Thursday, May 18

Nervous Conditions

A friend sent this to me yesterday. Apart from the fact that this woman is sickly, the juxtaposition of her skeletal frame against those of the large black ladies is thought-provoking.

A book by Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions, is one of the few to discuss - amongst a myriad of interweaving themes - the affects of anorexia on African women.

At one point, one of the lead characters is taken to hospital for her illness. The doctor sends her away with the comment that "black people don't suffer from this white disease".

A while back The Guardian ran a fantastic article on this problem - anorexia and its growing prevalence amongst African women. I wasn't able to find it, but a search on their database brought up over 500 articles mentioning anorexia, with over 30 posted for this year alone.

I found this article instead. Some parts of it read like a 19th century book on 'the negroes':

'Dr. Brooks said experts traditionally had thought that "anorexia and bulimia didn't happen to black, Asian or Hispanic women, that they were somehow immune."

could write more about this, but i'm tired and i'm meeting bordello for coffee. so. good bye.


psigioot said...

Remember all the skinny 4 and 5 year old kids in kindergarten who wouldn't eat their school lunches because their mothers told them they were fat? They started doing research on "anorexia by proxy", where the children of mothers with anorexia are at risk, or display eating disorders. But this would be denied in the Chinese face-saving culture.

dorothy said...

shocking. i think a common misconception is that anorexia is simply media related.