Honors Blog Post #1- Wasted

Joanna Leski, Reporter

I am reading Marya Hornbacher’s autobiography called “Wasted:A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia”. So far, the story starts with Hornbacher explaining how her eating disorder didn’t start like it does for most girls. Hornbacher had never been taunted for being overweight and as a child she was nothing close to overweight. Both her parents were obsessed with eating healthy. Meanwhile her friends were snacking on fruit loops, Cheetos, and just about any junk that kids love you can imagine Hornbacher was encouraged to snack on whole grain cereals, crackers, and fruits. Hornbacher is nine years old when she binge eats and purges for the first time. Nothing triggered her to do so, she was watching TV and got bored and wanted to see what would happen if she stuck her finger down her throat. After vomiting, Hornbacher felt cleansed and soon this would became a habit turning into something more. There are many articles that connect with my book as the risk of eating disorders is on the rise. Due to social media, both sexes and people of all ages are pressured to fit standards that are almost impossible to reach. Young girls grow up looking at their Barbie dolls, with their “perfect” skinny bodies. They later begin to watch TV and read magazines where they encounter more examples of these “perfect” stereotypes. Boys grow up watching TV shows with heroes that are “perfectly” muscular. Women swoon over these heroes and they grow up being influenced by TV and magazines that portray that man who look like they’ve been taking steroids are perfect. There is no question that bulimia is on the rise as our generation is growing up trying to achieve unreal standards. In 2013, studies confirmed that Anorexia and Bulimia have risen by 15%. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/anorexia-bulimia-rise-15-under-1901652) An article on the Fox News website covers why eating disorders are on the rise in depth. (http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/10/13/eating-disorders-on-rise-what-need-to-know) The article provides scientific data as well and according to a study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, chidlren under 12 who were hopsitalized for an eating disorder increased by 119 percent between 1999 and 2006. Both young boys and girls and women and man are affected. It’s not completely clear why children develop eating disorders, but researchers suggest that genetics might also have a role. Anxiety or depression can be the leading reasons behind an eating disorder. I haven’t gotten that far in my book to know if Hornbach had anxiety or depression, but from what I can tell she had a pretty normal childhood. Both parents were around, she had friends, and she wasn’t really facing any difficult challenges. Genetics become mixed with media messages and factors such as low self esteem or receiving criticism from others. This makes me want to read further in my book, right now Hornbach still hasn’t discussed whether she had self esteem issues or received criticism from others. She was skinny, so obesity did not cause her eating disorder. However, she might have unknowingly been exposed to some forms of social media that promoted an even skinnier body. The fact that her parents were obsessed with eating healthy might have had an effect on Hornbach as well as since her childhood she was taught to believe that being healthy was the only way to go and was discouraged from the simple pleasure of eating junk food without a care in her childhood. I can’t wait to read further and connect this back to the articles and try determining what led Hornbach to develop her life threatening eating disorder.