Growing up, I thought anorexia only looked like Nicole Richie in a two piece bathing suit running down the beach, but living in New York for the past three years has taught me otherwise. Being either a gay man or a girl means there is a good chance you’re hungry right now. If you add “works in fashion”, you’re just straight up starving all the time. And the most disturbing aspect of it all? It’s acceptable, it’s encouraged, it’s a damn joke. Having a “liquid meal” instead of one with solids is viewed as a good decision. It means you’re disciplined and strong. It’s also totally hilarious! Making references to the fact that you don’t eat is so funny and not creepy at all!
Here are some lies my friends with food issues have told me. If you’ve heard a friend say something similar, keep an eye on them. Things could be getting Karen Carpenter serious.
1. I’m so hungover. I’m craving a kale salad right now.
When you’re hungover, your body wants to eat terrible things. It wants clogged arteries, weight gain, the whole nine yards. And if you don’t have an issue with food, you’ll happily oblige. You’ll eat that burrito from Chipotle and love every moment of it. But when you’re hungover with your friend who has some food issues, it can be a nightmare. They’ll say things like, “I seriously need a salad. My body wants it.” They talk about a mixed greens salad like it’s a Big Mac. And you just have to sit idly by and be like, “Yeah. That sounds so good right now???” Once when I was hungover, I was forced to eat at this macrobiotic place and I just wanted to die. It was like pure slow torture eating this health food when all I wanted was something that would give me cardiac arrest. Lesson learned: don’t ever go out to eat when you’re hungover with your friend who doesn’t like to eat.
2. I’m full. Do you want the rest of this?
You are not full! You barely ate your granola. There is no way that could’ve satisfied your appetite. And no, I don’t want the rest of it. It looks like mushy weird soup.
3. I baked cookies. But I don’t actually want any of them so please have one!
For some reason, people with eating disorders love pushing fattening foods on their friends. They’ll bake cookies and brownies for all of their friends and eat a Zone bar while everyone chows down. What’s up with that? Are they trying to get me fat? Or do they miss the foods so much and this is the only way they can be around it? Either way, it’s creepy and sad.
4. I just love to exercise!
An addiction to exercising can be just another way to conceal an eating disorder. Becoming obsessed with dance, for example, can make it look like you’re just being healthy when you’re actually doing it to burn major calories. “I just love to dance! Can’t stop dancing. Please don’t stop the music!”
5. I know I’m thin but it’s just genetics. You should see me eat!
I’ve noticed that whenever you tell someone they look too thin, they get faux embarrassed and say, “No, I’ve just been really stressed out lately. You should see me eat!” And you’re like, “I do see you eat and I understand why you’re too thin.” To prove a point sometimes, they’ll order a hamburger when you’re out to eat. After two bites, however, they’ll be like “this tastes weird. I don’t want it!” and stop eating. It tastes weird because it tastes like calories.
All kidding aside, the casualness of eating disorders is truly frustrating and sad. It’s scary how okay it has become to have a “little eating disorder.” Unless you’re looking like death warmed over twice, no one cares that you’ve skipped a meal. In fact, they’ll be envious of you. Decreasing your food intake is seen as something everyone does when they’re young, living in a big city, and don’t want to see themselves get chubby. Meanwhile, I’m just sitting there being like “I’ll have the homemade Oreo for dessert” while everyone else asks for a second drink. Just me and my Oreo all alone in this big hungry city!