Men and Eating Disorders: A Hidden Truth

Hello my beautiful fudgies!

I wrote an article for ANEB Quebec in french about men and eating disorders, which you can find here: http://www.anebquebec.com/blogue/2013/09/25/le-sexe-cache-des-troubles-alimentaires/ 
It's a very important social issue to me, so I translated it for you all to read. Enjoy:)

When the media addresses the topic of eating disorders, they tend to insinuate that it is a problem for young girls or women, reinforcing the societal myth that only females can suffer from an eating disorder, when in fact this psychological disorder excludes no race, gender, or age.

Indeed, studies estimate that 10 to 15 % of people who suffer from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, and close to 50% of those who suffer from binge eating disorder, are men.
But where does this lie come from, and what are its impacts? 

"A Real Man?" 

For centuries, and even millenniums, men "worked", whether that be hunting or farming, while women bore and took care of children; that was just the way it was, no questions asked. This rather sexist mentality considered women to be beauty objects and proprieties, it was therefor normal for them to worry about their appearance, whereas her husband did not.
The 1960s brought the feminist movement to the forefront, which reconstructed many aspects of the expected societal gender roles, but regarding male looks and grooming, very little has changed. We are still being taught that men do not worry about their weight or physical appearance, it is therefor impossible for them to suffer from an eating disorder. 

Beauty Ideals? 

Although there is a stigma surrounding men and eating disorders, they are pressured into a standard of male "beauty" that is just as unrealistic and destructive as its female counterpart. Young men sporting enormous defined muscles star in countless Hollywood movies and TV shows, or cover billboards and magazines in popular ads for brands such as Axe.
Ken is just as perfect as Barbie, so why wouldn't men be influenced by the unhealthy representations around them? 

Fear, Shame, and a Dirty Little Secret

But why is it so important that this myth be debunked? First of all, because eating disorders are considered by much of the population to be a feminine problem, men usually feel ashamed of their difficulties, and rarely or never seek help. Eating disorders are the mental illness with the highest mortality rate, therefor this issue shouldn't be taken lightly. Moreover, this erroneous belief makes identifying and diagnosing EDs in men that much more difficult, since medical health professionals aren't looking our for the signs and symptoms.

Luckily, more and more courageous men are opening up about their straddles, but many more suffer in silence, and it is for them that we must continue to educate as many people as possible on the subject. 

sources: http://www.nedic.ca/resources/documents/MaleBodyImageandEatingDisorder-IncreasingConcern.pdf

Have a lovely day, my loves


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