Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Voyeurism!

Part of an ED that can be very sick and twisted
Is other people wanting to see the skeletal body of the sufferer
People like to be shocked  
To me it's voyeurism
Like when you pass a car crash
You can't help but look
I was contacted by a media company a few weeks ago
They asked if they could have an informal chat with me over the phone
And I agreed 
So they rang
And we had a conversation
But straight away 
I felt some red flags popping up
She wanted to know my lowest weight
Smallest clothes size
And seemed very interested in the numbers 
But then people always are 
So I didn't think too much about it
Then they asked for some photos of me when I was underweight 
I really needed to think about that one 
I don't have photos of me at my lowest weight
But I do have photos of me over the years underweight 
I also have a few photos of me in my underwear 
Which my brothers girlfriend took
But they are very personal photos 
And I didn't feel comfortable sharing them
I did however find some photos that I felt ok sharing 
And sent them to the media company yesterday 
They got back to me this morning 
And said the photos aren't suitable 
That they want to see more of my body 
And could I send some more explicit photos 
That right there was enough for me to worry
Like typical media
They wanted the photos to shock
To sensationalise my disorder 
They want to see emaciated bodies 
Pointy bones
And sharp angles 
Which I can understand 
People are curious
They want to know what drives someone to starve themselves in to emaciation
The girl from the media company emailed me back
And told me that they need some photos to show how ill I was 
To contrast with how well I am now 
To be honest 
The girl from the company seems lovely 
And has said many times if I don't feel comfortable doing this 
I can pull out at any time 
So I really don't know what to do
I don't want to be exploited
I don't want to be used
I don't want to be put in a vulnerable position
Where I leave myself exposed
But at the same time 
It is a good opportunity to spread awareness 
And a message of hope 
It's a tricky one 
I emailed the girl back 
And told her thdt I need a couple of days to think about it 
I will speak to Mary about it on Thursday 

I know this is typical media 
Wanting the shock factor 
Something for their readers to gasp at
And to read more 
It seems to me that people ate fascinated with EDs
They want to see the lengths we go to for our illness
They want to see us wasting away
They pity us 
Which I hate 
Because I don't want your pity 
I don't want your sympathy 
It's hard enough to live with an ED without you getting your kicks out of looking at my underweight body 
I'm not a victim
I'm a survivor 

Have you ever experienced this?


  1. dont do it, its not your responsibility to raise awareness you do it well enough through your blog.

    1. I genuinely don't know what to do
      My gut is telling me not to
      But another part of me wants to do it
      I guess I will talk to Mary about it when I see her Thursday

  2. gut-churningly no please don't do this. It doesn't help, it gives a very one-sided image of the condition, the kind of image that is already well-known. If you want to raise awareness, send them an image from when you were a really healthy weight in the summer and try to get the message across that you were sick then too. That is the bit that nobody understands. The world has seen plenty of before and after shots of underweight girls, it doesn't need any more of those, and they perpetuate a stereotype, and the idea that you are not really sick if you don't look like that... It can be triggering for sick people, can cultivate the mindset in medics that is already too common, as if weight gain were enough, and it really doesn't do anything for anyone else except, perhaps, as you say, foster voyeurism... It is not appropriate. Please don't do it.
    Well, that is what I think - you do what you think, of course X

    1. You make some really good points
      And it's something that I've though about too
      I mean it seems like the photos I did send them were not shocking enough
      And that is really sad
      You are so right though
      And I am already thinking that I won't do this

      thank you x

  3. "the kind of image that is already well-known." YES!
    If you want to raise awareness, send them an image from when you were a really healthy weight in the summer and try to get the message across that you were sick then too. That is the bit that nobody understands" YES YES and YES!

    To be a surviver is part of your identity, but the ED must be let go off, the more you do/learn/experience outside the ever present ED/drug history of yours, the less will it matter for your identity. you matter, ruby not the illness, not how skinny you were/are/can be. what made you want to get better, that is you... you raise awareness of the right aspects here on this blog, and there is more than enough 'awareness' of the 'super skinny suffering woman' already, the images just serve as a 'car crash to watch secretly' to people these days.

    And so much respect for getting back onto that horse! THAT is RUBY. Let go of the ED identity, it is worth it, so much more of you will have space to grow then! xxx

    1. ^ i agree with this comment by "Julia" about needing to develop your own identity. You still need to recover properly, and part of that is letting go of the ED, ED recovered, ED-whatevered identity. Let go of the media, and get better for yourself.
      & well done for how far you have come.
      Love, and wanting the best for you.

    2. Thanks Julia
      I agree with you
      I do need to let go of this ED identity
      I am now so much more than my ED
      And I need to keep that going x

    3. Thank you anon
      I appreciate your well wishes x

  4. no please don't xjo

    1. Don't worry Jo
      I'm now thinking that I won't do it x

  5. To me it feels all kinds of wrong, personally. I hate those stories in the media, you know, this person got down to xxlbs and NEARLY DIED but they GOT BETTER, now look at photos of them all happy and healthy and better! Yes, ok, those stories are good and positive and all, but I don't feel they spread awareness in the fact that it's quite a narrow view. I didn't realise I had a problem for a long time because I didn't fit the media stereotype. I not saying that's not what ED sufferers experience because some do, but not everyone. I was more sick when I was bulimic (and a healthy weight) than I was during my anorexic phases.

    The photos you have are personal to you, and you don't have to share them if you don't want to. I think you should talk to Mary and your family and ask for advice, but at the end of the day it's your choice.

    You're not a freak or a fairground attraction though. You are a person. There's more to you than your ED.


    1. This is true Agnes
      It's sensationalism really
      They want shocking photos
      Everyone loves a before and after
      I have photos of me in my underwear very underweight
      But they are personal
      Not for the world to gasp over

      Thanks Agnes
      You make a lot of sense x

  6. I agree with everyone else. There are enough images floating around out there of frighteningly skinny girls, and so many of those pictures end up as "thinspo" rather than an encouragement to get better. Also agree with the others about not keeping up the stereotype that only someone emaciated can be called anorexic.


    1. Very true Mich
      I think now that I am not going to continue with this company
      And am going to tell them exactly why
      Maybe they could rethink their story x

    2. This reminds me a bit of a lady who contacted me several years ago after finding my blog--she worked for some university and claimed she wanted to do a "study" with regard to eating disorder-related blogs. I don't trust anyone ( working for lawyers will do that), so I questioned her like crazy about her study. While she wouldn't come out and say it, she was definitely only interested in "pro ana" blogs. She wanted to use my blog as an example, and I flat out refused to let my blog be called pro ana. She ended up dropping me from her "study" entirely. The end result--the paper she and her colleagues published--was so full of ridiculous ED stereotypes I felt nauseous reading it.

  7. If you don't do it, you might be able to do it later if you change your mind.

    If you do it, you won't be able to undo it.

    1. Good point EM
      As ever
      You are the voice of reason x

  8. That's sick, especially them asking for more revealing photos. I think that's why I like blogs. Yes, there are sometimes a lot of numbers, but overall it's a more balanced view of life with an ED than other types of media, who seem to only care about shock factor.

    There is something (a lot of things) about this that just doesn't sit right with me. I get that you want to raise awareness, but is this really the right way to do it, and the right image you want to put out there about EDs?



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