I just got back from the store, where a the cover of a popular magazine caught my eye. The headline proclaimed: Stephanie Pratt: "The Hills Made Me Bulimic".
Now....I don't know who Stephanie Pratt is, and I've never seen "The Hills". (My daughter may have heard of her). However, the fallacy of her claim is all too revealing of society's attitude towards eating disorders.
Myth # 1: Society is responsible. This is unbiblical, to put it mildly. Eating disorders are, at the end of the day, worship disorders. A bulimic or anorexic has set up an idol in her heart, which needs to be torn down in Christ's power. We are called to live in this world but not be of it - consequently, what's most important to us will reveal where our treasure is. Whether you live in Beverly Hills or Indonesia, God calls you to value what He values and define beauty biblically.
Myth # 2: Someone can be "driven" to an eating disorder. Convenient cop-out, but it falls apart under scrutiny. Most certainly, images in the media and expectations placed on us by others serve as external factors which influence us (the younger a girl is, the more susceptible she is), but ultimately we each answer for our own decisions and sinful choices (Ezekiel 18:20). A mother's scathing criticism of a chubby youngster may wound deeply, well into adulthood. Emotional abuse leaves the deepest scars of all, and we may turn to self-destructive behavior out of anger, fear of man, vanity or bitterness. But correlation does not equal causation.
Myth # 3: A person can be "made" to be anorexic or bulimic. This myth is similar to #2, and is the result of blame-shifting and the "victim" culture in which we live. There is not a single example in the Bible of a person forcing another to sin. We are all born both with a sin nature and a free will. By nature, people love darkness rather than light (John 3:19) and apart from Christ are incapable of overcoming that tendency to please the flesh.
I hope that Miss Pratt re-learns healthy eating habits, but more importantly, I hope that she will turn to Christ to restore her spiritually.
Side-note: The lower insert photo claims to be a 5'7" Stephanie down to 100 lbs. Impossible. A woman who stands 5'7" would not have breasts at 100 lbs. and her ribs, clavicle and sternum would be much more prominent. I know what 5'5" and 100 lbs. looks like, and it's a lot worse than that. Why do these magazines see the need to exaggerate? Knowingly or not, they are glorifying and sensationalizing eating disorders - making them seem "Hollywood chic". This is not an accurate picture of what bondage looks like.