Black women also suffer and it’s often from a very different eating disorder–binge eating. “The binary that we create when we discuss eating disorders, coupled with the myth that eating disorders are ‘White girl problems,’ harms us more than it helps us. It erases the existence of Black people who binge, and it dismisses the problem before any real attention can be drawn towards it so that people can get help,” Kendall says.
Help. What an interesting thought to include in this discussion. I remember chatting with my mentor years ago and she talked about the pain that many Black people carry around in their lives and how we always want to make it seem as if we’re not hurting by ignoring it, or better yet, praying it away. Some people, like myself and like Kendall (used to), deal with their pain by diving face first into their favorite snacks and that, isn’t how problems are solved. Even though I thought the temporary satisfaction was somehow relief from life’s ills, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was stuffing my face yet again, attempting to remedy yet another problem. It took Kendall getting therapy to realize that she indeed needed mental help to overcome her demons. Now, I know what I need.
Must Read: Stress Eating: 5 Ways To Finally Beat It
Kendall makes a point of the mental health issue attached to eating disorders, claiming that Black folks just refuse to or just don’t know how to get real help. Kendall says:
“What’s most damaging about the rhetoric surrounding eating disorders, specifically among the Black community, is the inherent denial of the existence of a problem that might require actual psychiatric care in our community. We cannot continue to perpetuate the ideal that psychiatric care cannot and will not help us uncover the tools we need to overcome our battles. This mentality cannot persist.”
White women are not the only victims of food and the odd relationships they can create. I find it interesting that statistics backs up this claim. According to a study uncovered by The Root, Black girls are 50 percent more likely than their White counterparts to be bulimic and girls from background with a lower income are 153 percent more likely to fall victim to bulimia. Kendall asks, “What would the numbers look like if we included binge eating?”
What do you beauties think–are Black women ignoring the psychiatric care we need in regards to eating disorders?
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