Sunday, June 03, 2012

June challenge 2: invisible

My dog Benji likes to hide, especially in the mornings when he would rather be asleep than awake. (Just for light relief, here's a video of me trying to get him out from hiding one morning!


These photos made me think about the desire not to be seen: to be invisible.

In the first picture below, it does take a minute to find him. 

But the final photo shows the same situation from a different angle:

With his bum sticking out, it's clear that Benji isn't nearly as invisible as he hopes. I think that this situation can be a metaphor for invisibility and anorexia. 
Over a decade ago, I was talking to a dietitian about my clothes. I was wearing 'a size nought' in GAP trousers (this was before the phrase 'size zero' had entered the vernacular). She pointed out that, in wanting to stay as size nought, I was essentially saying that I wanted to be nothing : I wanted not to exist. There's a certain truth to her logic: the act of starving oneself and of trying to decrease one's size is a rejection of corporeal being. 
However, as life has shown me several times, anorexia fails to make one invisible. You end up as the noticeable figure that people whisper about or even point at; I can remember going to a coffee shop with a friend who was also unwell and when we sat down, the people on the next table looked at us, picked up their things and moved elsewhere. We were the opposite of invisible. Our visibility and strangeness made it impossible for other people to ignore us.
And maybe that's the other strand to the dietitian's truth: we are rejecting corporeal being and trying to become nothing. But we are doing so in a way that articulates distress all over our bodies: an invisibility that attracts attention, attracts notice and cries out for the pain to end.


Jenn said...

it's funny how that works. that we use the anorexia to hide and become invisible and in actuallity it is doing the opposite thing and making us more noticeable in a way. so insightful you are ; )

ps- benji is sooooo cute!

LindyB said...

He is cute, isn't he?
thanks for your words, as always x