Perhaps churches, like EDs, attract certain kinds of person. Sensitive, insecure. Folks with high standards in all areas of life – including morality. Good girls who keep the rules and see life in black and white. Women unlikely to embrace more obvious forms of rebellion…or who feel the need to keep certain emotions sealed off.
Writing in an interview with the Guardian, author Hilary Mantel says this:
‘Fat is not immoral. There is no link between your waistline and your ethics. But though you insist on this, in your own mind, everything tells you you’re wrong; or, let’s say you’re going in for the form of intellectual discrimination that cuts against the perception of most of the population, who knows that overweight people are lazy, undisciplined slobs…
Saints starve. They diet till they see visions…some saints are muscular Christians, but there are no fat saints’.
Eating disorders may be more prevalent today, but they’re far from being a modern issue. From the asceticism of the 4th century to the medieval ‘holy anorexics’, fasting and feasting are at the centre of most religions. Today, self- starvation has been redefined from religious act to pathological state. But perhaps its roots remain are the same. In fact, perhaps it is partly because we have lost a religious context for fasting that EDs have developed.
What do you think?