EDiting Myths

We as a society have a long way to go in separating truth from myth when it comes to eating disorders. It makes sense so many people are confused about who gets eating disorders and what an eating disorder actually is (for starters, it’s a brain disorder, not a vanity issue.) After all, we’ve all been surrounded by the same movies, magazines, and media representations. In EDiting Myths, we’ll tease out the fiction and share the facts around eating disorders.

Michelle Konstantinovsky

Who Really Gets Eating Disorders?

When it comes to the public understanding of eating disorders, the truth is often obscured by assumptions, stereotypes, and flat-out myths. One of the most insidious is that eating disorders only affect thin, young, white women. While that persona may be in line with the media representation we’ve seen — particularly anorexia — over the decades, the truth is that eating disorders affect people from all walks of life. Eating disorders simply don’t discriminate based on age, body type, gender, sexual orientation, race, socioeconomic status, or any other characteristic. Anyone can have an eating disorder — and some experts in the research field have dedicated their careers to uncovering the truth behind the enduring myths.

Michelle Konstantinovsky

Why We Need to Stop Thinking All People with Eating Disorders are Underweight

When plus-size supermodel Tess Holliday recently revealed that she is in recovery from anorexia, she was met with a barrage of misinformed responses.

Transgender People May Be Significantly More Likely to Have Eating Disorders. Here's Why.

As a society, we’re slowly waking up to the fact that eating disorders don’t discriminate — and that certain populations may be particularly prone to developing them. We know that members of the LGBTQIA+ community are more likely to develop eating disorders than their heterosexual counterparts and face a slew of unique challenges in diagnosis and treatment. But even as we begin to recognize the reality of who gets eating disorders and why, myths still abound — and many of them stem from stereotypes about gender. Eating disorders don’t just affect those who were assigned female at birth nor do they just affect those assigned male at birth. While there are inconsistencies in the literature and a need for a larger body of research, transgender individuals are very much at risk for diseases like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and more — and they may be much more at risk than most people realize, with one commonly cited paper reporting that trans people are four times more likely to experience these illnesses than their cisgender counterparts.

Michelle Konstantinovsky

What Really IS Self-Care?

Since 2011, July 24 has been known as International Self-Care Day, a 24-hour period that’s meant to encourage all of us to make room for activities and practices that enhance our well-being or happiness. But for many people, the term “self-care” has connotations that may not resonate with their own desires to feel healthy or fulfilled. If you search the #selfcare hashtag on Instagram, you’ll find hundreds of thousands of influencers promoting high-end skin serums or even companies rooted in diet culture co-opting the phrase to sell products.

Michelle Konstantinovsky

Back-to-School Weight Commentary: How to Support Your Kids

The return to school is never exactly seamless for kids. But this year, the return to in-person schooling is poised to be emotionally taxing in unprecedented ways. For students who’ve gone through puberty or experienced weight changes for various reasons over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impending unsolicited commentary will leave them especially vulnerable.

Michelle Konstantinovsky

Why Do Latinx Folks Fall Through The Cracks of Eating Disorder Care?

Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Equip Medical Assistant, Genesis Taveras says eating disorders were rarely — if ever — discussed. So when one of her friends developed anorexia, she and her peers were left in the dark about the diagnosis.

Michelle Konstantinovsky

How Eating Disorders Show Up (But Often Aren't Seen) in AAPI Communities

Growing up, Equip Peer Mentor, Grace Sung Un Kim, saw her family face an abundance of obstacles. One point of attempted comfort, however, came in the form of food. “As the daughter of non-English speaking, Korean immigrants who physiologically experienced famine post-Korean War and then poverty immigrating to the United States, food has always been a love language that eclipsed cultural and linguistic barriers,” she says. “The plates full of triangular cubes of chamoe 참외 (Korean melon) are tantamount to a million ‘I love yous’ never verbally expressed.”

Michelle Konstantinovsky

The Complex, Insidious Ways Eating Disorders Impact Black Communities

When I first spoke to Stephanie Covington Armstrong almost a decade ago for a story about eating disorders in the BIPOC community, she told me, “I thought I was the only Black person who didn’t know how to eat.”