When I was a teenager first learning how to make myself vomit, I recognized it as transgressive. The media wanted women to be thin, and most of the people I knew seemed to prefer women to be thin. Yet most of the people I knew, thanks to media scaremongering, also loudly clucked about the tragedy of eating disorders. I’d been given a clear objective while being told the most expedient methods for it were wrong. So I felt slightly exhilarated, even powerful, about approaching the conventional feminine ideal while laying bare authority figures’ useless concern in the process. If the adults around me wanted the world to be safe for teenage girls, they wouldn’t have fed a dominant culture so unapologetically hostile to those girls.
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