As I was waiting for my ride today coming home from the academic center at my university, I was looking at a cube-shaped cork board full of advertisements and notices. I walked around the back (the side no one can see) and I noticed this sign, drawing attention to eating disorder statistics among males. Having many male friends with eating disorders, I subconsciously decided that this was more important than any awards show going on in April.
I removed the thumb-tack from the top of the poster and I held the sheet out to read it for just a moment. At that second, a woman with a slight Jamaican accent walked into the building and addressed me. Our conversation went a bit like this:
"Are you taking our signs down?"
"No, no, ma’am, I’m putting this one back up. I moved it."
"What’s that one about, then?"
"Oh, it’s statistics about males with eating disorders. It was in the back."
"Boys with eating disorders? You mean boys don’t eat?"
At this point I was sort of appalled that she was so oblivious to the fact that boys suffer, too.
"Yeah," I said. "Some boys eat too much, others don’t eat nearly enough."
"Yes. I felt that this poster shouldn’t be hidden in the back of the others. This is something that needs drawn attention to. People don’t normally associate eating disorders or self-injury with males, but it’s there and it’s happening, and more people need to see this. I want others to be aware."
She looked at me for a moment, smiled, and simply said, “Thank you.” I glanced up just in time to see the security guard standing near me smiling at me, too. He placed his hands behind his back, smiled, and just nodded.
Boys suffer, too. Eating disorders are a real epidemic, and they affect, both, girls and boys. Stay strong guys, because there are people looking out for you, too. ♡