Manorexia?

by Em_A7X on November 3, 2014 - 8:51pm

“33% of teenage boys will use unsafe methods for weight control”; “37% of men who binge eat will experience depression”; “up to 43% of men are dissatisfied with their bodies”; “10 million males in the United States will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their life.” – (National Eating Disorders Association, 2012, NEDA.org.)

If ten million American men will suffer from an eating disorder, why then are only ten percent of clinically diagnosed patients male? Our society perpetuates this ideal that men simply don’t deal with eating disorders. Male eating disorder sufferers are seen as gay, weak, or pussies.  We turn a blind eye by believing that it’s only a girl’s issue. By doing this we enforce the idea that any break of the ‘man-box’ is unacceptable. The fact that our society accepts placing harmful stereotypes on innocent young men, consequently shaming them if they aren’t lived up to, speaks volumes about the world we’re living in and running.

Male eating disorders are shamed and ridiculed, extensively unacknowledged, and given slang names such as ‘Manorexia’. Anorexia is Anorexia, irregardless of its victims sex, and changing its name for male victims’ is sexist and exclusionary. It says to men, “Anorexia Nervosa can’t happen to you.” We wouldn’t say the same about PTSD to war veterans, yet as a society we have the audacity to disregard someone battling for their life.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/03/body-image-pressure-in...

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/silent-epidemic

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/males-and-eating-disorders

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/research-males-and-eating-disorders

 

Comments

The title of this post is what drew me in to reading it in the first place. “Manorexia” is a great play on words, and really gets to the point. I am glad someone brought up this issue because I agree very much with the fact that eating disorders among males are a subject that we refuse to admit is present in our society. We often associate eating disorders with occurring only among females because we assume that they are the ones who have to undergo the most pressure to look perfect when males have to go through the exact same amount of pressure, but are just not allowed to show that they are affected by it. It has to do with pressure that individuals experience to fit inside the box corresponding to their gender. When one does not fit inside this box, they are judged and excluded. The same thing goes for “race.” People are categorized according to their ethnicity and are expected to fit inside the box that corresponds to their racial background when, in reality, these boxes are just misrepresentations of groups of people. They are in no way legitimate; they are filled with stereotypes and are socially constructed. “Asians are good at math” is a very popular stereotype, and a very inappropriate, unreasonable and unfounded comment just as is any other comment that is said about gender or race. Media holds a lot of power, but so do we as a society.

Your post caught my eyes because of the title “Manorexia”. It made me question why you would title the post as such, since it’s not okay to make a name for anorexia specifically for males. After reading your post, I saw that you addressed the topic and felt relieved. This is an overall good post that made me think more about the problems males face when it comes to eating disorders and their body image. In my class called “The Myth of Race and the Reality of Racism” we are taught that racism is taught in many ways such as through the media, family, friends and experiences. This relates to your post because I’m willing to assume most of these men have an eating disorder because their body isn’t the way they believe it should be, and their beliefs of an ideal body image are based on the media, family and friends. I have seen my boyfriend struggle with his weight for years, and it bothers me to see that no matter how much I reassure him that he is a normal weight, he is still self-conscious. So, I can without a doubt believe the statistics you displayed. To conclude, do you think that anorexia in males relates to my racism comparison?