The link goes to a reaction piece by my dear friend, Jenny Lawson, at Ask The Bloggess, who links the post at the fashion magazine Marie Claire by Maura Kelly about the new TV show Mike and Molly. I encourage you to read both. Jenny points out that Ms. Kelly is an anorexic, which is an eating disorder that has severe dysmorphia as a symptom. This means Ms. Kelly is unable to control her anxiety that her body is defective. For anorexics, this results in the perception of being fat, regardless of how emaciated they may be, and obsessive dieting, exercise, vomiting and laxative abuse. It’s hard to imagine a subject on which anorexics would be LESS qualified to write than body image.
Ms. Kelly’s anorexia is quite severe judging from the fact that she has weighed less than 70 pounds more than once as an adult. Her advice to the obese on how easy it is to lose weight is comparable to all the advice she certainly received that she could conquer her anorexia if she just ate a little more — here, have a cookie, it’s so yummy, you’ll love it! — which clearly she has been unable to do, even when her emaciation was life-threatening. (Force-feeding an anorexic doesn’t work, either — it has a lot in common with putting your head in the mouth of a psychotic tiger on PCP. Neither one of them takes it very well.)
In an update in which Ms. Kelly apologizes for hurting people while pretty much standing her ground defiantly on the actual hurtful points, she defines morbid obesity as being 100 percent over your ideal weight. I find myself wondering if her own dysmorphia caused her to exaggerate this definition. The actual definition of morbid obesity is being more than 20 percent over your ideal weight.
I had an anorexic lesbian partner for about two years when I was in college. I also got to know her mother, who never allowed my partner to develop her inner self — which is what I believe is the underlying cause of anorexia. I had to learn a lot about anorexia in order to heal myself from these two very destructive women. To the people wishing Ms. Kelly in hell, I assure you she is already there.
Since June I’ve lost over 27 pounds. Another time I’ll write about why I got fat and what I have had to do — and am doing — to recover my health and lose weight.