11 Mar 2009

Anorexia, anyone?

Another one of my peers has made the national press (if you can call a features pull-out in the Groiniad such a thing) with this article charting her terrible teenage experience of Anorexia.

Laurie Penny, who I encountered in Oxford on a short course in avante-garde poetry (dire) stays in my memory for having asked Will Self at a lecture:

"Will, do fucked up people write better poetry?"

To which Will replied:

"That depends how fucked up they are. If they're really fucked up, they wouldn't even be able to leave the house to buy a pen.".

So, no, to his mind. This didn't put Laurie off. Instead she interpreted this as "Fucked up people mightn't write better poetry, but they certainly will be able to peddle probing articles about their terrible past for the rest of eternity, at least until they've found a nice niche as a freelance features journalist."

cf. her article. Honestly, I'd feel sorry for her if she wasn't such a shameless self-promoter. This stuff doesn't do women any favours!

About half way down - Sam, now in her 20s, comments, "I went to my GP quite early on and told her that I couldn't eat because I was scared of gaining weight, but she just told me to eat more nuts and gave me some vegetarian recipes. My overriding memory of that time was of being trapped in an endless black nightmare, with no visible way out."

I AM THAT SAM! Ok, I used a pseudonym, I am POSIE. Laurie asked me for a quote because she remembered me from Oxford and how wonderfully thin I was. Ok, so I never had anorexia, but notice how I never actually SAID I had anorexia. I am naturally very beautiful and thin, but hey, if it's going in the Guardian, giveaneffinshit! Next week buy a copy to see me talking in gory and shocking detail about how I used to do 200 sit ups on a Sunday evening in front of Return to River Cottage and cry when Hugh killed the geese. They were fat like me!!

Posie Competition!
Do you think that when she finishes truly rinsing her 18 months of teenage angst in various pull-out features sections she'll:

a) Need to develop another mental illness pretty fast. Multiple personality disorder? Or something really glamorous like narcolepsy?
b) Give up and write a low cal recipe book.
c) Break into misery lit and while away her thirties making up new renditions of her tortured youth, maybe rejuvinating the genre by adding in quirky Bridget Jones-esq details, eg Monday, 40 cals, v. bad, Mummy cut me, bad Mummy! etc.

Scratch your answers into your thigh with a compass!


  1. i am anorexic. I find this deeply insulting. that article really pulled me through. yesterday i ate a whole peanut.

    you should be ashamed of yourself. Let your story help others. And by the way, denial is NOT a river in egypt.

  2. I'm relatively sorry that I offended you. And congratulations on your progress. But really, is all this wallowing in one another's doom really going to help anyone?
    If she wants to help young girls, shouldn't she train to be a case worker or a GP? Or do some charity work? Go into schools? What self-resepecting teen anorexic passes their retched time flicking through features pull outs in centre left newspapers? Perhaps with her new found success she can apply to write the introduction to a new print of The Bell Jar?

  3. the bell jar made me cut myself

  4. 'Posie Competition!
    Do you think that when she finishes truly rinsing her 18 months of teenage angst in various pull-out features sections she'll:'

    Take the well-worn path of ego-driven and self obesessed writers everywhere and will be writing for the Daily Mail in 20 years - a la Melanie Phillips and Suzanne Moore.

    In the interim, we can all look forward to a plethora of vein-slashing and exploitative articles and blogs on varying mental health ish-uuus, tiresome porkie pies and fantasy life tales...

  5. Posie, Laurie here

    I don't know why you think I quoted you. I'm sure you're very thin and beautiful and everything, but 'Sam' is definitely someone else. Whose name, um, actually is Sam.