“In 1995, TV was first introduced to Fiji showing many imported US shows.
In 1998, only 3 years later, 11.9% of the teenage girls were hanging over
the toilet bowl with bulimia, a previously unknown behaviour”.
– Susie Orbach, “Fat is a Feminist Issue”
I haven’t forgotten this shocking fact since I first read it many, many years ago.
Until teenage girls in Fiji started to compare their bodies with women on American television, the eating disorder bulimia nervosa didn’t exist in their country. As the unfavourable comparisons began, so did the mental health condition.
We live in a world where we’re invited to compare ourselves to others almost constantly.