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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cheekbones and anorexia

People put fat on their bodies in different places. Women tend to put it on their hips ad thighs, men on their stomachs. But there is variation within the sexes as well.

Some people have more fat in their faces, and even when they lose weight, the facial fat remains. One correlation I've noticed: anorexic girls tend to be -- not always, but enough so that I've noticed the correlation -- the ones whose facial fat is the last to disappear. I've seen a number of girls with eating issues who seem to still have full cheeks, simply because they have naturally rounder faces.

What I think happens is that they keep looking in the mirror hoping to see that with weight loss, they will have acquired the prominent cheekbones -- and more concave cheeks -- of a model. But they don't, so they just keep wasting away.

This certainly doesn't explain all cases of anorexia, but I've seen it too many times to think it coincidence. Certain faces seem to have almost "hard" cheeks, where the cheeks just stay no matter what. If Michael J. Pollard, the actor from Bonnie and Clyde, had been female, he might have been more at risk for anorexia for that reason:

I know, anorexia is a mental disease connected with body dysmorphia, and the way anorexic girls perceive themselves has nothing to do with reality, and encompasses all sort of other psychological issues having to do with control, etc. I also know how misguided this is going to sound, and how some will object to what I'm about to say. But I sometimes think, if these girls would only have cheekbone implants and liposuction on their cheeks, it might actually prevent some of them from becoming anorexic.

(Okay, just to forestall criticism, I'm not seriously suggesting those procedures. But I still suspect they might work, for some.)


Bob Wallace said...

I only known one woman well who was anorexic. The enamel on her teeth was gone from vomiting, the veins were showing through on her arms from being so skinny, and she was stuffed to the gills on lithium. In her case, though, she had a bony face. It was not a pretty picture at all.

John Craig said...

Bob --
I've known several, and I couldn't agree more. I should have indicated that the cheekbone thing isn't true all the time, but enough so that I noticed it.

Interesting factoid: anorexia is almost exclusively a disease of white girls; Asians and blacks almost never get it.

bluffcreek1967 said...

standard its ngsremratubse knownJohn, you mentioned that "anorexia is almost exclusively a disease of white girls; Asians and blacks almost never get it."

i agree with this and, while I don't have any scientific facts to back it up, I think it's probably due to the rampant narcissism, the over concern that so many white girls have concerning their physical image, and the constant worry what other people may think of them.

I don't see Asian girls generally being this way. Their culture, in some ways, is not as fractured and confused as modern white culture is.

Black girls with their inflated egos are likely to be content being on the heavier side because black men generally prefer bigger women.

I could be wrong, but I've thought about this question in the past and this seems to make sense from what I can tell.

Anonymous said...

The facial-fat factor works in the opposite direction, too: So long her face isn't bloated, she will continue to pack on the fat below the neck. It's ok to add it below the neck, above the solar plexus, and on the front side; but cruel bitch that nature is, it usually lands on the gut, butt and thighs. And in Hillary Clinton's case, the cankles.

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
I'm actually just repeating what I read elsewhere on this, it had never occurred to me before, but once I read it (a couple years ago), it was an aha moment, because I'd never seen a single Asian or black with the disease (and I've seen at least 30 or 40 white women with it).

I disagree with you slightly on one score: the white girls I've known who've had it have generally not been narcissistic personalities, they've been well brought up nice girls who were generally anxious to please. That fits in partly with what you say, the part about worrying what others think of them, but it's my experience that narcissistic personalities tend to be more like the black women you describe, content with themselves whether or not they should be.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Ha! I've noticed that too.

Anonymous said...

John-another excellent perspective on this unfortunate mental disorder. 2 points are noteworthy and very interesting. One is that yes, if they could only see a bony and gaunt face in the mirror equal to the rest of the body, these people might see things more clearly. Second, it's also interesting that I too have never actually seen other then a caucasian woman with this. Paradoxically, however, is the factoid that in certain Asian countries such as Japan and Korea, young girls are obsessed with plastic surgery-mainly, breast implants, followed by various facial crap like lip jobs, etc. I even heard of girls having their legs broken to add more height at the extreme. I will admit, however, that if I thought I'd look any better I might have a nip or tuck except I'd rather age more gracefully. I find nothing worse than someone who looks like they're trying too hard to look younger-it makes them actually look worse. Brian

John Craig said...

Brian --
Thank you, and agreed on all counts. I'd heard plastic surgery was more common in Asia these days, but hadn't been aware that it was that endemic. With some of them, it seems to work well. Remember the case of the husband who sued his wife for their ugly children? He hadn't realized that she'd had plastic sugary, so was surprised when his kids came out looking like her pre-plastic surgery self.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've actually known people who've had big noses, got just that fixed (or another specific part) and they looked amazingly better. But that's pretty funny anyway-sue for ugly. I've always believed in the "less is more" dynamic which I think applies especially with plastic surgery. A couple of recent examples went bad (in my opinion) are Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Jennings, and John Kerry all of whom appear as corpses and weird. The women just look puffed up and unnatural plus their face doesn't match their aged body. But, then, the hope for youth springs eternal! Merry Christmas, Brian

John Craig said...

Brian --
Michael Jackson is actually the poster boy for a little plastic surgery. He actually looked great after one or two operations, but didn't; know when to stop, and turned himself into a monster. There was an article in the NY Post recently saying that Bruce Jenner actually wants to have his adam's apple shaved, which is truly weird. (Of course, there's also a rumor floating around that he's thinking about having an entire sex change.) On that note, Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Currently on an eating disorder inpatient unit. Ethnicity is a variety- black, mixed, Asian and white. Of every religion also of a variety of class and there are a couple of males too.

The reality is not the stereotype of white girl wanting to be thin. And interestingly enough, for no one here did the eating disorder develop due to wanting to be thin or because of models and magazines and we all get extremely frustrated at that stereotype and hence why giving people cheek lyposuction would not reduce the incidence of anorexia and I think it would be helpful for you to do a bit more research as to the causes as there isn't just one fixed reason.

And on inpatient quite a few people have cheekbones and such. Everyone loses weight in different places and having a round face is certainly no risk factor for anorexia.

John Craig said...

Anon --
You've had more experience, and more firsthand experience than I have. So I stand corrected. But I've had some firsthand experience with anorexics, and with the vast majority of the girls I've known who've gotten it, the last place they lost fat was on their cheeks. And I've never known a nonwhite to get it. (Most of the literature supports that last point as well.)

Anyway, thanks for your input.

Anonymous said...

Asian women naturally high high cheekbones. I myself am Asian/White mixed and have anorexia and very visible cheekbones.

John Craig said...

My fellow Eurasian --
Hope you get over your anorexia.

Anonymous said...

I am mixed black and Asian and have diagnosed anorexia. You guys are out of your minds. PS, nice racism there on black women being content with ourselves "whether or not they should"
. Bigots.

Blanca said...

I fully agree on this idea!!!!