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.