Blisstree

NEDA: Eating Disorder Lit, Lifetime Movies, the DSM-V, ‘Holy Anorexia’ and Tumblr v. Pro-Ana Blogs (@ Blisstree)

I didn’t know what image to use for this post, so here is a picture of me and an old friend not having eating disorders, eating free ice cream from Friendly’s on a summer day.

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano at ‘the Beheld’ wrote some very nice things about our National Eating Disorder Awareness week coverage at Blisstree, the women’s health & wellness site where I write.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown examines the real fallout from eating disorder literature. I’m thrilled to see someone taking a sharp view on this—my own experience with ED lit mirrors Elizabeth’s, varying between using such books as dirty little guides to tips and tricks, and using them as actual support. In fact, I once pitched a piece about this to a teen mag and it was flatly shot down with, “There is no way in hell we can run a piece like that.” But Blisstree can! Yay Internet! (Actually, Blisstree overall seems to be offering smart content for NEDA week, sharing the real story behind sensationalist recovery tales and featuring an interview with Carrie Arnold, one of the best ED writers around.)

Yay Internet!, indeed. I’ve actually been very happy this week with the way we’ve been covering eating disorders. ED stories so often fall into sensationalism, melodrama or triteness. And I think we’ve done pretty well at avoiding that. In addition to the stories Autumn mentioned, we’ve posted:

• A non-sensationalist defense of pro-ana communities.

• A gallery of the best/most absurd Lifetime movies about eating disorders.

• A guide to proposed eating disorder changes in the DSM-V.

• A history of eating disorders, including “holy anorexia, fasting girls (like Mollie Fancher, the ‘Brooklyn Enigma’) and wasting diseases blamed on wandering uteruses.”

• A long, lovely and honest Q&A with Angela Liddon, of Oh She Glows.

• And a piece about how Tumblr plans to start restricting pro-ana and other ‘self harm’ blogs.

New Gig // Blisstree

I’ve been guest-blogging at Blisstree this week!

Blisstree is the part of the portfolio of B5 Media sites—Crushable, The Gloss, and the newly-launched Mommyish and The Grindstone—focused on health, wellness and things of that ilk. It’s been in the Favorites folder of my Google Reader for a while now, ’cause 1) its features a lot of alternative/natural health and nutrition content, the kind of stuff that many women’s sites shy away from, and b) it’s feminist-tinged, without being an explicitly feminist site. Plus, it’s got a low-key, earnest but insouciant sort-of vibe.

Anyway, here are my first four posts:

  • The Paralysis of Analysis: Stop Overthinking … “I used to feel that the best way to go about stuff is to feel every emotion and not suppress a thing,” my friend told me. “That’s the wrong wrong way.”
  • Sunscreen Lingo Exposed: How to Decipher Sunscreen Labels … Once upon a time, sunscreen was sunscreen, and your biggest concern was higher or lower SPF. Then lo and behold ingredients in some sunscreens are found to actually accelerate the growth of skin cancer. Ingredients in others may disrupt your hormones. Should you chuck it all and reach for the baby oil? Not yet …
  • Know Your Honey … Whatever the verdict on honey and allergies, there are still plenty of ways honey can be beneficial (beyond tasting good in your tea). But not all honey is created equally!
  • I Was Orthorexic, and I Didn’t Even Know It … On my progression from the High Americana diet of my youth, to disordered eating habits, to eating for health, to focusing too much on eating for health, to … normality? Well, most days!