This may turn out to be a series. I have a lot to cover and I don’t want this post to be three miles long but I do want to explain how I’m feeling to the best of my writing ability. So we’ll see what happens. I’d like to do another, similar post from the point of view of my mom if she’s up for it. 🙂
Reverse Anorexia is a term coined by my mom. This is my interpretation of it..
“Reverse Anorexia: How you feel inside and how you see yourself in the mirror doesn’t match how others see you or how you photograph. How, when you see someone’s reflection off of glass doors and realize that it’s not someone else, it’s you. Someone unrecognizable to who you know you are. They look kind of like you. The same hair, eyes, smile, clothes even. But the person.. The fat person.. The blob.. That’s not you. It can’t be.”
The first couple photos you’ll see in this post are obviously selfies. Photos that I’ve taken of myself. Photos that I have control over. I control the light and the angle. I control my facial expression and which way my chin is pointing. I control the framing of the photo. I look boss.
I like what I see. Looking in the mirror either before or after my selfie, I like what I see for the most part. My hair is working for me today. My makeup is on-point. My eyes are beautiful, my smile is genuine. I actually like what I’m wearing which is rare because I feel like everything looks like crap on me.
But, without knowing it, I’m struggling from a case of Reverse Anorexia.
I try my very best to not be included in photos unless I’m the person taking them which results in one of two ways. 1: If it’s a killer photo, I’ll be posting it to all my social media sites. Or 2: If I look, in any way, morbidly obese. Delete.
However, sometimes I let my guard down. Sometimes I’m not in control of who is holding the camera. Sometimes, photos like you’ll see in this post are made public and I die inside. I want to make clear that it’s not any kind of depression. (I don’t buy into the hype of depression or even anxiety.)
I just die a little. That’s as simple as I can put it I guess. My heart hurts when I see photos of myself, my whole self. My stomach turns wondering how many people have seen this photo and what they thought when they saw me in it. How much I’ve changed or how bad I’ve “let myself go.”
It hits me so hard I cry sometimes. I feel disgusted, gross. I can’t believe I was out in public looking like THAT. I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that it’s not just the photo that I have an issue with; it’s me. How I look in the world. How I assume people judge me based off of how I look rather than my personality. And I’m calling bullshit if people say they don’t do that, they do. Myself included.
I honestly don’t know if I have the words to explain the emotions that I feel when pictures are taken of me and posted online. The after-effect it has on me and how it ruins the moment or the day, it’s unreal. It’s not that I don’t want to have a presence online or whatever. I do. I want people to “remember” me when I’m long gone. I’m not trying to be totally invisible; I just don’t want people to see me because I hate what I see. I love social media and photography and blogging – all that jazz. But somewhere deep, it really is painful to see what I look like in the eyes of other people. Not as a person, but as a physical form.
I know who I am as a person but not many do. I think maybe my immediate family has a pretty good idea. My mom and brothers for sure. Channing is the probably the only person that gets “Ori” 100% of the time. He gets the good, the bad, and the ugly. He gets the goofy and the obnoxious. The flirtatious and the sexy. He gets me and I adore him for it.
But sometimes, honestly – I wonder if he suffers from what my mom and I call Shallow Hal Syndrome. You’ve seen the movie. Where this guy is dating this beautiful, thin, funny, smart woman. Only to turn out that he’s the only one that sees her as beautiful and thin. In reality, she’s for lack of a better phrase; big, fat, and ugly.
So I guess what I’m wondering (in vain) is; how do you view “fat” people? Really, be honest. When you see an overweight or obese person, how do you judge us without knowing us? I really want to know.
I personally am usually very quiet when I meet new people. I’m an observer. I don’t just “click” with anyone so I don’t find it necessary to open up unless I actually see friendship a possibility.
So, when you see someone heavy, really heavy and you don’t know them, haven’t spoken much to them, a co-worker, someone at the store, whatever. Does it depend on their style? Does it depend on their behaviors? Does it depend on what they do for fun? Does it depend on who they are with?
I hope with your responses, I can get a clearer view of judgment. I, myself, judge harshly. I’ll be the first to admit it. If you look like a bitch, I’ll probably stay away from you. If you have a snotty voice, I probably will avoid talking to you. If you come off as just plain stupid, I won’t bother making nice. If you are thin, I’ll assume that you don’t want to have anything to do with fat people so I won’t even bother approaching you in fear of how you’ll view me.
Reverse Anorexia is a haunting nightmare. It’s annoying. It’s frustrating to know who you are as a person, who you see in the mirror; isn’t who the world sees.
**All photos used in this post have been taken within the last 10 months. **