I chose to watch True Life: “I have orthorexia.” Which is is a eating disorder which people try to eat excessively healthy. They are afraid of eating unhealthy and consuming junk food. There were three different story lines. The first was, Spring, she is an actress and model, she spends a large amounts of money to maintain her diet. For a couple of years, all she has ate was raw food. When she consumes anything cooked she forces herself to vomit. The second one, Lauren, she only eats 15 different foods. If offered something else she will not eat it. She has a daily eating schedule, this is because she used to have anorexia. So she would not die, instead to started to eat healthy, but it has became excessive. Finally, Andrew, who became vegan because of a biology class he took. He started to eat healthily because he discovered the chemicals in processed food. He believes this causes people to have cancer, become obese and then acquire diabetes.
The type of narrative is a quest for all of them. They are experiencing that they have a illness. All of them have in common that they are willing to get better. This disorder causes turmoil in their everyday lives and they want to make a change. Our culture, is very fond of what they view as “beautiful”. For example, if a woman is skinny and fit they assume that she eats healthily and exercises often. So, they idolize those images and want to be like them. The stigma is that this illness is a psychology disorder that causes people to be obsessed with eating healthy.
They all sought out help to change from medical professionals. They vowed to make a difference in their eating habits and deal with their psychological problems of having orthorexia. Although, they have decided to make a chance Spring and Lauren used the sick role as advantage when they have to go to social events to stray away from being with family and friends. They didn’t want people to question what the we’re doing and why they were eating a certain way. This week lecture explains that it’s important that the story teller has a person listening because they both benefit, i.e. family, feinds, signficant other. Illness narratives can be helpful to patients, families and health care professionals because this allows them to relate to their perspectives by doing this they are able to sympathize with them.
1. Department of Anthropology. “Medical Anthropology Illness Narraives.” Michigan State University. PowerPoint. Viewed July 23, 2014.
2. True Life. “I Have Orthorexia.” MTV. Posted April 19, 2012. Viewed July 23, 2014. .