Luna by Jo Whaley

I have a certain small group of close friends who all trade various nicknames/identities.  For instance, I'm a Blue Fairy, and we have a Purple Fairy, Green Fairy...  We have a River Tam, a Zoe-Jayne, and an Inara Serra.  If I stumbled into the world of His Dark Materials my daemon would be a Merlin falcon, and we have a snow leopard and a ptarmigan.  If we suddenly found ourselves in the world of Harry Potter, I strongly suspect my Patronus would be a luna moth.  

So it was last night that the Purple Fairy sent me the above picture.  I emailed in reply:

Oooh!  Obrigado!  Muito bonita.  ^_^

I was obsessed with these things when I was little.  They were the first things I ever heard of that lived so briefly and had no need (or ability) to eat.  I mean, an animal with no mouth.  I just found that so fascinating.

And then I reread the email.  And I did one of these:  o_O  

When I said "little," I meant seven or eight years old.  After I reread the email, I didn't know whether to cackle at the futility or cringe at it, or just wad up the various celebrity rags with articles about celebrity weight loss and gain, and use them to bludgeon people who assume that eating disorders and body dissatisfaction are purely the result of culture, and can be solved as easily as applying logic and willpower, prevented as easily as promoting body acceptance.

I never experienced trauma.  I was never abused.  My parents always demonstrated to me that I was loved and valued, and as I got older, respected.  Like so infuriatingly many women with increasingly long-standing eating disorders, I have never been able to pin down a "reason."  But looking at that email... I mean, feck.  It's like something was coiled in my eight-year-old brain just waiting to be sprung.  Now, what the hell do you do to prevent that?


  1. This purple fairy is still spinning... It was about as unguarded a comment as one could have, I'd say. And the image is just searing to me.

  2. I found something today that I wasn't sure if you knew about, but thought you might be interested in if you didn't know. There has now been a further revision to the new DSM-5 criteria for Anorexia - they took out the requirement for someone to be 85% below normal weight and replaced it with "weight that is less than minimally normal".

    Here's the link if you want to look:

  3. Interesting. Thanks, Lauren.

    I've been reading an eating disorder CBT guide book for therapists (to see what it's like from the other side) and in that book there's a BMI chart that's much more nuanced than the standard charts found on government and medical websites. So (as is often the case when human rather than, say, chemical subjects are involved) it seems the professionals in the trenches seem to have figured things out a step ahead of the professionals in the lab coats.


Get rude, get deleted.