Published by Her Campus KU
Body image. I see those words and I think back to high school health class, sitting in a crammed classroom as a PE teacher clicked through slides on the overhead about eating disorders. We got the same spiel every year: this is what a person with an unhealthy body image does, and this is why it is bad. It was like reading a health pamphlet in the nurse’s office, but the pamphlet didn’t actually tell you anything about the disease; it just told you about the side effects. We were told that 20 million women and 10 million men will experience eating disorders in their lifetimes, but we were never told why this might be the case.
Don’t get me wrong—I think it’s important to know the statistics. It’s important that we know the warning signs and the dangers, and it’s important that classrooms across the country are given advice on what to do when someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder. But despite the large number of young people who struggle with eating disorders, students aren’t often encouraged to talk about body image, positive or negative. It’s considered non-academic and doesn’t quite fit in the lesson plan, even though it’s often the root cause of eating disorders and self-esteem issues.
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