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Black Women on Eating Disorders, Body Image & Thinness

A common misconception about people with an eating disorder is that black people don't have eating disorders. With anorexia nervosa in particular, we tend to think that only over sensitive middle-class white girls fall prey to this illness.

- Jada*, aged 27

Only white girls get eating disorders. You would be forgiven for believing this. This is what we grew up hearing and grew up believing. That is what TV has shown us and even well meaning mental health campaigns have reinforced. We believe this falsehood until a friend or a loved opens up to us. We are confused because they don’t look like how they should. They are not the right race or the right gender. They are not middle-class, or they do not go to a private school. They are not even ‘that thin’.