With society's portrayal of what a “normal” looking woman should look like, body dysmorphia and body image issues are at an all time high. It’s sad to see so many women alter their appearances because they feel like they don’t look good enough, but what many people don’t realize is that this is absolutely a mental disorder.
I’ve encountered plenty of people in my lifetime who feel as if anorexic and bulimic women are simply losing the weight for attention, or that it’s not a serious problem. What they don’t realize is that these women who are suffering from this disease (yes, it’s a disease) see themselves as being much larger than they actually are when they look in the mirror.
The Atlantic recently reported on a study that came out of Utrecht University in the Netherlands that focused on analyzing this problem. The study asked 39 people – 19 diagnosed with anorexia, 20 without – to walk through doorways of various widths and gauged how each person attempted it without their knowledge that this was the actual study. (They were given a mental distraction as they walked, so that they wouldn’t be conscious of their physical behavior.)
The results showed that people without anorexia began to rotate their shoulders sideways to fit through doors when the frames were 25 percent wider than their shoulders – but those suffering from anorexia attempted this “squeeze” when the doors were a full 40 percent wider than their shoulders, through which they could easily pass without rotating their shoulders and entering sideways.
Basically, they mistakenly considered themselves to be too large to fit through the door. The researchers concluded that anorexics’ spatial relationships show that they’re not just internalizing their dysmorphia, but externalizing it in relation to outside objects. As the researchers put it: “The disturbed experience of body size in anorexia nervosa is more pervasive than previously assumed.”
Think that they still behave this way for attention?
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