Yesterday I had a long conversation with my to-be stepdaughter about FA. Being a rail-thin girl her whole life, some of the things I said she couldn’t relate to (like being taunted about one’s weight, or told to lose weight, and so forth). However, she was surprisingly “in” the conversation: when I cited the statistic that 40% of teenage girls claim to have had an eating disorder at some point during their teenage years, she exclaimed, “You know, somehow I think it’s higher than that. When I go to the bathroom, you wouldn’t believe it—I can actually hear girls BARFING. It’s GROSS.”
I, of course, silently thanked my lucky stars she wasn’t one of them! Not because she is naturally thin since, as we all know, eating disorders strike at all weights. Having had a little bit of training in nursing and nutrition, she caught on to many of the points I was making. At the end of the long discussion, she said, “Wow, thanks so much for talking to me. It totally gives me a lot to think about.”
She’s a popular, pretty, thin seventeen year-old. I hope she looks upon her fatter friends and acquaintances with a bit more compassion and understanding, and when people she knows start making fat jokes stands up for what she agrees, “is the last form of acceptable discrimination.”
Thank goodness for some kids; thank goodness for their father (my fiancee), who loved them so much and always made them feel like they were wonderful people with a lot to offer. Thank goodness for the progression of generations…even though my seventeen year-old to-be stepdaughter is only eight years younger than I am (eek! lol, don’t judge me 😉 ), when I told her I’d avoided going into the sciences at first because I thought “girls aren’t good at science and math,” she laughed and said, “Don’t tell me THAT. I just got an A+ on my Astronomy exam.” You fucking GO, girl.