The Rise of Made-up Illnesses
'Manorexia', 'Boylimia' and 'Fatorexia' – all terms that have been used in magazines (Company) and television (This Morning) in the last couple of weeks, yet more additions to the fascination the media have with anything surrounding 'rexia' with a bit of a play on words thrown in – for fun? It makes me squirm and rip out the eyes of whoever coins these ridiculous terms, not only due to the fact that they belittle Anorexia and Bulimia, but also because they obviously have not done an ounce of research, otherwise they would find that there are some rather ironic grammatical errors.
Once the initial anger had passed, I was able to think more clearly about each term and what, taking into account the origins of the name 'Anorexia', was the real meaning of each of these made-up illnesses.
Firstly, the term Anorexia was established in 1873 and is of Greek origin: a (α, prefix of negation), n (ν, link between two vowels) and orexis (ορεξις, appetite). The word bulimia derives from the Latin (būlīmia), which originally comes from the Greek βουλιμία (boulīmia; ravenous hunger), a compound of βους (bous), ox + λιμός (līmos), hunger. Therefore, with the understanding that 'orexia' refers to the appetite, rather than the lack of, and 'limia' to hunger, here is what the made-up terms actually translate to:
Manorexia = Man + appetite = Male appetite or an appetite to be male = NOT Anorexia
Boylimia = Boy + hunger = Hungry boy = NOT Bulimia
Tanorexia = Tan + appetite = A hungry orange person or someone who is hungry to resemble Dale Winton = Plain stupid
Fatorexia = Fat + appetite = Fat person with an appetite = Obese person = NOT Anorexia (Sara Murphy appeared on ITV's 'This Morning' after writing a book about her experience with 'Fatorexia' – thinking you are thin if you are actually fat). www.itv.com/lifestyle/thismorning/healthandwellbeing/fatorexia/
I managed to feel rather smug after going through this thinking process and imagining it all as a big V's up to all those who were behind these terms. Rather than letting ourselves get outraged by the audacity of these people and thinking "How dare they differentiate between men and women who suffer from Anorexia, a disease that kills 1 in 10 of it's sufferers – how dare they? They never would do the same to other illnesses – Ladycancer, Manboobcancer, Overdidthesunbedcancer."anorexia, boylimia, everythingorexia, fatorexia, manorexia, tanorexia
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