Rad Reading: "Healing the Disconnect and Starting a Revolution: Eating Disorders and Disability"

Background image via wikimedia commons.

Background image via wikimedia commons.

by Abaki Beck

Text: Healing the Disconnect and Starting a Revolution: Eating Disorders and Disability

Author: Christie Ladner and Erica A. Dixon

Quote to Highlight: “Making the active choice to take care of myself...It’s saying f*** you to a society that thinks that Black and Brown bodies are disposable. To a society that thinks women should live in fear. To a society that treats bodies that are not the “norm” as oddities in a circus side show.”

Quick Summary: In these two personal essays, Christie Ladner and Erica A. Dixon explore what it means to have an eating disorder and a disability - an intersection that is very rarely talked about. Ladner talks about how as a person with cerebral palsy - a person who has little control over her own body - disordered eating became a rebellion. It became a way to “punish” her body. Dixon similarly reflects on her experiences with an eating disorder, and her life as a black woman with skeletal dysplasia. After suffering from sexual violence at a young age as well as a corrective surgery, she ate less and less, as a way to make herself smaller and “not hurt anyone.” Because of the lack of attention black women with eating disorders are given, it did not register to her that she could have one. Both of these essays are important additions to discussions of body image, disability justice, and eating disorders. Intersectionality and giving voice to those underrepresented in social justice movements is crucial for collective healing and justice.

File It Under: Disability, body positivity, eating disorders, body image, intersectionality, Black feminisms

Type of text: Personal essays

Read it HERE

POC Online Classroom celebrates the intellectual tradition and knowledge production of marginalized communities. Rad Reading is a series that highlights texts to read, writers to support, and ideas to discuss. We post every Tuesday!