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  • Writer's pictureJolie Bilodeau

Soumeya, 17 y.o.

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

Backstory: I illustrated these drawings mostly because I enjoy drawing; I view it as a form of poetry. These drawings illustrate my personal struggles with eating disorders as well as the way I can assume others feel or have experienced these struggles. The drawings show the mental toll of ED thoughts as well as the thoughts that tend to go on in someone's head who struggles with these kinds of issues. Of course, for every person, it varies, but these are drawn from my personal experience.

 

This drawing depicts a young girl running in 4 different stages of what she thought was just a simple weight loss journey. It begins with her running at a heavier weight with a neutral facial expression. Then, we see her being pulled by her future self, who is thinner. Her clothes are baggier, and she is now crying, showing her discontent during what she thought was a simple weight-loss journey. We see her pointing ahead, to her future self. She is pointing not only to a place of light but also to a group of people that are laughing and making fun of her. This implies that her original reason for wanting to lose weight was to avoid the judgment she felt she was receiving from others. Then we see a third version of the girl, who is now paler, and the flowers on her shirt are also now dead. She is bending over in exhaustion from trying to conform to a society that she can’t seem to fit into. Lastly, we see the final version of herself being hung in the background. Her wrists are being tied by a measuring tape, showing her constant need to be a certain size. Despite all her efforts, she still feels like a failure. There are several dehumanizing aspects to this final version of herself, such as her running shoes being hung from her arm as if she were a pole. Her pants are hanging around her ankles because she has become so thin, so that they can no longer stay around her waist. Although it can be assumed that she is dead and that society and the people around her have driven her to the ground, it is ultimately her own mind that has brought her to this dark place. Her body is surrounded by dark colors, showing the terrifying toll that is taken on the body and the mental state as a result of an eating disorder. The drawing shows the effect of people's small comments. People often don't realize how hunted someone might become by these remarks, ultimately ending up in a dark place. The girl in the picture began with a simple goal but ended with an unimaginable and unattainable one, forever running towards the "perfect version of herself" that doesn't exist.

 

This is a slightly frightening image. It depicts a young girl at the dinner table. She has her arms on the table with a fork and spoon, showing her readiness to eat. However, there is no food on her plate. This draws attention to the measuring tape that is around her neck and is choking her. There are hands on either side of the measuring tape, pulling outwards, which shows her need to be thin to please others. Although she is ready and wants to eat, she cannot because, in her head, society is holding her back from it. She is both crying and smiling, which shows the face she puts on for others vs. how she actually feels. Her hair is thin and is falling out due to the lack of nutrition she receives. Also, her bones are visible, which is a more stereotypical version of what people think of when they hear about struggles with anorexia.

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