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'I Wish I Had Your Body' + Other Things You Shouldn't Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder

'I totally understand. Once I tried to starve myself for a day.'
PHOTO: Christina Tarantola

1. "I wish I had your body." 

While this might seem like a compliment, it's a good rule of thumb not to make a judgment—even a "positive" one—about someone with an eating disorder's body.

2. "You must love being so skinny." 

 Chances are, someone who struggles with an eating disorder does not love many things when it comes to their body. Also, it's super important to note that people don't only develop eating disorders because they want to lose weight; it's a complex psychological disorder.

3. "You're too skinny!" 

 Criticizing their body is a big no-no. Like really?


4. "You should eat." 

Anyone with an eating disorder likely has lots of anxiety when it comes to eating. Telling an anorexic person to eat won't make them eat. It will make them feel bad about themselves, and ironically, even more anxious about eating.

5. "I wish I had more of your self-control." 

Starving yourself or bingeing and purging has little to do with willpower. It's a disease. Don't wish an eating disorder upon yourself. Also, why encourage dangerous behavior?

6. "I totally understand. Once I tried to starve myself for a day." 

This is like telling a depressed person that you cried once a month ago.

7. "Doesn't [mutual friend, celebrity, etc.] look so fat?" 

 You shouldn't do this for a host of reasons that have nothing to do with eating disorders. Often times, someone with an eating disorder will immediately compare themselves to said celebrity, which can be triggering.


8. "Why are you anorexic/bulimic/etc.?" 

Nobody owes you their story, but moreover there's not a concrete reason. Eating disorders are complex AF!

9. "People always think I'm anorexic." 

It sucks when people use "anorexic" to mean "thin" but good for you??

10. "Everyone has an eating disorder these days!" 

Yep, a lot of people struggle with them. But when you say that, it sounds like you're belittling an individual's struggle. 

11. "You'll grow out of it." 

While anorexia and bulimia are often associated with adolescence, people of all ages—and, while we're at it, genders—can suffer from eating disorders.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.