Purge: From the Diary of an Arab Millennial

Wednesday 9 August 201705:39 pm
I’m fairly realistic for an age where I’m supposed to be dreamy, hopeful and jolly. I know how the world works, I know it’s not fair, I know the truth doesn’t always come out, I know money rules most of it. Just like I know, the women I’m unconsciously surrounded by in billboard, Instagram selfies and magazine covers, aren’t the only form of beauty a woman can have. I also know, for a fact, that beauty, isn’t a woman’s only pride and might not be a pride at all. I know that. Yet, here I am, elbow deep in my throat, eliminating any residue of a calorie from my stomach, terrified that I might have one more stretch mark or fat roll. 65 kg for 169 cm, doesn’t sound bad when you’re not me, it sounds average. But I don’t find myself average, I find myself fat and I can’t tolerate being fat. I want to be beautiful, gorgeous, sexy, perfect. If the price to pay is an eating disorder, I know very well isn’t healthy, so be it. If it’s the only way I can take control of at least one aspect of my chaotic life, so be it. I started overeating and purging when I was seventeen, because I started pretty much all of my bad habit at the age of seventeen. I got obsessed with the “heroin chic” look and swore to be as skinny as one can possibly be without dying. I got rather successful on that summer, I had a flat stomach, stick legs and most of my bones showed. I loved it. But pretty soon, the ratio of eating exceeded the one of puking and I found myself gaining back the weight. I thought bulimia was a sure and easy solution to weight loss, how could it turn against me like that? How could I have consciously led myself to this? How could I have even thought -me, a feminist, a person proud of how aware she is- that losing weight is such a brilliant and infallible idea? How can I be so attached to reality yet stray so far from it? I know every single model, actress, singer, reality star, benefits a multi million dollar industry by being unrealistically skinny and motivating young girls to resemble them, I know we must fight that whole operation to its core, yet here, a victim of it myself! How can I be so dumb? I told my friend about it at the age of eighteen and I discovered she did the same thing. The more I talked about it, the more I found out about people in the same situation. They were all smart, educated and beautiful young men and women, who fell for marketing tricks they were well aware of. Which made it harder for any of us to come forward, fearing looking like a stupid, superficial, shallow, easily-manipulated bunch. We were never poked fun of for our weight, we were never bullied for it, we were never misfits per say. But we were all dangerously obsessed with the numbers of the scale we get on. The sense of togetherness we created wasn’t without risk, we felt as if our disorder got us closer and it decreased our chances of getting better. As we grew older, we drifted apart, many quit, many sought help, many kept on purging in silence. I kept on binge eating and puking in times of stress, I even got on laxatives after scarring my throat. I’ve been doing it for five years, and of all my addictions, this one is the most painful.
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