University of California - Berkeley
The Fight to Acceptance
Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
Raised as a figure skater, and indoctrinated into believing that thinner thighs produced higher jumps and faster rotations, I started my first diet as a ten-year-old. Meals were replaced with protein shakes, and childlike innocence devolved into unhealthy infatuation with body image. Even now, I’m surrounded by people obsessed with numbers: numbers on the scale, numbers around their waist, numbers of calories consumed in a day.
There’s a pervasive expanse of eating-disorder-related issues that circumvents acknowledgement in the skating world. The matter spans from rink to rink, but remains hushed as an ineffable secret. Influence from its culture prompted me to research how to lose weight myself, and eventually directed me to the site, myproana.com.
Myproana taught me the minimum amount of calories my organs required, fad diets with promising results, and methods of hiding malnutrition-induced alopecia from others. Though this information lost value as I grew older and accepting of my body, I stayed on the website, fascinated by the psychology of its constituents.
I rejoiced as I watched long-time members take steps towards recovery and shared concern as others continually dropped lower in weight. I was shocked at how cruel and...
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