Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Being Seen

TWLOHA day from a couple years ago (?)

TWLOHA day from a couple years ago (?)

Since my last two entries have been about body image and the concept of being seen, I decided to keep on this theme, from a slightly different angle.

This picture sums up a lot of how I wanted to be seen while I was still sick.  Except if this was from when I was still sick, I would have had a huge hoodie sweatshirt on and pants were a few sizes bigger.  But the angle of the picture–the fact that most of me is missing, unavailable to your sight–that’s what I want you to understand.

My anorexia was not in any way an attempt to look like fashion models.  Fashion models are watched in everything they do.  I wanted to disappear so that no one could see me at all.

But, wait–didn’t I just write that it’s difficult not to compare myself to college freshmen and yes, even some of the people I see through various media forms?  Isn’t this contradictory?

When I say I compare myself to others, I don’t think, “I want to look thinner than her because then I’ll be beautiful” or “I want to look thinner than her because then I’ll be better than her.”  Social comparison was a way I judged how close I was to disappearing (and yes, I now realize that this is impossible).  Now social comparison is a reminder of how I used to look compared to now.

I still prefer not to be noticed for my body, for the curves I now have, for what is now a feminine figure and not an asexual one.  I’ve been more daring, challenging this discomfort.  Wearing clothes that are more similar to the ones in this picture–clothes that are my appropriate size.  I’ve started wearing things like skirts and heels, and although I feel very self-conscious when I do so, I walk confidently.  I don’t look around to see who’s watching, because I think I’m still scared to know that someone may be noticing me.

I think this is one of the hardest things for people to understand about eating disorders: they aren’t about looks, they aren’t about weight.  There are always underlying issues.  Usually multiple.  I can list mine, but they all lead to the desire to disappear, which is the opposite of being seen.

When you see someone afraid to put that apple in her mouth, don’t always assume it’s the apple she’s afraid of.  She may be afraid of what the apple represents.


September 25, 2009 - Posted by | Body Image, Eating Disorders, identity | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Does anyone see any relationship between my entry and the “Possibly related posts” such as “I love the 80s-NOT” and “Tips for Getting Gorgeous Without Makeup” And I have no idea what the “The WTFs” entry is.

    Comment by surfacingaftersilence | September 25, 2009 | Reply

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