sometimes you stand on the edge of a cliff and you jump. You jump because you're tired of being scared. Sometimes you jump just to feel the fall





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