September 25, 2008

Isn't Anorexia in the DSM?

Hey Yall.

I'm going to have to disagree with Rantsalamode on this one (Shenae Grimes). It is certainly not clear to me whether this girl is ana or not, and I'm surprised that accusations would be hurled so freely at this poor girl (Lainey shame on you). First, lets say that she is that naturally skinny . We ALL know that this is possible, some women are very very skinny women. It must be unpleasant to have people call her a shitty role model just because of her body type. Lets say for a moment that she is affirmatively anorexic, then consider what we might say if she had a different disease? Say her type of disordered eating was chronic over eating, which made her "fat". Would we then say that she is a bad role model for being a slothy pig who can't control herself in the pantry? The fact is, if this girl is anorexic or bulimic, my bet is she just can't help herself, just like the chronic over eater can't help but help herself to everything in the fridge. The only difference between the chronic over-eater, and the ana girl, is that the ana girl is probably being praised for the looks she achieves through her disease. Which I bet makes it pretty hard to want to "beat" her disease". What it comes down to, is that I have no idea, and I bet pretty much no one else does either, of whether or not Grimes has an eating disorder. What I do know, is that I really don't think that it's OK to be calling her out like this. Where I would potentially lay the blame, and this is a highly contentious thing I'm about to say, is with Grimes's employer, the CW network. They made the choice to hire Grimes, and all those other extremely thin actresses on that show. (Actually, all of their top rated shows feature extremely skinny lead actresses: There's 90210 with, in addition to Grimes, we have AnnaLynne McCord, Jessica Stroup and Jessica Lowndes. Then there's Blake Lively, Taylor Momsen, Leighton Meester of "Gossip Girl" fame, and Joanna Garcia of CW's "Privileged")In their choice to hire extremely thin actresses, the CW is promoting the thin ideal. All these actresses I have just mentioned play characters with extremely desirable lives and lifestyles, and thus, it should come as no shock that the young girls watching these shows want to emulate what they see on these tv shows. The flip side of this coin, is that we must consider the actresses themselves and their right to work. Do really thin people have a right to get hired on TV shows? Should we make it a habit of not hiring people with body image disorders? Or should we simply say that if we suspect you of anorexia, you will not get hired? Should we not hire anorexic models to walk the runway? If we understand anorexia as a mental illness-that has highly desirable physical manifestations- do we refuse to give work to those who suffer from that illness? I suppose the answer to all those questions are "yes" if we believe that a small group of people (the actresses) will be negatively affecting a much larger group of people (the young, female television audience). Thus, the livelihoods of the naturally extremely thin or anorexic actress must be sacrificed, in order to promote a healthy ideal throughout or society. Discuss.
In any case, I stand by my argument that it is the CW who is promoting this unhealthy ideal, and not Shenae Grimes personally. Regardless of whether Grimes is anorexic or not, she is being accused of it. My bet is that Shenae didn't wake up and say "I should really pose with food today, that sounds like a good idea". Actresses are not media strategists. Their publicists are.

No comments: