She always loved to dance. Being
Brazilian, she came from a culture that
is based on parties, dancing and
the beauty of youth. While that was not
the only reason I fell for her, it
constitutes a major part. I never noticed
the fact that during our nights out in
a group she never ate or even accepted a
gatorade, or that she had
always 'already eaten' when food was
at my house. I accepted her story
of a slow metabolism and how
she just doesn't eat that much;
the fingers scarred by stomach acid
went unidentified.

      It wasn't until she started passing out
while dancing
that I began to realize...
She blamed it on the flu, but at that
point she weighted ninty-three pounds
(but was taller than me.) At the same
time she was reading a lot of existentialist
lit and turning more and more depressed.

      So one night I check my email
and find what resembles a suicide
Not stating any intent,
just absolute desolation and several
paragraphs about how she was going
to leave, not knowing where the cab
would take her
. I raced over, and
to my surprise found the front door open.
She was in her room, bunched up
under her desk, crying.
That summer she went to a recovery
camp in Rio, but I started noticing
the same patterns in some of my friends
Some took speed, my best friends sister
almost died from laxative abuse
and a lot (including me) recreationally
starved themselves.

      The worst is ballet.
Being a respected art form, most
people ignore the pressure
put on the dancers to be skinny.
Instructers telling them that
it isn't beautiful until the bones show,
or that they could stand to
lose another five to ten pounds;
most studios have curved mirrors
to make the dancers suck it in
even more - they are
constantly reaffirmed
in their fears that they just
aren't skinny enough.

      If people, especially guys, would be more aware of the problem and the symptoms (and less apathetic,) a lot of lives could be recovered and saved. The lack of eating is the most obvious sign, next to the trips to the bathroom directly after eating. Some Anorexics also take speed and laxatives to burn off calories or flush them, wherein the first causes eventual retardation and the second can be deadly because no nutrients or vitamins get into the body. Bulimics often have scarred fingers, bad breath (take a lot of breath mints) and inflated cheeks because of the irritation. No matter how much they fight you, they need your help.

My last word to anorexics / bulimics reading this: At least take your vitamins... they have almost no calories and you need them for your body to function marginally normal.

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