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Male Anorexia

2009 March 14
by Farhat Rahman

While anorexia has been popularized by young Hollywood starlets, this issue has become a growing problem for many male members within our community. I used to think that anorexia and bulimia are mainly feminine problems since our obsessions with weight issues and having the ‘perfect’ body is plastered on the features sections of women’s magazines. Apparently, that is not the case. Men’s beauty deals with body mass and muscular size, not weight loss like women. It is also noticeable that men do not come forward to receive any treatment and the only possible explanation for their reluctance is because they think that this is a sort of ‘woman’s disease.’ Here is a link to this interesting New York Times article I found on this issue which is becoming massive – New York times Article

There has also been an eye-opening documentary regarding male eating disorders, created by Travis Mathews and titled ‘Do I look Fat?’ The film deals with how male anorexia has affected the gay male community where the men are forced to meet a certain kind of body perfection. I found an article and a video related to this documentary. I’m not sure whether the film’s trailer is the right one, but it’s the only one I found.

Do I look Fat?

You Tube Trailer \”Do I look Fat?\”

I personally feel that men dealing with anorexia should not be afraid to come out and talk about their issues. Health centers, family doctors and of course, family members are within close proximity so they are definitely not alone.

3 Responses
  1. Solomon Lutze permalink
    March 15, 2009

    “It is also noticeable that men do not come forward to receive any treatment and the only possible explanation for their reluctance is because they think that this is a sort of ‘woman’s disease.’”

    Inclined to disagree. Plenty of women don’t come forward with these diseases, and I suspect that, whatever their reasons are for not doing so, there are some men who share them. I think there are other stigmas attached to eating disorders. Plus, I suspect that in a lot of circumstances the person in question does not recognize that he has a problem.

  2. Mista Jay permalink
    March 16, 2009

    I remember talking to my cousin about her then-boyfriend when she was telling me she was worried about him because he was eating very little and exercising a lot. He had been under a lot of stress at the time, especially because of football. I suggested that he could possibly have (or developing) an eating disorder, maybe because of all the stress and that he should talk to him about it. My suggestion was met with dead silence, followed by “I think it’s just stress.” I didn’t think much of it then, because it was just a timid suggestion, but now, after reading this, I suppose there is a stigma attached to eating disorders, that they ARE seen as “feminine” Maybe I didn’t press my cousin further about the issue because I subconsciously thought it was “feminine” as well.

    At the same time, I think that I agree with Solomon as well because in my High School, a classmate was on the wrestling team and he would openly speak about how he had to keep his weight down to stay on the team to the point of going without eating for most of the day. He admitted that this was a problem, but from the way he spoke he wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed about of the issue because of its stigma. And while I understand that not everyone is like him, I don’t think masculine and feminine have much to do with it more so than it’s the issue of accepting that fact that you have a problem in the first place. Even if Hollywood view the issue as a feminine, I don’t see why males suffering from anorexia would have extra reasons for not seeking help than the ones women would have.

  3. Marwa permalink
    March 16, 2009

    Apparently, male anorexia is increasing in high school and college age males a lot. Here is an interesting article:

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