The life of someone with an eating disorder.


This week the Havering Daily is running a series of articles on how society expects women to look. Many women suffer mental health problems as a result of the pressure put on them by the media on how the ‘perfect’ woman should look.

Today Lauren Barrett from Harold Hill shares her experiences with us. Lauren suffered from anorexia as a result of being bullied from Year 6. She was told repeatedly that she was fat and when she was 15 years old she weighed between 4-5 stone. She would eat one grape to get her through hunger pains and that solitary grape was all she ate for three to four days.

She wore baggy clothes to conceal her body from her mother and preferred to look ill than what she believed was a bigger size.

Now Lauren writes in the Havering Daily to share her experiences and to let women know that beauty comes in all sizes and that there is no perfect woman.

Lauren writes:

Many women and young girls have probably had some sort of eating disorder. Whether it’s bulimia or anorexia. Even binge eating is an eating disorder. There are many things that can cause these. But the main problem today is society’s version of ‘perfect’.

What is perfection? Can you point it out? Because I can’t. No one is perfect. What you see in celebrities and magazines, it’s not real. It’s photo shopped and plastic surgery. I remember being an impressionable teenager. Looking at these gorgeous models and wondering why I didn’t look like that. Thinking there was something wrong with me. That’s where my eating disorder started.

Lauren has suffered from anorexia for many years

Bullying is another factor of why women get eating disorders because society thinks women/young girls should look a certain way, we get bullied for not being what we are expected to be. For example, Kim kardashian got absolutely slammed because a paparazzi managed to snap a picture of her and noticed she had cellulite. (Hate to break it to you fellas but both men and women get cellulite). The public who once loved her turned against her saying she was fake for not showing this sooner. But for me that’s just proof that all celebs are photoshopped to look a certain way.

Lauren feeling more confident about her body

Eating disorders are hard to overcome. I still struggle with it now 7 years later. What doesn’t help is clothes shops portraying sizes differently. For example a pair of size 12 jeans in Primark are actually a size 14. In Top Shop a size 12 is actually a size 8-10. And in Select a size 12 is a size 12.

On boohoo a size 12 is actually a size 14-16. The same on SHEIN. So we are made to feel worse when our Jean size doesn’t even fit us.

Please to all the young girls and women reading this. Do not compare yourself to these unrealistic expectations. There is no weight limit on beauty.

Lauren Barrett.

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