Beauty Junkies

I stumbled upon a book last weekend, Beauty Junkies by Alex Kuczynski. The stories told by this New York Times Style reporter are literally stunning.

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Alex worked the beauty beat for years, in one of America’s most plastic obsessed cities, riddled with wannabes from all ages, and lifestyles. She tells of male lawyers obsessed with botox injections, because they need to have that perfect “poker face” in court.

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Botox injections are recommended no more than every 6 months, but these dudes rotate dealers, I mean doctors, every 8-9 weeks for their necessary fix.

Liposuction for the feet, botox in the wrinkles of the palms. I wish I was kidding.  

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And I know all about Body Dismorphic Disorder, but I suspect that in the majority of cases Alex details in her book, BDD is not the culprit. Our good old friend Self Esteem is lacking in these individuals, and lacking badly.

Take Mrs. X, the wife of a powerful Hollywood Executive (she refrained from revealing her real name). She manages her daily schedule around  primping and pumping needs. “It is her profession, hobby, passion, and primary relationship,” Alex explains. 

Hairdresser: 2 times per week for color, style, stripping, you name it.

Exercise: Daily tennis for toning

Skin: Self Tanner (separate one for face, body and hands), once a week a facialist steams her pores and gently squeezes them, Marina Chicet Brain Lipid Serum slathered on the face daily to allow the cow brain extract to conceal her wrinkles.

Water: Only Penta, due to the high-energy sound waves that are used to make this water more hydrating than any other.

Vitamins: Murad Wet Suit to build collagen, and a cup of probiotic blue-green algae each morning for who the hell knows what.

Nails: Twice per week, buffed not polished, for a younger look.

State of Mind: Rolfing treatments in a series, not sure how many sessions that includes.

Makeup: She does not leave the house, without a professional appling her makeup. Oh, and her makeup artist has an assistant.

Teeth: Cleaned every 8 weeks, natural ones are whitened, veneers replaced annually

Eyebrows: Tweezed and tinted every other week.

Eyes: Lasik perfect.

Doctor visits: monthly, utilizing various techniques including Gore-Tex, Botox, collagen, Retylane, Artecoll.

Plastic surgeon visits: consultations 3 times per year, about 1 surgery annually.

Procedures done: liposuction, tummy tuck, two variations of a brow lift and face lift, upper eyes, lower eyes, implants twice (first batch were not large enough).

And finally – Labiaplasty. Yep, trimming and tucking of the vagina, you know, to make them “neat and tidy” as Mrs. X explains. Labiaplasty happens to be the fastest growing area of plastic surgery. You can even have lipo on the pad of fat on the top of your vagina, making wearing tight dresses much easier! (Quote from a plastic surgeon not me!)

I am exhausted just thinking about this woman’s schedule. Exhausted, and so very sad for her. This quote encompasses her lack of self worth in a nutshell.

Alex asks her ” Is it difficult to be the wife of a powerful guy in Hollywood?

“How do you mean,” Mrs. X inquires.

“Do you ever wish you had a career?” Alex states.

There is a briefest of pauses.

“No, because I was never really going to be that good at anything,” she says. “Or at least I was never going to be so good at anything that I would have made a difference.”

 Damn, I am glad to be me.

-mamaV

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54 Responses to Beauty Junkies

  1. Mrs. B says:

    Crazy stuff.

    I’m reading a book guys – Jenni Schaefer’s “Life Without Ed”. My daughter asked me to read it.

    Has anyone else ever?

    My Gosh, Mama….Do these peeps do anything for anyone OTHER than themselves? Might be an answer to the self-obsession! Skip a botox appt. or two and send a basket of food to a food pantry!

  2. synj says:

    but, i’m proud of my “extra plump” mound of venus! it makes.. erm, things, erm… more comfortable :) and i’m not just talking about crotch-high children running into me full-force, though not bruising there certainly helps!

  3. a_mother says:

    I like to look nice but not to that extreme. I am one of those that will age normally…..notice I didn’t say gracefully! I could understand having a few of the surgeries if they were neccesary. For some reason a lady I work with, told me she was thinking about having the labiaplasty done. She didn’t enjoy relations anymore because too much skin. It was irritating. “IF” it is a medical reason, sure I say do it if it will help, but not for the reason of just wanting to look good for her man. I know when people are in the spot light they start to lose focus on who they really are. Sounds like she is in overkill. Maybe she should take some time to actually figure out who the person is without the make-up. She might find, the person behind the mask, is better than the superficial person she has become. I would hate to feel like I need to do these things to fit in or feel good about myself. Most of all I wouldn’t do it for any man. They aren’t worth it!

  4. alien says:

    I think these are the key words: “wife of a powerful Hollywood Executive”. If a middle-class woman had the need to live like the lady in example, she would have low self-esteem, but isn’t this woman the façade of her powerful and rich husband, just like the queens and prinsesses and the elite of the old world are the façades of what they represent?

    If you study the history of beautifying you realize it has always been VERY, VERY extreme among the upper class, the only difference is that today more people have the needed money and THE status – which earlier came only through noble birth, but can now be achieved by social and occupational accomplishments .

    Sure her life sounds sad to me too, but I think she is doing a good job in what she is doing – and I don’t think she necessarily has a problem, or that ladies like her are the problem, the problem is the thought that everyone, in all the classes should be after the same.

    Very interesting and strange – and most of all dangerous – that money and the shape of ones body is the new “blue-blood” – “available for everyone”.

  5. kjosie says:

    I’m glad i don’t live somewhere where the pressure is like that.
    As Alien says, this is no new thing. MamaV – you need to read The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf – you’ll see the root of most of your topics.
    I’ve never (knowingly) met someone who’s had plastic surgery. It seems like this odd alien thing to me.

  6. Mrs. B says:

    What’s really sad was that Mrs. Hollywood felt she was never going to be good at anything. We need to redefine “anything”. Was she good at being nice and kind? Was she good at providing a loving home for her children?

    If Mrs. Hollywood would have looked inside instead of outside, maybe she would have found she WAS really good at something. Maybe it wasnt’ something that paid well, but obviously, money was no issue here.

    Sigh

  7. Rachel says:

    Wow. I find that to be incredibly sad. I’m exhausted reading about her routines. I wonder who she is on the inside? Under all of that crap?? She really, honestly doesn’t think she’s good at anything? Wow. That right there is a warning for low self-esteem. She’s just got the time and money to piddle it away on the crap that she does.

    I’m too damn poor to have *any* of that done! But, alas, I like my hair color, my nails, and my skin just the way it is. I often leave without makeup because I don’t have the time or I don’t think about it. Or, I just don’t want to put crap on my face that I’ll have to wash off later.

    The one and ONLY plastic surgery that I would even CONSIDER having is a tummy tuck. I’m trying very hard to get rid of it on my own, but damn! It’s taken awhile! And no, with my Edish tendencies, I am not, nor will I ever be, emaciated. But, we all know that the emaciated individuals are a minority of all who suffer from ED in one way or another.

    I will never *EVER* get breast implants. http://www.siliconeholocaust.org That is why. They are dangerous. Maybe some of the newer ones are better, but I just refuse. I’ve got a handful of breasts and that’s enough. They grow and shrink with my period. It would be nice if they were a bit bigger and matched my body a bit, but I’m not heartbroken. That’s what Victoria’s Secret bras are for!! Besides, I don’t want to have to deal with running with enormous boobs. It hurts enough when dear old aunt Flo is about to visit! When women say that bigger boobs are not necessarily better, I have to agree.

  8. withlovebyli says:

    One word for Mrs.X: Obsession. It’s kinda freaky.

    Seems like, MamaV, you are against an individual having plastic surgery for aesthetic reasons. You say you won’t go under the knife but then again, you’re blessed with good genes! What of those who don’t have good genes, those who are downright ugly and most likely endured social isolation, cruelty or bullying because of it? Shouldn’t plastic surgery be considered an option for them as an investment in a person’s emotional, social and mental well-being?

  9. Alexa says:

    I kinda agree with the comment from “Withlovebyli.
    However, I also think that we should be concentrating on the cruelty from those who do bully others for their looks. Maybe we should be changing their behaviour first, before we say it’s okay for everybody to go around having surgery and facials…
    I mean if less people bully others for their looks, less people will want to change their apperance…
    Bottom line:
    I do agree with that too many people are obsessed with plastic surgery and other beauty treatments. But, the image and importance of beauty is way overdone.
    What happened to inner beauty?? Why isn’t that important anymore?? More popele want to look good, than find a talent or an ambition.
    Sad, very sad…

    That was my opinion.

  10. tinatangos says:

    That makes me sad :-( Especially her comments in the end.

    I could only count one good thing in her routine, which was the daily tennis, because that involves having fun. But the rest, ack! :-(

  11. kjosie says:

    withlovebyli brings up a good point – it’s so easy for someone to sit there and criticise someone else for their attempts to look better or lose weight, but if you’ve never been fat or ugly then you don’t know what it’s like.
    And MamaV is thin NOW and probably always has been. And she’s attractive NOW and as she was a model it’s clear she always was too, exceptionally.

    So mamaV doesn’t truly know what it’s like to be (or truly feel) fat and ugly, so how can she judge?
    I bet she’s never had someone shout “fat bitch!” at her in the street, or her “best friend” imitate her eating-disorder-induced bloating. If someone experiences such things, it makes perfect sense for them to respond in such a way.

  12. Monica says:

    I recently saw a “Twilight Zone” episode from 1964 (!) that was scarily prophetic. It was about a “futuristic” society that demanded each citizen pick a perfect face/figure from some stock models upon turning 18. During the episode, one young woman fights against this, but is ultimately overpowered by society and gives in. Sound familiar??!! Yikes! What is the emptiness inside that leads people (still more women than men) to keep hacking away at the body corporeal until there’s nothing resembling a human being left? It’s so depressing!

  13. Vanessa says:

    josie, you are awesome. thank you for that last comment. mamaV, in my opinion, has no idea what it feels like to be fat/ugly/invisible/hated/ignored.

    i felt sorry for this woman, but mamaV feels only scorn i guess.

  14. zedda says:

    This woman has taken things to the extreme. I do believe that we need to change our attitudes toward people who are not naturally beautiful. I struggle with this every day. I look in the mirror. I see some parts that are pretty, but then the ugly ones take over and I’m miserable. I *would* get a tummy tuck in a heartbeat. That is it. If there is a medical reason and/or severe self-esteem issue, then fine, go under the knife. I think that MamaV’s point was that that woman’s situation was ridiculous.

    But, what do I know? :-)

  15. withlovebyli says:

    Maybe we should be changing their behaviour first, before we say it’s okay for everybody to go around having surgery and facials…

    *nods* Absolutely, if we could nip that behaviour in the bud many people wouldn’t feel the need or desire to have plastic surgery to be accepted and/or left alone!

    Now I’m not saying that only ugly people should have plastic surgery. I’m saying I understand why they would want to. If an average looking woman wanted to have plastic surgery for “enhancement”—well, I’d recommend counseling to improve their self-esteem because there isn’t a *necessary* reason to change something that’s normal (or doesn’t attract negative attention).

    On a side note, you can be average looking and have this sparkling and dynamic personality that shines through and you’ll be more attractive because of it. Maybe people should have plastic surgery on their spirits; transform from the inside out. Does that make sense? :)

  16. Lani says:

    There’s a great YA series about obsession with plastic surgery, called “Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld.

    It is set in the future, where people are “ugly” until they turn 16, and then get turned “pretty” through extreme plastic surgery.

    The plot is more complex than that, but there’s the basic concept.

    It’s really good.

    Read it, now.

  17. Katie says:

    Yes, mamaV is pretty and thin, but being pretty and thin does not equal having no body issues, especially if you are a teenager in an industry where image is everything. I don’t know if mamaV did or not, but I’m just saying.

    Regarding the article, that is really sad. Kids born in that world would probably end up really messed up. (And plastic surgery can’t fix genes.)

    I *would* get a rhinoplasty, though. No one has ever actually commented on my nose, but I feel like it’s all people look at, that my opinion matters less because of it, that no one could possibly like me because of it, etc. I know some of that is silly, and I do try to not let my insecurities get in the way of everyday life, but they do. A lot.

    I actually remember the first time I felt ugly. I was maybe eight, and had always been told by my parents and other people that I was pretty. I was reading Anne of Green Gables, where she often mentions how ugly she feels (but she has a nice nose). I remember thinking about that and feeling really sorry for people who feel like they are ugly. Then I went and took a good long look in the mirror and realized how ugly I am. (That was also around the time that I started having issues with the way I thought about my weight, though actually feeling fat came later.)

  18. una says:

    Living in a society where our values are based on physical youth and beauty, means that all of us will fail one day or another. We grow old, wrinckly and that is a fact. You can inject, tugg, pull and suck on certain parts of the body…and then you feel happy for a week, before you notice this other horrible “thing” which has to get fixed. The freaking thing about people having undergone facial plastic surgery for esthetic reasons is, that they have got this very similar look. You start of as an individual and end up as a copy. In my point of view plastic surgery is benificial for accidet victims and people with genetical deformations, but otherwise I just don’t see the point.
    I just finished reading a book called “singled out” by Virginia Nicholson. It is about the aftermath of the first world war in a woman’s perspectiv. By the end of the 1918 so many men had died in the trenches, that there were 2 millions women “to many” in Britain, who were never going to be a wife and a mother. This was a very difficult time for a society where mariage was the ultimate aim in a women’s life. Values had to shift from the dainty little lady to the self supporting women. No doubt, there were lots of these women who suffered a great deal but a considerable number managed to make the best out of it, going where no other woman jet had gone. They are the big sisters who made our path to independence.
    Why go back again, where woman were some kind of decoration. We are so much more then just a body.

  19. Sass1948 says:

    I had 2 rich boyfriends, and both their mothers are obsessed with their appearance because they can afford to be. They don’t work, so it’s easy to see how they’re seduced into this obsession by their social circles & the media.
    A fear for these mothers is losing their husbands to another woman. The loss of their husbands means the loss of friends, homes & lifestyle.
    ANY obsession is not a fulfilling existence. But I disrespect these women, rather than support them, because where is their self-belief? strength? independence? They’re no role models. I don’t ever wanna be like them.

  20. ibiteback says:

    Mrs. B-
    This isn’t really on topic but it’s about “Life without Ed” I personally didn’t like it, I felt like it made my eating disorder (a disease) into some man I’m divoricing inside my head. It just made my eating disorder seem less serious to others. I also associated with inpatient. I refuse to let my therapist say “Ed” anymore and they really understand and respect that. But I know the book really helps some patients and parents. Parents, I think can begin to understand what it is like in an eating disordered brain. Though I felt like she made recovery seem to easy. She was also lucky to have some good team members which can be hard to find. After reading talk to your daughter about, it might help establish some communication.

  21. Mrs. B says:

    Ibiteback,
    My daughter is very early in her treatment. She is gone for two months to an inpatient/residential program. When we went for a visit, she suggested that I read “Life W/O Ed” just to understand how her internal thoughts sound to her. We have a long long way to go and no book will be the “answer” I am sure. She will have psychotherapy, medications, CBT, family therapy, equine therapy, dance therapy, art therapy, therapeutic outings, etc. and then she will have outpatient therapy for as long as it takes.

    She just thought this was a good book for me to read to understand her “thoughts”.

    Anyone else recommend any other books?

  22. Nats says:

    Yes read “thin” by Grace Bowmen!!

    Its such a good book!!

  23. Ashley says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, and while I don’t agree with everything you say, thank you for what you’re doing.
    We need more people like you.

  24. Mrs. B says:

    Nats….
    I will do that.
    Thank you for the recommendation.

  25. whitenoisemachine says:

    That last line of the interview is….so…..sad. And I get it 100%.

  26. Sass1948 says:

    i think “thin” by grace bowman is boring. i got through it, but felt like id wasted my night. i dont think grace knows how to tell a story.
    now, “the invisible girl” by peter barham with alan hurndall…THATS a story.

  27. Mrs. B says:

    I’ll try to read them both.

  28. Sophia says:

    WOW. wow, wow, wow. i thought i was high maintainance for giving myself a weekly manicure and a twice-weekly face mask. jeezus. and that quote at the end kills me … as does the curiosity to see what that woman looks like, to be honest …

    by the way, i want to answer some comments regarding mamaV’s ability to judge the morals of plastic surgery. what she looks like should have no impact on the legitimacy of her opinion. one of you mentioned the Beauty Myth — when that book came out, Naomi Wolf was heavily criticized by some because she is an attractive woman, and therefore she was out of line criticizing what “the rest of us” do for beauty. but you know what? if she had been ugly, the critics would have been attacking her for playing sour grapes. i think criticizing mamaV’s plastic surgery stance just because she’s attractive and therefore doesn’t “get it” is the exact same thing.

    i am an attractive person, and i also have very large (natural) breasts that were drooping by the time i was 15. i hated them for so long because of their shape and weight and because of what i thought were ugly nipples. i could have gone down the road of surgery like many women so i could “fix” them to be more “appropriate.” instead, i learned to accept them and am gradually learning to love them. i hope i don’t sound uppity. just please realize that even people who appear to have those oh-so perfect genes still have their share of body dissatisfaction. where do you draw the line between nit-picking about cellulite and obsessing over a big nose? what’s “ugly” enough to be taken seriously?

    and… well, i may get hate comments about saying this, but there *are* a few people here who seriously need to check their anger, because honeys, not everyone out there gives a sh*t about your nose or chin or forehead or whatever else. not all pretty people have it out for you, and in fact, i’m willing to bet most don’t (including Evil MamaV).

  29. Mrs. B says:

    Sophia,
    I agree with much of what you said. I would like to add this.

    People are often far too introspective. I think that it is a hallmark of many mental illnesses…out of control introspection. I think it is healthier to remind yourself that most people just are not thinking about you very much. ..good, bad or indifferent. They are not thinking about how beautiful, thin or anything else about you. In fact, they’re are not thinking about you.

  30. Rachel says:

    Sophia,
    Well spoken. I agree too with what you said! I’m very gradually learning to accept my boobies. They are kind of small for my body, they droop, and my areolas are HUGE. However, my honey still likes them no matter what, and I’m gradually learning to as well. Heh. I thought I was high maintenance by brushing my hair and showering daily. Ha ha!

    Mrs B,
    Very good point. I think that people can be very self-centered in their out-of-control introspection. I will admit that I am one of those people. I think it’s kind of a cultural thing, too. You see somebody that “looks better” and then obsess, pick at, etc your body to try and look the same. And then you realize that you looked the same or better all along, after that, you realize how shitty you are because you spent all of that time doing that, and etc etc etc.

  31. Mrs. B says:

    Rachel….Stop “feeling shitty”. God didn’t make mistakes. He made individuals. All in his image.

  32. kelly says:

    Mrs. B- you don’t understand. Yes I realize that people are less concerned with me than they are with themselves…but that is a double edged sword. I want to be able to evaporate and not be noticed so i restrict…and i obsess constantly about myself so that when people DO see me they see a good, composed person…not some glutinous fiend.

    It must be sooooo damn easy for you to shell out advice to people to not feel shitty because “god” doesn’t make mistakes…you can read all the ED books you want but face it….YOU WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE…so stop shelling out stupid advice that is impossible for an ED ridden person to take

  33. Kim says:

    wow. there is so much judging here it makes me not want to be here. kelly, i see things differently from you. i like that mrs b reminds us that god doesnt make mistakes. would you have rather she said wow, you are so right what a mistake you are? of course not. and mrs b never claimed to know what you are feeling but i think it is great that as a mom with a daughter dealing with an ed she is doing her best to educate herself on it. she must have something going for her, the way people have treated her here is just unthinkable. who are we to judge anyone? we ask not to be judge but if you read what has been written here there are lots of judgements made. why? we are free to express our opinions, none of us need to judge others. mrs. b thanks for finding this place, i like reading your input and wish my mom would work as hard as you to find out about this disease. i hope your daughter finds recovery and your family grows even closer in the process. xxxkim

  34. Mrs. B says:

    Kim.

    Thank you.

    Kelly,
    Sorry if I hurt you.
    My advice….TRY to think less about yourself. Maybe substitute someone or something else. No offense, but obviously, what you have been doing hasn’t been working. Maybe I don’t understand you. I probably don’t. I’m just saying….if something doesn’t work for you, doing MORE of it is not productive.

  35. kelly says:

    Mrs. B-

    You didn’t hurt me…but stop giving advice…you say it off hand like people should be able to just ‘snap out of it’. you come across as arrogant and belittling. Of course what we do doesn’t work but it’s not like we can just join you in your state of enlightenment and say…oh im going to do something else now……you just obviously don’t understand how it works…

  36. Mrs. B says:

    Kelly,
    Every person who ever recovers from an eating disorder finally reaches the ultimate conclusion that they need to stop what they are doing and do something else. I have read thousands of recovery stories. The steps to this point, the meds, the counseling, the hospitalizations, the refeeding routines….everything…..arrives at the same point. You decide to…and then you slowly do….make change. Sometimes it takes years to make it, but it is ultimately persistence toward a positive change that creates recovery.

    I read an interesting quote the other day that basically said that it is not perfection, but persistence that produces change.

  37. mamavision says:

    Hi withlovebyli: I am not actually against plastic surgery per se, and I certainly would not tell others not to do it, it’s a personal choice.

    It just makes me sad when I see and hear such out of perspective cases that seem all the more prevalent these days.

    It also scares the hell out of me! I read alot of the horror stories , and its true that unhappy people talk, and there are likely a lot of very pleased individuals right?

    I would have nothing against a person deciding to improve themselves if they had a feature they were truly displeased with, I would just caution that “fixing” the flaw they see in themselves may not achieve the results they desire, either physically or mentally.

    The only time in my life that I considered a surgery was for my eyes. I would love to not have to wear glasses, but I realized the desire to have eye surgery was for pure vanity purposes and I have two children. If I ever did anything to my eyes that did not allow me to see my children grow up, I would never forgive myself. Thus, I have three pairs of fashionable glasses!

    All for personal choice,
    -mamaV

  38. mamavision says:

    Hi Josie: I will read Beauty Myth. I’d like you all to read this book and Backlash by Susan Faludi.

    On the comments of being generally attractive and thin, I agree with you. I don’t know what it is to be judged for being unattractive or overweight, and the reality is people do judge.

    I just responded above on my stance on plastic surgery, and overall I don’t oppose improving ones looks. I wear makeup, love buying clothes and dressing stylish. These are all efforts to look better, we all like to look good right?

    And yes, I know its easier for me because I have good genes. I would be lieing to you if I said it wasn’t. I can say though that a beautiful person becomes ugly the moment they open their mouth….I hope I am one that this is not the case.

    mamaV

  39. Rachel says:

    Mrs B.,

    While I respect your opinions and I respect the reason why you have come here, telling me to just

    “Rachel….Stop “feeling shitty”. God didn’t make mistakes. He made individuals. All in his image.”

    I agree that your commentary can come off as arrogant and belittling. I’m working on stopping those thought processes, but it has taken years of work. It is not something that I can just snap out of.

    Also, not everybody believes in your god! There are many different dieties for many different people.

    All that I ask is that you tread with care. Again, I respect you, the reasons why you come here, and I think that you are generally a good individual. We just differ on opinions and I am offering some constructive critique.

  40. Mrs. B says:

    Rachel and All,

    I think I will just listen hereafter. Thanks for your feedback. For some of the people who get really angry about things I say, consider this. Perhaps your way isn’t working, and perhaps you don’t want to hear things that annoy you even if they are true which might be a barrier to your recovery.

  41. Kim says:

    mrs. b, i for one would miss your comments if you just listened as i think we can all benefit from other points of view. everyone has a right to be here and has a right to express their own opinion. it is sad that people have to judge and get angry over differences of opinion. and mrs b you are so right about not wanting to hear things that annoy us i had to hear alot of things in treatment that i didnt want to hear yet needed to hear, thank god i listened. and rachel believe in whatever god, higher power or whatever you want, i believe (my opinion) that a true eating disordered person needs help from others to get well. or at least i did and still do. just my thoughts and mrs. b i hope people’s negativity doesnt scare you away or into silence.

  42. Kim says:

    the one thing i admire most about mama v is that she allows everyone their opinion here and doesnt deny anyone that. please let everyone state their feelings and opinions without fear or judgement. i feel that we all found this place for a reason and we may have different reasons for being here but we all deserve to be here. im glad you are all here, i gain something from each of you.

  43. Mrs. B says:

    Kim,
    Before I “shut up and listen”, I would just like to say I am so impressed by your kindness. I’m genuinely very happy that your treatment is going well for you.

  44. Kim says:

    thank you mrs. b and please dont stay silent. i benefit from your experience, strength and hope just like i do from others here and would miss it if it were gone.

  45. a_mother says:

    This site was made for all of those who needed help and to give support. Though some do have different religions none of us on here tell each other what they are and that is the whole idea behind this site. Do any of us really know much about the other than we need support and we need each other? I don’t but that doesn’t change the fact that we still come here and try to respect each others opinions. Which we all have different ones…if we didn’t the world would be boring! If you don’t agree with someones way of supporting don’t be harsh. Just tell them and in a helpful way let them know what they might be doing to offend you. Mrs. B is a mother and as a mother sometimes we tend to think we are always right….when we aren’t. The things that she is saying to you are only to help and though she may not understand the total depth of the ED like others do she is living with part of it and I applaud her for coming here and trying to learn. I give advice too but as in our everyday life I listen to some people give and let the other float right out my other ear. If the type of advice Mrs. B gives doesn’t suit you then ignore it. She is only trying to help as are many others on here so give her a break…we are all human and learning as we go.

  46. mamavision says:

    Hi everyone: I welcome Mrs. B and her viewpoint because we do not often find mothers visiting and staying with us. This says a lot for Mrs. B and her character.

    The fact that her daughter is in treatment right now, is tearing her heart out and I would like everyone to remain cognicent of that. I know this because she is a mom and it just comes with the territory. Anger you sense or hear is stemming from pain, and yes perhaps misunderstanding because she can’t understand why her daughter who has absolutely everthing going for her has sunk down this path.

    Be patient girls, and lend an ear. You can really help Mrs. B “get it” – if anyone can, its this group.

    To Mrs. B, my heart goes out to you and I hope you are connecting with your daughter in ways that you could not before. I hope sharing your thoughts and listening to the girls here is shedding some light on a very, very deep and complex mental struggle that our daugther is taking on with herself right now.

    I give you the same advice – be patient, tolerant, and allow yourself to let go of any and all preconceived ideas of what you wanted or expected your daugther to be. This is now her path, and I am living proof that it can lead to good, and happiness, and fulfillment….just not in the way you envisioned it.

    Don’t miss out on a moment. Be in the moment with her, not sitting on the side waiting for it to be over so she can “stop wasting time, get on to what she is supposed to be doing.” LIFE IS NOW.

    This life you are sharing with her now is the path you two were meant to be on, so take it and be open to where you will land. I for one believe that one day you will be very grateful she faced this struggle because you will see there was a reason for it all.

    Love,
    mamaV

  47. Mrs. B says:

    Mama V

    Our family is ALL on the path with my daughter. Fortunately, she is past the point where I see a lot of women on this board. Last year, she was there, so despite what some people on this board think – I just might, in fact, understand where they are. I have watched my daughter move past that point….with a struggle. She didn’t want to recover. She didn’t feel like she COULD recover. She went to therapy and didn’t really show any motivation. ED was “workin for her” . Then ED took over and it scared her to death. The whizbang biology student on scholarship had herself in such terrible physical shape that she could not go to school. She decided to withdraw. She decided to check into residential treatment. She is working hard. Her hard work is dredging up a lot of shadows in our household that needed to be dredged up. Although she never felt any abuse and she has always been very privileged, there were certainly things in her childhood that were not right for HER because of the way our home is structured. My husband is a physician who is overworked by his rural practice. He is also a juvenile diabetic with intense food allergies which all combined to create a high need for structure. My husband’s lack of insurance demanded that I work. Providing for my husband’s food allergies takes hours of special cooking every day. I work full time. Our house is very structured….very task oriented. People who know the story of Mary and Martha from the Bible would recognize me (and my husband) as “Martha”. And if you know the story, Jesus chastised Martha for essentially “doing too much” (even though she was doing for others) and enjoying too little.

    My daughter has never been a child who rocked the boat or seemed to have strong opinions, although she was encouraged to do so. She secretly resented the decisions others made for her although she would express no disagreement. She is learning a lot about how to become independent and make her own decisions. We’re moving toward real forgiveness. It is all good. For all of us. Stressfull and painful, but good.

    Where I disagree, Mama V is that you seem to have a feeling that “this is where she is”. What she and I see is that she is “passing through” with us. Where she is today is different that where she was yesterday, which is also different from where she was last week and last year. Certainly part of her will be forever impacted by this journey, but this is not a destination in and of itself. She will never be the same after walking this path, nor will we.

    80% of women who walk this path recover – with recovery defined in a realistic way – reduction of systems that allows for a functional life. People with supportive family structures and intensive care which encompasses a wholistic approach – physical, mental and spiritual – do even better still.

    I am well aware that there are women whose mental health is so compromised that recovery is much more difficult, but even then, I listen to stories of women on this board who have recovered from ED although they continue to struggle with other chronic mental health conditions.

    That was my “speech” and now I am done. For those who think “I just don’t/can’t know”…..perhaps my daughter has transcended your point of the journey. For all but a very few of you – the fact is, once you decide, and step out with hope and a quality treatment (and follow up) program, you will like make progress.

  48. Em says:

    “I am glad to be me.” – mamaV

    I’m glad to be me, too. I haven’t had as much as a haircut in maybe three months, so twice weekly for color and style seems a bit much for me. I do realize she’s in the spotlight, though and don’t judge her for that…

    Even David Gallagher said that when he hadn’t had a haircut in a while and then showed up at a red carpet event with short hair, paparazzi were just going gaga over it and he didn’t understand what the big deal was. “Okay guys, whatever..” type of thing. (Saw it on TV a few years ago and was reminded of it just now.)

    I know that the post was more than about hair, but it’s the first thing I wanted to comment on.

    The second thing I wanted to say is simply, thank you for what you are doing, and for being a source of information especially about ana and mia but also overweight and obesity, as in your YouTube vid “Hey, Fat Ass”. I feel inspired every time I watch a video or read a blog of yours.

  49. Smilla says:

    Mrs. B: “My daughter has never been a child who rocked the boat or seemed to have strong opinions, although she was encouraged to do so. She secretly resented the decisions others made for her although she would express no disagreement. ”

    Thank you. That resonated for me. I am so glad you’re writing here.

    Likewise, thank you Mama V.

    As regards Mrs X’s comments: I think it’s very upsetting that you may feel nothing you do will be counted as worthwhile or effective.Upsetting that Your inner aims, dreams & ambitions matter less than your hair. The beauty industry, their multi-million pound campaigns, have maintained, expanded, perhaps even created, a culture where the illusion matters more than the reality.

    I know the magazines aren’t real, so why do I still want to look like that? Why do I prioritise my diet over my ability to think? I would agree with Mama V: it’s a self esteem issue.

    BUT we were binding feet before Estee started advertising. It’s much deeper rooted than in the pages of Vogue.

  50. ibiteback says:

    Mrs. B-
    I hope art therapy helps your daughter. My art and art therapist sometimes feel like the only thing that helps me. I understand where you are coming from with that “point” where you decide to recover (or in this case your daughter did) I was threatened with going into inpatient/day if I didn’t eat. In the end it came down to be thin and prover I’m an anorexia/ or eat and o to marching band and be there for the first day of school. That doesn’t really mean I want to recover just that I want to not go inpatient etc. because I was traumatized there. Sometimes though I feel like you ‘think’ you know everything about your daughter’s ed/treatment/recovery when you don’t because you aren’t a therapist, do not have an eating disorder and are not your daughter.

  51. AnneMarie says:

    I like tennis, so I’d play that a few times a week.
    A teeth whitening would be nice..
    but ain’t nobody, NO-BODY, going near my privates with a scalpel!!
    No ‘sacs of whoknowswhat’ is going to be shoved under my breasts, and No Poison is going to be injected Anywhere near My brain.
    I may not be the smartest person in the world, but I’d like to keep the few braincells I have poison-free, thanks.
    And I don’t care if I marry the most prestigious, famous dude in the world – let HIM get his balls ‘tucked’ if it’s that important!
    Not ME! lol

  52. Rachel says:

    Amen, AnneMarie! 100% agreed!!

  53. Pingback: Women Receive “Butt Enhancement” Injections Containing Bathtub Caulk « Body Image Blog We Are The Real Deal

  54. Pingback: Women Receive “Butt Enhancement” Injections Containing Bathtub Caulk : We Are the Real Deal

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