Little Women – Millennial Eating Disorders

I live by the Patrick Bateman mantra, “You can always be thinner… look better.” And though I have a severe case of body dysmorphia, I have trouble discerning between boredom and hunger. I seriously binge eat at every meal. The other night it was Country Fried Steak with a side of fries, steamed broccoli, and about 7 sugar cookies (only 4 were actually baked).

Having said that, I love entertaining, and I wine and dine a lot. It’s aggressive, really. But I’ve observed a lot of different eating habits.

In my observations of the fairer sex, I’ve identified five different types of eater:

1. The impulse eater:

“OH! I could really go for a huge burger.” This little lass packs a plate with whatever her modest makeup feels like shamelessly scoffing down. More often than not, she’s got a furious metabolism giving her abilities to impulse-eat and not have to hit the treadmill to counter the Calorie intake (capital “C” means kilo-cals…).

2. The doggy-bagger:

She epitomizes the eyes-are-bigger-than-your-stomach concept. A wannabe impulse eater, her ambitions are often too much for her own good, and she’s almost always asking for a take-out box.

3. The squanderer:

In the same phylum as the doggy-bagger, this breed somewhere along the line of evolution deviated toward a more entitled branch and doesn’t care for taking home her half-consumed course – often paired best with a shameless dinner-date who has no misgivings about switching his or her clean plate for the squanderer’s.

4. The pseudo-entrée eater:

No, sweetie. That’s an app, not an entrée…

5. The salad slinger:

You know her… She’s the one who’s so concerned with her figure and/or being dainty that she only eats salads. Typically, orders dressing on the side – light balsamic.

Though we judge one’s eating habits, it’s curious that we think there is even such a thing as eating habits.

According to a German study published in Psychological Medicine, 1-2% of the worldwide population meets all the diagnostic criteria for body dysmorphic disorder. According to ANRED, 1% of female adolescents are anorexic, and 4% of college women are bulimic.

The numbers aren’t as aggressive as you’d imagine, but arguably, it’s this expectation of beauty that drives these psychological tendencies to think you’re fat or that you’re not thin enough – which makes case studies like Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty that much more interesting.

What gives?

Where popular media has led us to believe that there are standards in attractiveness, this belief is more prevalent in each new generation. What’s attractive to the Next Great Generation? Arguably, long and lean (and we’re still talking about the ladies). This image is manifested in our popular celebrities and models, and every Elle or Glamour mag you pick up will teach you how to be the new you.

Don’t get me wrong, girls, I love the effort. But don’t give up something as wonderful as eating for the sake of being skinny. After all, no one ever asked, “Why should I care about personality? That’s only on the inside.”

Actually I may have said that once.

Just kidding.

No, seriously.

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