Tuesday, May 31, 2011

a short {angry} rant.

i'm fairly sure that the majority of my posts serve as evidence of the fact that i am a selectively religious follower of grammar/punctuation rules.

although i disregard capitalization and find it simply unnecessary to avoid run-on sentences, i try my best to use its and it's in their correct contexts respectively {i've probably erred by sheer carelessness in a number of posts}, and i do not and will not end sentences with prepositions.

a preposition just before a period disgusts me about as much as another branch of grammar atrocities- the kind that fill female facebook walls and sorority girls' text messages- the kind involving unnecessary repetition of letters and exclamation points, obnoxious abbreviations and overuse of the words "sexy" and "girl" {the gym shorts and uggs combination of the english language, if you will}.

as much as these atrocities make my skin crawl by themselves, what brings me to a boiling anger- the kind so frustrating it's uncomfortable- is when these degradations of the english language are used to congratulate a girl on her recent weight loss.

i'm fully aware that there plenty of people whose health depend on them losing weight and that these people deserve to be encouraged when they succeed with healthier lives. but this morning, when i saw a photo of an alarmingly frail version of a friend of mine with comment after comment beneath it, i found myself clenching my jaw and both my fists.

"OMGGGGG my girl you look PERF!!!!!!!," one of the comments said. as horrible a version of english as the quote is, what's worse is the fact that "perfect" {or "perf" as the individual behind the quote has chosen as her means of conveying that her friend looks flawless} is something that young women in today's culture are taught to believe is achievable on any level, particularly through starvation and over exercise.

"sexxxxxy!!!!!!" another comment said. what isn't sexy at all is that the type of thin the girl photoed has reached, the type of thin our culture embraces as attractive is also the type of thin that disables a woman's estrogen production- virtually shutting off her reproductive system- disabling menstruation and poising her for premature osteoporosis by sucking calcium from her bones.

what's worse than any of the heinous abbreviations or abuse of exclamation points is the fact that the commenters continued throughout the facebook album's remainder to marvel over the photoed girl's weight loss, without realizing that their encouragement was much the same as telling an alcoholic to keep drinking- that they'd grown more successful, lovable and worthy since they'd taken to the bottle.

when i started losing weight, i remember the influx of congratulatory remarks that quickly became my daily sustenance. i lived for each one of them. family, friends, friends' families, teachers and people i barely knew all seemed to notice and all seemed to suddenly hold me with higher esteem than before. i thought i must have been doing something right, and as behavioral psychologists always say, behaviors that elicit reinforcement will be repeated. in other words, the comments made me feel really good, so i kept doing {and not doing} the things that got them coming in the first place. i do not blame any people or their attempted encouragement for deepening my dependence on my disorder. i blame our culture, rather, for being one leads its people to seek redemption and worth in physical appearances and obtainments rather than in things that actually matter.

the heart of the problem that's going to cause the photoed girl to read the comments on her album and continue doing {and not doing} whatever it is she's been doing {and not doing} is one with a long and difficult fix. changing a culture was never something that one person could do in one lifetime.

but helping one person with an eating disorder means as much as to me as helping a million, so i hope that this short {angry} rant will open at least one pair of eyes to the importance of cautiousness with weight loss comments.

you never know to whom {or what} you're talking.

love {and a little frustration, perhaps},



  1. I go mad!!!
    I was never complemented on my weight loss.
    I think because I went from healthy, to well, not healthy.
    I never was told, you look amazing, or a comment on a photo.
    I was told I looked awful.
    But I carried on.

    BUT I also 100% agree that such comments on peoples pictures does just that, encourages them, and I hear that over and over.

    And I agree, people need to think twice.
    I know I certainly do xxxxx

  2. i'm with you...once people i started telling me i looked sick, i loved that even more than i loved the compliments in the first place. crazy how our disorders use any and everything people say.

  3. Such truth. Thank you for always speaking your mind. Love you deeply.