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Don’t deny the truth behind ‘Thin’

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, September 10, 2009

The power of viewing the images of Lauren Greenfield’s work, “Thin,”is undeniable; however, many people are unaware of the fact that this well-intentioned work could actually have the power to “fuel the obsession of many women and men with dieting, exercise, and body image,” as Morgan C. Caudle stated (“Exhibit Indeed” Sept 8).

On the one hand, portrayals of painfully underweight women, fighting against their own thoughts that accompany disorders, can accurately show the tragedy of this underestimated epidemic that plagues society. On the other hand, a person often will unconsciously ignore the vulnerability of those suffering from a disorder that was just witnessed in Greenfield’s work. That person hastily jumps to the conclusion that no one can come away motivated by those truthful images created to help.

Nevertheless, that is the truth of what happens to many of those with eating disorders. Think about this. Picking up a copy of Greenfield’s book, and flipping through pages and initially seeing girls who are suffering like you and who are struggling to mute the perpetual propensity of the disorder just like you. Then, those suffering girls transform into girls who have done it better. Reading a story about a girl who made it down to less than 100 calories a day. Thinking how low that number is and if you could be as “good.” Walking away with the determination and new “fuel” to fight your body’s needs as you feed your desire. Mind over body taken to a new level. Doesn’t sound logical, does it? It is not; the whole exhibit proves that the disorders are not logical.

Perhaps the exhibit is not dangerous to the mental and physical health of every student at the University of Notre Dame. Nonetheless, do not deny that the barrier standing between someone’s battle with an eating disorder and his or her constant thoughts of competitive comparison and the insatiable desire to deny indeed measures as “thin.”

Katrina R. Corcoran


McGlinn Hall

Sept. 10