Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unbearable weight

There's no doubt that Eating Disorders Awareness Week is important. I truly value it, however, the week has always left me feeling a bit awkward. In college, I belonged to an eating disorders awareness group. We did activities like a health fair, had panel discussions, showed movies, and even sponsored the Century Project one year.

I always did my part for the group and attended the events. My favorites were usually the panel discussions, however, I always found myself sitting in the back, slumped down in my chair, worried about who might be there/see me. I still feel this way at times going to eating disorders events. Maybe if I was in a stronger place in recovery, it might be different. Or maybe if I went with other people, I might feel more at ease. It's hard to say for sure, but I'm giving myself a challenge this week.

On Friday, there is a presentation by Susan Bordo, the author of Unbearable Weight. I've known about this for months and have even arranged to take the afternoon off of work to go. I also reread the book just to refamiliarize myself with her theory on "body studies." It was interesting that even though this book was originally written in 1993, I still saw the same basic issues relevant to today. It seems body studies are an in thing and don't go out of style. I also realized in her notes section of the new preface, an article was cited that I was in some years ago.

The challenge I'm giving myself is to sit (upstraight I might add) in any other place than the back row. I'd say front row, but that might be a little daunting for me. I just have to remind myself that really no one is going to care whether I am there or not. I'll give a report back if anything interesting is said.

*Note--rereading this, it seems like such a pathetic challenge, but I'll do it anyway ;-)
*Note--the book is quite good. It is philosophical and academic, and some parts do go over my head, but it does give an in-depth look at the role of culture and our bodies.


Anonymous said...

It's not a pathetic challenge at all. I think I would struggle too. It makes me quite uncomfortable sometimes.

Lola x

Carrie Arnold said...

I'm jealous- I'd love to go hear Susan Bordo.

Good luck with your challenge. I think it's a really important step.

sarah-j said...

Hi Tiptoe. I don't know if I've ever commented before but I really like your blog.

Like Carrie, I'm also jealous and would love to hear Susan Bordo speak. I doubt I'll ever get to seen as I live in Europe. I hope you really enjoy it!

I'm going to go to an eating disorders talk in college tomorrow for the first time. I'm kind of nervous about it without knowing why. I'm going with another girl, who as far as I know doesn't have a history of ED but I do. We're going to ask for the opinion and maybe the support of the speaker (who's from the biggest eating disorder awareness charity in our country) for a protest that we're planning against a really sexist event that's taking place on our campus. So, I think that I should go, partly to do this and partly just 'cause I want to.

Good luck in your challenge.
sarah :)

Cammy said...

I read that book a few months ago, agreed with some parts of it and not others, but it's definitely a thought-provoking read. It's interesting to see how the feminist movement has evolved over the past couple of decades. It's great that you'll get to see her talk! And no this is NOT a pathetic challenge at all! I think going to public, ED-related events take a lot of courage, because they tend to make us acknowledge or confront feelings and realities that we can sweep under the rug in our daily lives. I hope you enjoy the talk, can't wait to hear about it!

Tiptoe said...

Everyone, thanks for the support and telling me it is not pathetic. I need to be reminded of that at times.

Sarah-J, good luck with your ED event.

Cammy, I agree with you on the book. I'm interested to hear what Susan has to say, because this talk is titled specifically, "Beyond Eating Disorders."

I'll give a full report and go into a more depth about a few other things that I did not mention in my post. Anyway, look for a post over the weekend.