There is something remarkable about talking to thirteen year-olds about eating disorders. They’re old enough to understand the complexities of a very uncomfortable subject, yet young enough that they aren’t yet fully engulfed by society’s obsession with weight loss and diet culture.
Shame is a pervasive side effect of weight loss and diet culture. Shame often manifests as defensiveness or silence. There isn’t a lot of defensiveness or silence when I talk to middle schoolers about eating disorders. They often blow me away with their insightful and thought-provoking questions.