It is Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) this week.
Originally I was going to get people onboard to make alternative “before” and “after” images – get people to submit photographs representing before and after in a way that was not using images of emaciated bodies. This felt complicated; what images would do that? An image of someone alone, then surrounded by people? It did not feel completely right nor possible.
Then I gave up on doing anything for two reasons; number one, because I was feeling deflated. What is the point in raising awareness? It does nothing. I felt sick of hearing about mental illness. I struggle with it every day and I want it to go away. Why talk about it? I want to run away from it. Number two, what is the point of any of it? I felt like help does not help, and that all these campaigns do is glorify eating disorders and other unhelpful things. I did not see the point – to understand where I am coming from, this article is partially helpful. I really advise you read it as it makes many of the points I feel we need to become more aware of; it is a problem in the mainstream media, but increasingly more so on social media. It is what my message is for EDAW 2017 (and probably every EDAW ever).
I have also wrote three other posts – the last one being my favourite:
- National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2016: Lets stop using this week to make the situation worse
- National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2015: What isn’t helpful when blogging about eating disorders
- NEDAW – What an eating disorder is really like
This year to tackle the issue I have with EDAW images I have decided to focus on making posts via graphics on social media myself. There will be two different types:
- Alternative “before” and “afters”
- “I have to learnt to…” – which talk about things I have learnt in recovery to show was recovery is really about, beyond food or weight.
They are also available on my personal Facebook account, and on Friday 26 March I will post a collection of them on here.