Disordered Eating

The Return of Kings has had one of their recent articles, 5 Reasons To Date A Girl With An Eating Disorder,  blow up: so much so, even the Daily Mail has written a piece on it.

I think the arguments in the post is rather stupid. Aurini outlines why you should not date a girl with a dating order. Essentially, she is a disordered, self-destructive person who will destroy everything around her, including your relationship with her.

This is not a defence of the article, rather it is a short analysis of the response to this article and the response to a previous RoK intitiative, #FatShamingWeek.

Both obesity and anorexia are disordered; both are unhealthy, self-destructive lifestyles.

Yet, when RoK shames the former self-destructive lifestyle, RoK is decried as evil, but when RoK preaches acceptance of the latter, RoK is also decried as evil. As usual, Jezebel best exemplifies this lack of logical thinking

How can both acceptance of self-destructive eating habits and shaming of it be evil?

Or, to turn it around on the social justice types, why is it acceptable for people to body-shame anorexics?

This is perplexing to me: how can being unhealthily skinny be worthy of shame, while being unhealthily fat is not?

The best answer I can find comes partially from here:

Easy: change is hard.

It is a lot easier to come to accept (and possibly overcome) your self-loathing mentally than it is to overcome the pain of diet and exercise. Self-loathing is vague and amorphous, pain is immediate and direct.

Self-loathing can be reasoned at, self-justified, denied, and overcome by other emotions. There is no reasoning with, denying, or ignoring pain: pain is.

Instead of facing the pain, it is easier to accept the self-loathing.

Being obese is easy, being anorexic takes willpower and self-control.

The social justice war for fat acceptance and against anorexia has nothing to do with health, nothing to do with proper eating, nothing do do with a balanced life; it has everything to do with self-control and responsibility.

What the modern social justice warriors hate more than anything is personal responsibility. They do not want to be held responsible for their choices, they do not want to have to accept the consequences of their actions, they do not want to have to change, and, above all that, they do not want to feel shame or have anyone to judge them for their failings.

But how can they avoid shame when they are fat, which is shameful?

They can try to make obesity seem good, which they try but fail at because nobody can deny the disgust they feel at seeing a morbidly obese landwhale and the landwhale can’t help but notice the poorly-hidden looks of disgust often directed her way.

The second method is to deny people, themselves, agency; they have to deny that people are capable of controlling themselves and their destinies. How can they be responsible, how can they feel shame, when they have no control over their situation?

But, the anorexics show this for the lie it is: the anorexic takes complete personal responsibility for her weight, to a disgustingly unhealthy degree.

The anorexic shows extreme, unhealthy levels of self-control and self-discipline.

So, for the social justice warriors to maintain the lie that people become fat (or poor, or unsuccessful, or failures in other manners) for reasons beyond their control they have to pathologize the anorexic.

They can’t pathologize normal levels of self-control, because most would see through that, but they can pathologize unhealthy extremes of it.

To the social justice warrior, the fight against anorexia is a fight against the concept of self-control.

The health aspects of it are only secondary.

This is the only reasonable explanation I can think of as to why being morbidly skinny is somehow much worse than being morbidly obese.

12 responses to “Disordered Eating

  • Emma the Emo

    I think perhaps fatness is the new normal. It’s true, people don’t like to challenge their habits, and when everyone has the same one, it’s considered normal. And it doesn’t kill you in fast and dramatic ways, so it fools you into thinking it’s not as bad as something rare and dramatic like binging/purging or turning skeletal. That is why I think they don’t want anyone to shame obesity but will shame anorexic appearance.

  • Ashley

    Obesity is not an eating disorder in itself. Overeating is though, and obesity is often the result in overeating. Just wanted to clear that up.

  • Charlotte

    How awful it must be to go through life refusing to take responsibility for any consequences of bad decisions. You’ll avoid the pain and shame of knowing your situation is entirely your fault, but you’ll also believe you’re powerless to change it. This freedom from the pain of change is really just enslavement to the status quo in all areas of life.
    Successful people realize responsibility is a gift, not a curse.

  • Pilgrim of the East

    I think that you are wrong in your assesment here – you view it as social justice warriors saying fat is good, anorexia is bad, but most people really viewed original article as wrong because of that notion of taking advantage of fucked up mental state of poor anorectics. I think that if Nigels Big Game wasn’t so obviously trolling and idea of fat women being desirable so ridiculous, it could in it’s advocating of picking up low hanging fruit of fatties attract similar attention…
    Another reason why there was so much anger about that article is that these articles are actually quite good and true from certain point of view. You said that you considered these arguments stupid, but you look at it as Christian man seeking mate for marriage, instead of as PUA seeking short-term fling with hot chick, who’ll get dumped as soon as her physical state starts to deteriorate and he becomes witness of real consequences of her disorder (or she just starts to bore him long before that)

  • wilson@mailinator.com

    The practicing anorexics didn’t like the article either since their abstinence is a personal achievement, and the idea that men could get something out of it and see them as just another type of woman is intolerable. They insist on being special, while the fatties don’t want to be seen as abnormal. It’s all a psychodrama grounded in the female herd instinct, which is being given free rein to set mores and laws through the structure of collectivist ideology.

  • Frogmallet

    Brilliant piece , as usual!

  • Shenpen

    No, I think this is not the reason they decry it as evil. The reason is that they see male sexuality as something predatory, tricking vulnerable women into having sex they regret later on. And thus if one believes it is so then of course they have to believe that it is particularly ugly if said woman has issues to exploit.

    The point is very simple: if a man decides to date a certain kind of woman, or refuses to date a certain kind of woman, in both cases he makes the choices. And this is precisely what they don’t want.

    They basically want all the sexual power for women – when they feel like it, they want a man who should just love them for their wonderful(ly self-centered) personality, and when they don’t then they want him to fuck off. He simply should have no desires on his own.

    This is what it is about.

  • MrWombat

    The RoK article was entirely about the shitstorm it was bound to kick up. The content of it was incidental. The real point was that you are not allowed these days to challenge the femplex, that women may not be called to account for their behaviour.

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  • Free Northerner

    @ Emma: Fat is the new normal, but that is the problem and if it’s slow and insidious it should be shamed all the more.

    @ Ashley; true enough.

    @ Char: I wonder how some people can live without taking responsibility for themselves.

    @ Pilgrim: They’ve always said fat is good; fat acceptance is very common among the social justice types and people always look negatively on anorexia. As for taking advantage: they don’t believe anorexics are capable of making decisions? Seems rather demeaning of women, c’est non?

    The arguments are probably good for a short-term fling.

    @ Wilson: Yup. Too many people without real problems trying to make some for themselves.

    @ Shenpen: It could be all about power. I wouldn’t be surprised.

    @ Wombat: Yep. Some things can’t be questioned.

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