An Open Letter to the Sparkitors: Eponine Is Not AnorexicSparkler Post
Dear Sparkitors and Sploggers, Particularly Josh and Emma:
You recently posted this article as a negative review to the movie, Les Miserables. Many Sparklers disagreed with the points made in the article. Everyone is entitled to his opinion; however, I am very disturbed by Josh's use of the word "anorexic":
"Josh: I think what we learned from Eponine is that in order to get the man you must be anorexic and take a musket blow to the chest"
Eponine is a starving street girl who doesn't have a permanent residence, clothes that aren't torn, or even shoes. Needless to say, coming by enough food to eat is challenging, near impossible. In the novel, Victor Hugo makes a point to describe how poverty has turned what could have been a healthy, curvy teenager into skin and bones.
Samantha Barks, the actress who plays Eponine, is naturally skinny. But she is also wearing what Eddie Redmayne described in this interview as "the most hard-core corset...sort of a gravity-defying thing in which her waist was about this small." Any dieting done for the film was done safely and with proper nutrition, not through self-starvation.
Anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders (such as bulimia nervosa and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) have the highest mortality rates of all mental disorders. And that's just what they are. Disorders. Anorexia is not a choice, and certainly not caused by something as simple as unrequited love for a boy. Eating disorders are complicated and very hard on the people suffering from them. To suggest otherwise is a very shallow way to look at it.
Finally, "anorexic" should never, ever be used a synonym for "thin."
I apologize if this sounds harsh, but as someone trying to recover from an eating disorder, and for everyone coping with eating disorders, I felt it necessary to put my thoughts out there.
P.S. I would appreciate it if fellow Sparklers who agree with this post could upvote it so it appears on the official SparkLife blog as soon as possible, so it can reach a wider audience. Thank you.
If you are coping with an eating disorder or know someone who is, please consider getting help. The National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders and the Something Fishy Website on Eating Disorders are good places to start.
Photo credit: http://www.flicksandbits.com/2012/12/16/samantha-barks-interview-for-les-miserables/35611/
Originally published on January 7, 2013.