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From the New York Times:

I Was the Fastest Girl in America, Until I Joined Nike

Mary Cain’s male coaches were convinced she had to get “thinner, and thinner, and thinner.” Then her body started breaking down.

Mary Cain became, in 2013, the youngest American track and field athlete to make a World Championships team.

Nov. 7, 2019

At 17, Mary Cain was already a record-breaking phenom: the fastest girl in a generation, and the youngest American track and field athlete to make a World Championships team. In 2013, she was signed by the best track team in the world, Nike’s Oregon Project, run by its star coach Alberto Salazar.

My impression is that Salazar has been suspected of being a PEDs-pushing coach since Mary Decker, under his tutelage, got into doping trouble in 1996-1999.

Then everything collapsed. Her fall was just as spectacular as her rise, and she shares that story for the first time in the Video Op-Ed above.

Instead of becoming a symbol of girls’ unlimited potential in sports,

Maybe girls don’t have unlimited potential in sports?

Cain became yet another standout young athlete who got beaten down by a win-at-all-costs culture. Girls like Cain become damaged goods and fade away. We rarely hear what happened to them. We move on. …

The problem is so common it affected the only other female athlete featured in the last Nike video ad Cain appeared in, the figure skater Gracie Gold. When the ad came out in 2014, Gold, like Cain, was a prodigy considered talented enough to win a gold medal at the next Olympics. And, like Cain, Gold got caught in a system where she was compelled to become thinner and thinner. Gold developed disordered eating to the point of imagining taking her life.

Nike has come under fire in recent months for doping charges involving Salazar. He is now banned from the sport for four years, and his elite Nike team has been dismantled. In October, Nike’s chief executive resigned. (In an email, Salazar denied many of Cain’s claims, and said he had supported her health and welfare. Nike did not respond to a request for comment.)

The culture that created Salazar remains.

Kara Goucher, an Olympic distance runner who trained with the same program under Salazar until 2011, said she experienced a similar environment, with teammates weighed in front of one another.

“When you’re training in a program like this, you’re constantly reminded how lucky you are to be there, how anyone would want to be there, and it’s this weird feeling of, ‘Well, then, I can’t leave it. Who am I without it?’” Goucher said. “When someone proposes something you don’t want to do, whether it’s weight loss or drugs, you wonder, ‘Is this what it takes? Maybe it is, and I don’t want to have regrets.’ Your careers are so short. You are desperate. You want to capitalize on your career, but you’re not sure at what cost.”

She said that after being cooked meager meals by an assistant coach, she often had to eat more in the privacy of her condo room, nervous he would hear her open the wrappers of the energy bars she had there.

A big part of this problem is that women and girls are being forced to meet athletic standards that are based on how men and boys develop. If you try to make a girl fit a boy’s development timeline, her body is at risk of breaking down. That is what happened to Cain.

After months of dieting and frustration, Cain found herself choosing between training with the best team in the world, or potentially developing osteoporosis or even infertility. She lost her period for three years and broke five bones. She went from being a once-in-a-generation Olympic hopeful to having suicidal thoughts.

It’s almost as if female fertility correlates with having some reserves of fat, of not being stretched to the physical limit.

“America loves a good child prodigy story, and business is ready and waiting to exploit that story, especially when it comes to girls,” said Lauren Fleshman, who ran for Nike until 2012. “When you have these kinds of good girls, girls who are good at following directions to the point of excelling, you’ll find a system that’s happy to take them. And it’s rife with abuse.”

Anorexia tends to be an upper crust mental illness. Mary Cain, for example, grew up in Bronxville in Westchester County, NY. Bronxville is by some measures the most expensive suburb in America.

As I wrote last year:

Anorexia in modern America is a mental illness found mostly in affluent, very competitive females who come from social environments where being fat is a symptom of deplorability. The girls tend to internalize their culture’s and their moms’ prejudice against weight to the point where they are in danger of starving to death.

They look in the mirror at their 85 pound selves and just see FATNESS.

 
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  1. Ectomorphs already have enough trouble with brittle bones. That one would go anorexic and accelerate the process is lamentable. Ah, bone density!

  2. I wonder what her parents had to say.

    At the 5k and 10k races I do, I’m one of the “fattest” guys, at 5’7″ 150lb.

  3. ivvenalis says:

    I knew multiple girls in high school and later in the military who seriously (but, except in maybe one case, not irreparably) damaged their health through compulsive exercise, always running. Apparently some women bodybuilders do as well, but I think that’s an entirely different issue.

    Multiple factors, probably. Obviously the striver personality and milieu, which includes more than a little bit of neuroticism. Another thing is that competing or even comparing with men in strength is completely out of the question, and female athletes are actually far more aware of this than their sedentary brethren. Extreme running in general is probably also just basically unhealthy; elite-level success depends on entering a “coffin corner” of the human body’s performance envelope where you’re having to ride a line between cutting as much weight as possible without shutting down any vital life functions. My personal acquaintances were nowhere near the level of the girl covered in the article, but they weren’t under professional supervision either.

    This problem doesn’t really affect that many women, but it’s concentrated in the upper middle class (e.g. all of the military women I knew who had these problems were officers), so it gets a disproportionate amount of attention.

    Popular understanding of female reproductive biology, of course, is likely at an all-time historical low.

  4. “After months of dieting and frustration, Cain found herself choosing between training with the best team in the world, or potentially developing osteoporosis or even infertility.”

    I don’t understand the “or” in this sentence. She has two choices: either (1) train with the best team in the world, or (2) potentially develop osteoporosis or even infertility.

    Choice (1) is good; choice (2) is obviously bad. Why would anyone ever choose (2)?

    • Replies: @ic1000
    , @Diversity Heretic
  5. And, like Cain, Gold got caught in a system where she was compelled to become thinner and thinner.

    Wow. “Caught in a system” and “compelled” to become thinner. I am not buying it.

    First, it’s not plausible that her coaches were using some kind of calorie restriction during long distance training. That is the exact opposite of what any coach or trainer would do — they want you to eat all the calories you feel like eating — although they might encourage you to eat a certain balance of foods.

    I assume the PEDs at issue and of the steroid variety. If so, despite the ominous tones, those would be tending to build up her strength not depleting her muscle mass. Again, the exact opposite of what’s implied.

    If she wasn’t eating enough it was clearly on her. Especially if it was hurting her athletic performance, she has no reason to blame it on the sport. She just needed to relax and eat a cheeseburger once in a while.

    The NYT (and leftists generally) can’t make up their minds. Are girls powerful and self-aware? Or are they naturally helpless victims of anything that can be described as a “system”?

    • Agree: Realist
  6. Anon[384] • Disclaimer says:

    In modern Western countries today “body weight” has a heritability of 0.8 today for adults, about the same as for height. For younger people it’s less.

    Robert Plomin uses BW as his main example in last year’s book “Blueprint,” in order to avoid using IQ and stepping into the race discussion.

    A heritability of 0.8 is extremely high. Most traits are 0.4 to 0.6, including IQ.

    I haven’t seen any heritability estimate for eating disorders. Mental disorders tend to be heritable in related groups, so, for instance, schizophrenia and major depression are passed down together, and which one expresses is chosen by some unknown factor.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  7. George Carlin’s harsh but apt description of the anorectic: “Some rich c*** won’t eat!”

    I read this book almost thirty years ago; one point that stuck is that “givers” are often overweight, while “takers” tend to be rail-thin:

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20419913-the-givers-and-the-takers

    It follows that anorectics just might be, well, a bit narcissistic. Evatt and Feld claimed everybody fell into one camp or the other. Adam Grant finds a more charitable middle ground:

    https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/givers-vs-takers-the-surprising-truth-about-who-gets-ahead/

    This is a simple, cutesy summary of Grant’s ideas:

    https://www.lemonade.com/blog/psychology-givers-takers-matchers-2/

    It places “otherish givers”, as opposed to “selfless givers”, at the right tail of success. At the other end, extreme takers might ignore others altogether and take from themselves.

    Would that help explain anorexia?

    • Disagree: houston 1992
  8. jon says:

    My impression is that Salazar has been suspected of being a PEDs-pushing coach since Mary Decker, under his tutelage, got into doping trouble in 1996-1999.

    They are all PEDs-pushing coaches. Related, the steroid-era in baseball never actually ended.

  9. Kronos says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    The NYT (and leftists generally) can’t make up their minds. Are girls powerful and self-aware? Or are they naturally helpless victims of anything that can be described as a “system”?

    That’s been an issue for the last 70 years. After just finishing Phyllis Schlafly’s “Feminist Fantasies” it’s amazing how old these culture war issues really are. The “Woke” really are really in the traditional standard bearers of 1960s counterculture. Kinda sad to be supporting Grandma’s politics.

    • LOL: reactionry
  10. @Reg Cæsar

    I think that it was very mean spirited to quote Carlin.

    I think that low weight confers higher status, and highly conscientiousness women (who want higher status, naturally enough,) obsess about weight, and start to reduce calories.

  11. @Reg Cæsar

    I take everything that’s not nailed down, and I’m pretty chunky.

  12. I Was the Fastest Girl in America, Until I Joined Nike

    – just eat it

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  13. On a related note, there’s been a spate of recent stories about girls suffering concussions while playing soccer.

    For example, the Daily Mail headlined it thusly:

    Teen girls suffer as many concussions playing SOCCER as boys do playing football

    I’ve also read that even girls’ basketball has a surprisingly high incidence of concussions — far higher than for boys.

    And then there are all of those ACL tears, stress fractures, and other injuries that get swept under the rug by You-Go-Girl! parents, boosters, and coaches.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  14. @Hypnotoad666

    Raising Cain, Raising Arizona?

    Fortunately, with a generous caloric intake and a healthy heaping of androgenic steroids, a woman such as Cain might be abel to reverse amenorrhea associated with very low body fat, albeit with risks of excessive melanin deposition, hirsutism, anti-social behavior, incarceration and *dys*menorrhea:

  15. M_Young says:

    Salazar’s heart is in the right place. Read an interview with him once and he was explicit about wanting to nurture home-grown, born in America talent, rather than just import Kenyans or Somalis or Moroccans.

  16. M_Young says:

    Mary Cain is pretty darn Irish. She even has a sister named Mairead…which is kinda like if parents named one of their kids Michael and another Mitchell. Same name, different language.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Elli
  17. El Dato says:

    The culture that created Salazar remains.

    Salazar remains sound like something that could be found in my fridge.

  18. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Friend always thought soccer was a safe sport. (Our school didn’t add it as a sport until after we graduated.) He was surprised when a daughter’s teammate collided with another player, and seemed alright.
    The next day, the girl couldn’t remember her last name at school.

  19. Not to gay bash, but didn’t anorexia increase with homo fashion designers wanting their models to look like the first boy they made out with when they realized they gay? Really skinny, but, oh shit, I’m designing for women, so I need a chick with tits. So put a naturally well built female on a crash diet. For the opposite? In the 80s and 90s, Cindy Crawford looked like a fertility goddess; now she looks like someone older trying just a little too hard to look 20 again.

  20. @Redneck farmer

    They should probably ban heading the ball in girls soccer.

    • Replies: @Kronos
    , @Danindc
    , @Cortes
  21. @Redneck farmer

    Yes, I recall some of my peers being pretty excited about soccer as a sports option for their kids not least because they considered it a ‘safe’ option.

    Even for boys the constant heading seems likely to do some degree of harm. For girls, it seems like a disaster, although I think a fairly high percentage of concussions for girls are indeed the result of collisions, and some would also be caused by players falling badly and hitting their heads on the ground.

    The more you look through the options for girls’ sports, volleyball appears to be the best option. There’s a low risk of collisions and concussions; the movements the players make are more linear and predictable, so presumably fewer ACL tears; and players don’t need to be stick-thin like runners.

  22. It’s almost as if female fertility correlates with having some reserves of fat, of not being stretched to the physical limit.

    Biology … go figure.

  23. Rosie says:
    @ivvenalis

    This problem doesn’t really affect that many women, but it’s concentrated in the upper middle class (e.g. all of the military women I knew who had these problems were officers), so it gets a disproportionate amount of attention.

    I would beg to differ. We all see the pictures in the magazines that tell us what we’re supposed to look like, and it takes a toll.

  24. Charon says:
    @Rosie

    We all see the pictures in the magazines that tell us what we’re supposed to look like, and it takes a toll.

    Nearly every red-blooded male watches college and/or pro sports. The guys are not only in great shape, they get younger every year. What’s your point again?

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Old Prude
  25. El Dato says:

    Not skinny, but I don’t even develop enough testosterone to keep muscles much above mininerd level. How does she do it?

  26. @ivvenalis

    Popular understanding of female reproductive biology, of course, is likely at an all-time historical low.

    Nonsense. Everybody now knows that a bloke can decide he’s actually a very ugly lady with a wang, and from there to menstruation is a given.

    Since menstruation is a sign of fertility – shedding an unused egg – it stands to reason that it’s only a matter of tine until one of these ex-chappies gets “up the stick” (especially since they’re not averse to taking multiple loads up the cloaca).

  27. Running and Anorexia

    Even more disturbing to witness: Frolicking and bulimia.

  28. @Rosie

    We’re rooting for you, Rosie! starve starve starve, fast fast fast (but not too much)

    • Replies: @Danindc
  29. @The Last Real Calvinist

    “Even for boys the constant heading seems likely to do some degree of harm.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Astle

    “On 19 January 2002, Astle choked to death at his daughter’s home aged 59. The cause of death was a degenerative brain disease that had first become apparent as much as five years earlier. He had been described as an exceptional header of the ball, and the coroner found that the repeated minor traumas had been the cause of his death, as the leather footballs used in Astle’s playing days were considerably heavier than the plastic ones used later, especially when wet.

    This was not the first case of a footballer’s illness or death (particularly in the form of Alzheimer’s or dementia type symptoms) being connected to heading old-fashioned footballs, another example being the former Tottenham Hotspur captain Danny Blanchflower who died of Alzheimer’s disease in December 1993. A verdict of death by industrial injury was recorded.

    In 2014, the Justice for Jeff campaign was launched, calling for an independent inquiry into a possible link between degenerative brain disease and heading footballs. Subsequently, he was confirmed as the first British footballer known to have died as a result of heading a football. In the same year it was claimed by a neurosurgeon that Astle had died as a result of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease previously associated with boxers.”

    https://www.expressandstar.com/sport/football/2018/03/22/stop-youngsters-heading-the-ball—daughter-of-west-brom-legend-jeff-astle/

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  30. The person most responsible for Mary Cain’s success, and then her subsequent physical and mental health issues, is Mary Cain. She had an almost pathological desire to be the greatest possible athlete, and did major damage to herself in the process. The article goes on to blame just about anything else it can other than her.

    The funny thing is for every Mary Cain, there are likely 100 male versions of this type of situation concerning men, who never even make it as far (Nike running team!) but that certainly doesn’t fit the narrative.

    • Agree: MBlanc46
  31. LondonBob says:

    Pretty much every girl at my boarding school had an eating disorder of some sort.

    Great to see Salazar outed as doping cheat, been obvious for years.

  32. ic1000 says:
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    > After months of dieting and frustration, Cain found herself choosing between training with the best team in the world, or potentially developing osteoporosis or even infertility.

    Get me rewrite.

    After months of dieting and frustration, Cain realized that her choice to train with the best team in the world came with a high risk of developing osteoporosis or even infertility.

  33. LondonBob says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Played with an old football at my grandparents house when I was younger, they were like medicine balls. I think banning heading in youth football makes sense, but I think lightweight modern balls have already made a big difference.

  34. Rosie says:
    @Charon

    Nearly every red-blooded male watches college and/or pro sports. The guys are not only in great shape, they get younger every year. What’s your point again?

    Indeed, and young men have begun to starve themselves in order to conform to the all-pervasive media ideals. Still, young women suffer more because of female beauty is prized above almost everything else about her, a fact which is usually readily admitted around here.

    90% of those who suffer from an eating disorder are women.

    https://healthier.stanfordchildrens.org/en/stanford-researchers-expand-comparison-of-males-and-females-with-anorexia/

  35. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Agree, but volleyball can be pretty tough too.

  36. Arclight says:

    Interesting to see the NYT article had the balls to note that boys and girls develop differently – that’s a thoughtcrime these days.

    Anyway, I am sympathetic to young women who push themselves in sports that are much harder on their bodies than boys, like distance running, soccer, and basketball…although I have to question where the parents fit into all of this.

    There is certainly more pressure on women to be thin, but with things like Crossfit becoming more popular at least there is more of an athletic outlet for women to do things where strength, capacity and overall fitness are appreciated.

    • Replies: @Peterike
  37. @The Last Real Calvinist

    The Last Real Calvinist said:

    “The more you look through the options for girls’ sports, volleyball appears to be the best option. There’s a low risk of collisions and concussions; the movements the players make are more linear and predictable, so presumably fewer ACL tears; and players don’t need to be stick-thin like runners.”

    As a long-time volleydad myself, I agree completely.

    Also, the girls on the (expensive) travel teams are overwhelmingly confident, poised, smarter-than-average, physically fit, and taller-than-average. Just the kind of girls with whom most parents would want their daughters to associate.

    Plus, the demographic “diversity” on travel volleyball teams is virtually non-existent. As Steve asked long ago (albeit writing about travel soccer) “for parents, is the lack of diversity a bug . . . or a feature?”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  38. JMcG says:
    @M_Young

    I knew a woman who named her son Jonathan Owen.

  39. Peterike says:

    Professional sports, especially those non big league sports focused on the Olympics, have become an across the board abomination. It begins with child abuse and goes from there. The whole system is hopelessly corrupt and compromised and should be shut down.

    For every gold medal winner, how many lives are wrecked in fruitless pursuit of a fleeting moment of fame that nobody remembers a few weeks later. The whole thing is sick and very in keeping with our twisted contemporary culture.

  40. Peterike says:
    @Arclight

    “Interesting to see the NYT article had the balls to note that boys and girls develop differently – that’s a thoughtcrime these days.”

    Agreed. But they could only do it because it was to show sympathy with girls. They would never use the comparison to show sympathy for boys.

  41. It still sounds like Mary Cain took longer to break down than my Nike shoes. My wife bought them – I never would have. It’s not even been 6 months of wearing them 1/3 of the time (another 1/3 with nice shoes, other 1/3 barefoot) and a crack propagated in the sole and I started taking in water. Then a piece of white plastic finally came out of that 1 1/2″ crack, and I threw that away. I’m waiting for some more shoes in the mail that aren’t Nikes by any means.

    I don’t like their politics, and now I don’t like their products. It’s not anorexia I am worried about, Steve. It’s ringworm.

  42. Danindc says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Agreed. Plus the peer group in volleyball is just the type of girls you want hanging out w your daughter. At least I read that on here…

  43. Danindc says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Great idea Steve. Have you forwarded that to anyone that could make those changes? If not, I will do so and take credit. Let me know. Thanks.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  44. Danindc says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    My girlfriend in High school had anorexia. I told her if she just lost 5 more pounds she’d be perfect…

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  45. Elli says:
    @M_Young

    Mairead is Margaret in Irish Gaelic.

    • Replies: @M_young
  46. GU says:

    Sheesh, it’s almost as if trying to be the best in the world at a prestigious, competitive endeavor requires massive personal sacrifices!

    “They made us weigh in in front of teammates” LOL, and? Every sports team I ever played on did that. Your personal vanity must be dropped, you’re accountable to your coaches and your team. And minimizing bodyfat is obviously important when you’re trying to be the best runner in the world. Again, what did she expect?

  47. Barnard says:
    @Redneck farmer

    When the anti-football concussion craze kicked into full gear five years ago or so, I read a football coach comment that soccer caused plenty of concussions too and no one was attacking soccer. The response was “how dare you compare football and soccer” histrionics. The other sport that gets teen girls in large number is softball, which can lead to plenty of injury problems as well. Although not allowing runners to take out the catcher should effectively keep the number of concussions in softball close to zero.

    Injury issues for all these youth sports would likely go way down if they went back to treating them as seasonal activities instead of engaging in intense year round training. Too many parents are convinced the holy grail of a college scholarship awaits their little all star to make that change.

    • Replies: @Dtbb
  48. Anonymous[217] • Disclaimer says:

    I’d rather be anorexic than obese.

    Obesity is for blacks, hispanics, and underclass whites.

    If anorexia is a symptom of being white and UC or UMC, then so be it.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @Jack D
  49. Jack D says:
    @Anon

    Let’s say your are a Clydesdale (a white person) and for some crazy reason (maybe national pride) your owners decide that you are now going to compete in races with thoroughbreds (E. Africans). You’re not going to win anyway, but in order to even be competitive, they are going to have to starve you so that you at least resemble a thoroughbred mare.

    In particular, look at Jeptoo on the left. What white woman has legs like that and still has a healthy weight?

    There is no combination of diet, training and PEDs that is going to transform a white girl’s body into Jeptoo’s any more than she is going to match her tan. It’s a Quixotic quest and can only end badly.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Haha
  50. Lugash says:
    @ivvenalis

    I knew multiple girls in high school and later in the military who seriously (but, except in maybe one case, not irreparably) damaged their health through compulsive exercise, always running. Apparently some women bodybuilders do as well, but I think that’s an entirely different issue.

    In my experience women who are competitive past college almost always have issues. Usually joint issues, but also weird, non diagnose-able issues. Autoimmune, skins issues, heart trouble etc.

    In college I watched a female ROTC cadet cripple herself trying to keep up. Her body just didn’t have the durability to do what was expected and she wouldn’t try not to keep up.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  51. Sean says:

    https://www.spectrumnews.org/features/deep-dive/the-invisible-link-between-autism-and-anorexia/

    Instead, what trapped Louise in a haze of malnutrition and compulsive exercise for more than 30 years was that eating too little and exercising too much blunted the feelings of overwhelming anxiety that threatened to drown her. […] But strip off the misconceptions, and the two conditions are far more similar than anyone believed, says Janet Treasure, a psychiatrist at King’s College London and director of the eating disorders program at Maudsley Hospital in London.

    “I must admit I was skeptical at first when I read about the links,” Treasure says, “but when we were looking at various aspects of vulnerability to anorexia, such as thinking styles and emotional styles, they were actually very similar.”

    Emerging research shows that people with either condition have difficulties understanding and interpreting social cues, and tend to fixate on tiny details that make it difficult to see the big picture. What’s more, both groups of people often crave rules, routines and rituals. Genetic studies also suggest overlaps between autism and anorexia.

    Autism is a disease of high intelligence (“A suite of recent studies has reported positive genetic correlations between autism risk and measures of mental ability. These findings indicate that alleles for autism overlap broadly with alleles for high intelligence”). Associative mating in institutions of higher learning and workplaces since the sixties has created a highly intelligent elite identical with Charles Murray’s self-selective sorting New Upper Class, so of course they are Asperger’s -ish, and have a tendency to anorexia.

    The only girl I knew who had anorexia was brought up in a totally working class environment with friends who were too, but her father was from a solid upper middle class family, and her mother’s dad was a successful self made businessman.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Thea
  52. psmith says:

    It’s almost as if female fertility correlates with having some reserves of fat, of not being stretched to the physical limit.

    Male fertility probably does too.

    On the other hand, the sort of people who go on and on about this stuff are generally not in any danger whatsoever of being overtrained or too lean. Or, more seriously, they take the kind of schoolmarmish scolding tone that they themselves would laugh off in a heartbeat if it were applied to, say, moderate drinking.

  53. ivvenalis says:
    @Rosie

    Maybe, but the article and my comment are about women who emaciate themselves running, specifically.

  54. Svevlad says:
    @Rosie

    Stop having the crabs in a bucket mentality

    Think we dudes don’t feel bad when we get mogged by an underwear ad?

    Anyways, it’s extra thick women for me. Dunno why. Maybe because I’m a contrarian and the early 2000s were real ridiculous with pushing the skinny woman meme, so I decided to only like the fat ones

    • LOL: Rosie
    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  55. @Rosie

    I would beg to differ. We all see the pictures in the magazines that tell us what we’re supposed to look like, and it takes a toll.

    “It takes a toll”. LOL. Oh please.

    No one looking at American women thinks, “Oh these poor gals are forced to starve to look so good.”

    I spend no cycles looking at whatever nonsense women and homosexuals present in fashion mags. (I suggest women simply not pay any attention as well.)

    But women’s real audience ought to be men–their husbands and potential husbands. And i can guarantee you that men are attracted to healthy looking women, because men are wired to be attracted to fertile looking women.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  56. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    I once remember reading about a survey question posed to some athletes: I can give you a training regimen that will guarantee an Olympic gold medal. The regimen will also lead to your death within five years after winning the medal. Will you do the regimen?

    Most of those surveyed answered yes.

    Sorry I don’t have the citation.

    • Replies: @res
  57. @Rosie

    We all see the pictures in the magazines that tell us what we’re supposed to look like, and it takes a toll.

    You might interpret it that way, but I think that the reason skinny models are used to advertise clothes is that their angular bodies display the merchandise better and more elegantly. You might also ask why male models tend to have chiseled faces, strong jaws, an d good teeth. Is this to tell men what they are supposed to look like?

    If the intention is to show women who look sexy, then a different body type is used.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Rosie
  58. A big part of this problem is that women and girls are being forced to meet athletic standards that are based on how men and boys develop. If you try to make a girl fit a boy’s development timeline, her body is at risk of breaking down. That is what happened to Cain.

    The necessity of putting in these paens to “oh how we’re oppressed” minoritarian nonsense is pathetic and grating.

    No, sports trainers are not forcing women to meet some male developmental standard. They are simply pushing women–and men–to meet some very off the chart body standards for off the chart performance.

    And it happens that this sort of body and performance is even more unnatural and “off the charts” for women and particularly damaging to a woman’s body.

    ~~

    Maybe people should pick up on the obvious take hom here:
    — Women and men are not the same–not the same evolved biology and roles.
    — Extreme athletic performance isn’t really advisable for women.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  59. Jack D says:
    @Sean

    Interesting – I always assumed girls who became anorexic were driven by social factors such as competition with their x-ray thin upper class mothers and peers but maybe you are right and it’s genetic rather than environmental so that even if a girl with upper class genes grows up blue collar she will still have those tendencies. Even putting aside anorexia, in modern America obesity (especially among girls) is correlated with class so blue collar girls are under much less pressure than upper class girls to remain thin.

    • Replies: @Sean
  60. Any type of extreme sports training to prepare someone to compete for Olympic medals in an endurance event is going to depend on taking measurements of oxygen processing capacity, weight, wind resistance, efficient stride pattern, and so on.

    It is all very unnatural.

    There are medications, minerals, and supplements that can be taken to counteract osteoporosis, but osteoporosis is a well-known side effect of steroid use, so perhaps Cain was being asked to use substances that dare not speak their name.

    A woman missing her periods would preserve her hemoglobin levels, enabling her to process oxygen more efficiently.

    It does seem likely though, that Salazar was giving athletes steroids and testosterone, although no one wants to come out and say it, because there is so much to lose.

    Here we see Salazar athletes finishing in gold and silver. Notice anything unusual about the silver medal winner?

    • Replies: @psmith
  61. Jack D says:
    @AnotherDad

    I’m not sure extreme athletic performance is really advisable for anyone (some sports being worse than others). There is a sort of race to the bottom as to who can take the most PEDs and get away with it, who can adopt the most extreme regime of diet and training and not break down, etc.

    We used to make fun of this stuff when the E. Germans would send out fishy looking athletes but now this is normal in the West also. When the Russians do this stuff nowadays it comes off as clumsy like their efforts to influence Western elections. We don’t really object to Russian cheating, we object to the clumsy and obvious way they do it. When Westerners cheat it’s all much more elegant and sophisticated and less obvious so we can pretend that it’s not really cheating at all.

    • Agree: Old Prude, JMcG
    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    , @AnotherDad
  62. Thea says:
    @Sean

    A lot of behavior blacks interpret as racists coming from whites could be explained as closer to social awkwardness related to a degree of autism and not meant as malicious.

  63. Anon[126] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Most of this sort of psychology has been invalidated by genetic research, but genetics is so siloed off that the rest of psychology doesn’t know about it.

    People are anorectic or are fat because their genome, as defined at the point of fertilization, has instructions that cause their brains and metabolic systems to develop in a certain way during fetal development.

  64. Old Prude says:
    @Charon

    Something to that. A guy needs to push iron. A gal just needs to push away the cupcakes. It takes a toll.

    • LOL: HammerJack
    • Replies: @Rosie
  65. @Jack D

    For the sake of ladies everywhere, we should allow trannies to dominate women’s sports.

    The elegant Hannah Mouncey is obviously not a 6’3” dude LARPing as a female athlete:

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
  66. Old Prude says:
    @Rosie

    In the Land of the Fat Women the skinny woman is queen. Cupcakes must be really really good.

  67. @Hypnotoad666

    The NYT (and leftists generally) can’t make up their minds. Are girls powerful and self-aware? Or are they naturally helpless victims of anything that can be described as a “system”?

    Excellent paragraph Hypnotoad.

    Women and grrls are so powerful and capable that they need protection from jealous males always trying to tear them down.

    At the heart of all minoritarianism there’s always some sort of contradiction that works back to the basic lie: That somehow the white guys who produce the nice stuff–science, tech, industry, country clubs, nice neighborhoods, rule of law, nations, Western Civilization–are really bad people because … they have all the nice stuff … so they must have stolen it!

    • Replies: @bomag
  68. psmith says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    osteoporosis is a well-known side effect of steroid use

    Would sure like to see a citation on this, I’ve never heard it before (except for corticosteroids like cortisone and prednisone, which are an entirely different class of drug than anabolic steroids, used entirely differently, and neither against the rules nor tested for.). Maybe if you take too many aromatase inhibitors?

  69. They look in the mirror at their 85-pound selves and just see FATNESS.

    I knew at least one young woman who made a – almost hysterical link – between being “fat” and the possibility of being pregnant. It might ell be that deep down inside, many an anorectic woman might also fear to become pregnant. Babies are a hindrance to a highly competitive mindset.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  70. @Jack D

    I’m not sure extreme athletic performance is really advisable for anyone (some sports being worse than others).

    Basically agree. My younger two kids were runners–decent at the level of winning HS meets–neither state meet capable. And i’m happy neither of them went on to college athletics.

    But i’m particularly happy my girl is not running competitively anymore. Whereas it is extreme for anyone, pushing a young man down to very low body fat isn’t a big deal. But a young woman doing this is pushing herself out of her biological sweet spot–often just stopping her reproductive capability–right in the middle of biological/fertility prime.

    Women are simply designed–God be praised!–for something other than chasing a gazelle for miles across the savannah.

  71. @ivvenalis

    Stimulate don’t annihilate.

    The Athleanx trainer guy says the number one obstacle for every new client who shows up at his gym is they are training too much.

    Working out until you are completely gassed is great. Maybe every 4th or 5th or 6th or 7th workout.

  72. J1234 says:

    Mary Cain’s male coaches were convinced she had to get “thinner, and thinner, and thinner.” Then her body started breaking down.

    My teenage daughter suffers from anorexia nervosa and the (often) underlying anxiety disorder that accompanies it. While I don’t admire coaches as a general rule, I don’t want to blame them categorically for something they may not be guilty of. Through my experience with my daughter and her treatment program it became apparent to me that girls who are prone to anorexia come up with very clever ways of masquerading through the disorder. For example, they start talking about “eating healthy” as an explanation of why they are avoiding fats in their diet…and the “anti-obesity” programs pushed through the schools provide great camouflage for this tactic.

    Another thing they do is become involved in sports – especially track – because it externalizes the requirement to be thin and exert large amounts of calorie burning energy through exercise. The quoted statement from the NYT above epitomizes this self-defeating strategy, but the author doesn’t seem to recognize it. Mary Cain, however, was a gifted athlete who obviously had other motivations for pursuing her sport to a high level, but she may have been drawn to the sport initially for the reasons I stated. That’s speculation on my part, of course, but it happens in thousands of cases.

    My daughter joined the high school track team, but we were blessed with a coach who put the girls’ interests first. We also were also blessed that my daughter had very little talent for track, so she gave it up after a couple of years. She also wanted to join cross country, but we said no.

  73. Corvinus says:

    “As I wrote last year: Anorexia in modern America is a mental illness found mostly in affluent, very competitive females who come from social environments where being fat is a symptom of deplorability. The girls tend to internalize their culture’s and their moms’ prejudice against weight to the point where they are in danger of starving to death.”

    I witness lately you’ve been acting like Sarah Jeong by creating over generalizations and politicizing social problems. Why?

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267432.php#causes

    “No single cause has been identified for anorexia nervosa. It probably happens as a result of biological, environmental, and psychological factors. The following risk factors have been associated with it:

    being susceptible to depression and anxiety
    having difficulty handling stress
    being excessively worried, afraid, or doubtful about the future
    being perfectionist and overly concerned about rules
    having a negative self image
    having eating problems during early childhood or infancy
    having had an anxiety disorder during childhood
    holding specific ideas regarding beauty and health, which may be influenced by culture or society
    having a high level of emotional restraint or control over their own behavior and expression

    The person may be overly worried about their weight and shape, but this is not necessarily the key factor. Between 33 and 50 percent of people with anorexia also have a mood disorder, such as depression, and around half have an anxiety disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social phobia. This suggests that negative emotions and a low self image may contribute, in some cases. A person may develop anorexia nervosa as a way of gaining control of some aspect of their life. As they exert control of their food intake, this feels like success, and so the behavior continues.

    • Replies: @Thatgirl
  74. Sean says:
    @Jack D

    https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/information/bulimia/the-relationship-between-bulimia-and-addiction

    The chaotic nature of Bulimia Nervosa reflects many similarities with drug and alcohol addiction. In fact, Bulimia Nervosa is commonly co-occurring with drug addictions. Many research studies have demonstrated the overlapping behaviors of eating disorders and substance abuse and the similar addictive personality that is often observed in individuals who suffer with both addictions and bulimia.

    Blue collar girls are much more likely to get bulimia, the binge eating goes with all sorts of disinhibition (including sexual). Black teenagers are 50% more likely than white teenagers to exhibit bulimic behavior

    The most common profile for an anorexic is a perfectionist mid teen white girl from an affluent background. It is a long time since I read up on it but they are often attractive, perfectionists, and tend to avoid sex.

    The funny thing about the formerly anorexic girl (not a blood relation) I know, is she was always a tall, slim and long legged child, with a rather beautiful face. She looked like a healthy-weight catwalk model. Very conscientious and personable; everybody liked her (her teachers loved her). Then at 15 she started being out the house at mealtimes, and getting skeletal.

  75. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Agree – but volleyball can be pretty tough too:

  76. Dave2 says:

    I used to wonder why so many wealthy men have anorexic wives. I suppose they make great status symbols — anorexics are scarce, impossible to fake, accompany you inside buildings while the valet parks your Ferrari, and wear clothes designed by fashion icons for their 10-year-old catamites. You could fiancee-visa a skeletal teenager from Moldova, but she’d pork out quickly when provided with food.

    But they look absolutely horrible with their clothes off, and who wants to fuck a pile of bones?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @Jim Don Bob
  77. Alden says:
    @psmith

    Every medical and nursing school text book claims steroids cause osteoporosis. Plus shrinking of male genitalia, obesity of the torso, mood swings aka irrational rage and other unfortunate things.

    Lots of men arrested for domestic violence child beating bar, parking lot and neighbor fights take steroids and get into violence because the steroids cause irrational rage and over all irritably.

  78. @ivvenalis

    You’re exactly right that female athletes know FAR better than other women what women’s limitations are relative to men’s. No female athlete would ever put themselves in a position to get in a fight with a guy, for example.

    Yet people are always bitching at female athletes for supposed uber-feminism anyway, when they aren’t the ones with the delusions. They just want to compete and push themselves.

    I was a high level female athlete in high school. Still dabble over a decade later.

  79. bomag says:
    @AnotherDad

    there’s always some sort of contradiction that works back to the basic lie: That somehow the white guys who produce the nice stuff–…are really bad people because … they have all the nice stuff…

    …and they need to use their laws; their courts; their legislative process; their police organizations; to give it all away to us …and then keep making more of it.

  80. The problem may have been with Mary Cain’s training. She looks more like a 1500/800 meter specialist. She shouldn’t have been doing a ton of mileage, more speed work and interval training.

    For distances over 5ks, women (and men to a lesser extent) just kind of need a naturally light build to succeed.

    Mary (in her prime in high school) looks like she had more power than anything else. Women with that body type need more speed work than excessive mileage and dieting. She’d probably be a great 400 meter runner too, but was likely steered away from it because they shoehorn whites as not being capable of sprinting at high levels.

    Natural long distance runners won’t need to diet. The East Africans don’t.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  81. @Danindc

    While you’re at it, write ’em and request a rule change to allow any player to catch the ball with her hands … and throw it. Men too. Thanks.

  82. Muggles says:

    Why do women, esp. white feminist types, always want to blame others (always men) for their lack of success or other problems? No one forced her to obey her running coach.

    This kind of compliant is now moot since all “womens track records” will soon be held by trans women (i.e. biological men) who eventually will own all the records. Overall mens times are faster in the track records.

    See how Political Correctness can solve women’s problems.

    • Replies: @WowJustWow
  83. @Dieter Kief

    They look in the mirror at their 85-pound selves and just see FATNESS.

    People ought to avoid those cheap Chinese-made mirrors.

    Skinny mirrors would help. Make ’em just slightly convex around the vertical axis. NO, I could not find that Elaine Benice scene on youtube. What is it good for anymore?

    .

    * Note to self: Make a mirror/scale/laser-height-measure set for women in which the mirror changes shape based on BMI.

  84. Anon[307] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    “Merchandise”, if that merchandise is clothing, isn’t supposed to look elegant hanging from a coatstand, it’s supposed to look elegant on a person. If it requires a human coatstand to look elegant, it’s simply badly designed merchandise.

    I’m not sure what your point about chiseled male faces is. These do exactly nothing for the drapery of clothes; they are selected because they look handsome.

  85. Rosie says:
    @Old Prude

    Something to that. A guy needs to push iron. A gal just needs to push away the cupcakes. It takes a toll.

    This statement reflects an appalling ignorance about what it takes to maintain a fashionable BMI.

    In any event, yes, it does take a toll. Starving yourself is exhausting.

    https://www.verywellmind.com/ego-depletion-4175496

  86. Cortes says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Or maybe teach them how to head the ball?

    And when it’s not such a great idea.

    Attempting to head (or block with the head) a ball shot from a few yards away at full power – perhaps travelling at 80+ mph – is just stupid. Good headers of the ball generally use the forehead and the ball is reaching the player at or near the end of its trajectory and is slowing down.

    How to do it is around 4.30

  87. Rosie says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    You might interpret it that way, but I think that the reason skinny models are used to advertise clothes is that their angular bodies display the merchandise better and more elegantly.

    How would that make any difference? The message comes across either way: this is the ideal.

    The difference between plump middle-aged mothers like myself and gargantuan women is that the latter have given up, knowing they’ll never be able to conform to the ideal.

    Some of the women whom I most admire are the black women at the gym. They will never be considered beautiful, but they come to the gym and work out anyway. They might be a size 16, but they can walk up a couple of flights of stairs without getting winded.

  88. Dtbb says:
    @Barnard

    When you knock heads in soccer it is without helmets. I got knocked out more often in soccer than football. I stopped heading the ball because every time I did I saw stars for a split second. Worst concussion I ever received was knocking heads in soccer. It happened at halftime whistle and I started second half. I wandered around til the coach yelled at me. I couldn’t follow the game because the fog was so thick. It was a bright sunshiney day. My dad rushed me to the hospital.

  89. Rosie says:
    @AnotherDad

    And i can guarantee you that men are attracted to healthy looking women, because men are wired to be attracted to fertile looking women.

    I have noticed this refusal to acknowledge that what you (men) find attractive has anything to do with cultural conditioning, presumably because you don’t want to be called upon to examine your own preferences. Are Chinese men an exception to this rule?

    In any event, what looks healthy is not necessarily so. You can be deceived. For example, this is probably not attainable without steroids, at the very least, not for men who have things to do other than workout five hours a day.

  90. res says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    Some discussion about that. Along with citations for multiple examples:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldman%27s_dilemma

  91. res says:
    @psmith

    A quick look around indicates you are right. Glucocorticoids cause osteoporosis. Anabolic steroids can be used to treat it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steroid-induced_osteoporosis

  92. @Lugash

    In college I watched a female ROTC cadet cripple herself trying to keep up. Her body just didn’t have the durability to do what was expected and she wouldn’t try not to keep up.

    The strong belief that you can be what you want to be by driving through your last reserves by sheer will can and does kill people who hold it. Rule 1: you don’t have any friends who want to kill you. Conclusion: that strong belief isn’t your friend, so don’t listen to it. Always keep a reserve.

    Counterinsurgency

  93. @Svevlad

    Better to live in a wilderness than in a house with a contentious and angry woman.

    https://www.biblestudytools.com/proverbs/21-19-compare.html

    The prudent man cares for his wife and does whatever he can to ensure that she does not become a contentious and angry woman. I can’t see any way a man could live with a starving woman; she’d tear him to psychological pieces. That may explain a lot about our upper classes.

    Counterinsurgency

  94. Haha says:
    @Jack D

    Thank God I gave up running (and other such crazy things) after childhood otherwise I, too, may have ended up with legs like this lady athlete’s. Looking at this pic makes me think that the inmates of camps would have made world-class runners if permitted to compete.

  95. Alden says:

    What a crew here. You hate fat women you hate thin women you hate medium sized women.

    • Agree: Rosie
    • Disagree: Old Prude
  96. Old Prude says:
    @Rosie

    You’re game, Rosie. I find not eating donuts a good deal easier than doing pull-ups and push-ups to failure three times a week. One is the denial of pleasure. The other willing acceptance of pain. I admire both thin people and fit people, but fit people more.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  97. @S. Anonyia

    Kipjoche (sp?) went home to Kenya before his sub 2 hour marathon test run to get home cooking.

  98. MBlanc46 says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Girls are both powerful and self-aware and naturally helpless victims. Which it is in a given case is determined by which is required to make some man or men an evil bahstahd(s).

  99. MBlanc46 says:
    @Rosie

    There are always that .7 waist-to-hips ratio and signs of nubility. Everything else is superfluous.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  100. MBlanc46 says:
    @Rosie

    You believe everything that you read in magazines?

  101. @Rosie

    I have noticed this refusal to acknowledge that what you (men) find attractive has anything to do with cultural conditioning, presumably because you don’t want to be called upon to examine your own preferences. Are Chinese men an exception to this rule?

    I think recent research has indicated that foot binding wasn’t a man pleasing endeavor at all. See for example

    https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/21/health/china-foot-binding-new-theory/index.html

    • Replies: @Jack D
  102. @Paul Jolliffe

    Do girl volleyball players get spiked in the face? Is that bad?

    • Replies: @Paul Jolliffe
  103. @Muggles

    And since transwomen are just women, soon you won’t even be allowed to write sentences like this:

    “A big part of this problem is that women and girls are being forced to meet athletic standards that are based on how men and boys develop.”

    After all, if the winningest women develop that way, then that’s what all women athletes should aim for. For the sake of the Narrative!

  104. @J1234

    Thanks for posting this, J1234. It must be very difficult to talk about your daughter’s condition, but the insights you’ve given are all the more valuable because of it.

    God bless you, your daughter, and the rest of your family.

    • Agree: ic1000
    • Replies: @J1234
  105. OFWHAP says:
    @psmith

    Corticosteroids are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and athletes taking them have to get a Therapeutic Use Exemption for drug-testing purposes. This type of steroid is known to promote a sense of well-being and reduce swelling and pain in your joints, but long-term use can definitely screw with your body.

    • Replies: @psmith
  106. @Dave2

    I used to wonder why so many wealthy men have anorexic wives. I suppose they make great status symbols.

    But they look absolutely horrible with their clothes off, and who wants to fuck a pile of bones?

    You implicitly have an explanation. These perfect status-symbols don’t sexually attract other men…

  107. Rosie says:
    @Old Prude

    You’re game, Rosie. I find not eating donuts a good deal easier than doing pull-ups and push-ups to failure three times a week. One is the denial of pleasure. The other willing acceptance of pain. I admire both thin people and fit people, but fit people more.

    I couldn’t disagree more. I do very intense weight training, because the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn.

    Showing up at the gym a few times a week is far easier to manage than 24-7 battles against your own appetite.

  108. Rosie says:
    @MBlanc46

    There are always that .7 waist-to-hips ratio and signs of nubility. Everything else is superfluous.

    Interesting. So in other words, fat women are acceptable so long as they have a defined waistline?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  109. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    What you are saying is nuts but it goes a long way in explaining why so many modern white girls are anorexic. It is their (crazy) way of maintaining Western civilization and not surrendering to the chaos and impulsivity as traditional norms crumble around them. Maybe they can’t control anything else but they can control their bodies. It’s still insane but it’s understandable.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  110. Jack D says:
    @Kaganovitch

    There are problems with that theory. At least at the outset, food binding was an upper class (Imperial Court) thing. The Imperial Court wasn’t doing this to keep the girls home to spin yarn. If peasants wanted to keep their girls home they could have chained them up or something less destructive than crippling them. It’s possible though that foot binding started off as one thing and ended up as something else as it worked its way down thru the class system – it wouldn’t be the first time.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  111. @psmith

    Would sure like to see a citation on this, I’ve never heard it before (except for corticosteroids like cortisone and prednisone, which are an entirely different class of drug than anabolic steroids,

    You would not expect distance runners to be using anabolic steroids.

  112. @Rosie

    I have noticed this refusal to acknowledge that what you (men) find attractive has anything to do with cultural conditioning, presumably because you don’t want to be called upon to examine your own preferences.

    It is pretty much universal that what men find attractive is women who are proportional in weight to height, have smooth skin, good complexions, shiny hair, regular teeth, clear eyes, musical voices, rounded buttocks, a nice smile, and so on.

    Certain enhancements also seem to be universally appreciated, such as extending the eyelashes, makeup to enlarge the appearance of the eyes, adding color to flush the lips, wearing elevated shoes to make the legs appear longer and exaggerate the swing of the hips, wearing perfumes with floral scents, and so on.

    The characteristics are all cross-cultural.

    Naomi Campbell, for example is Jamaican with some Chinese ancestry, but has had many, perhaps numerous, European lovers.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/fashion/2017/02/03/170123-DS-GAP-31B-GAP_ICONS12327-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqyoS_LKYdJwLiu6zDiKC-khk_rLWwOblYolptbQVH810.jpg

    • Replies: @Jack D
  113. @Jack D

    explaining why so many modern white girls are anorexic.

    No it is not. Anorexia nervosa is a delusional mental illness that often leads to death. People with anorexia can look at themselves in front of a mirror or in a photograph and see nothing abnormal about their appearance even though they are obviously at death’s door when any normal person would be shocked at their appearance, as with the photograph below.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  114. psmith says:
    @OFWHAP

    Didn’t know about the ban. I agree that they’re an extremely gnarly class of drugs and generally not advisable for orthopedic uses–the idea is to accelerate the breakdown of inflamed/swollen tissue at or near the injection site, which is obviously a pretty desperate measure with the potential for serious side effects–though I’m told that prednisone is sometimes useful as a drug of last resort for otherwise-fatal brain swelling. I don’t know about promoting a sense of well-being, either–“depression” is listed as a side effect for prednisone on Wikipedia, though to be fair so is “euphoria.”

  115. Jack D says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Something tells me that the people in the photo are not really anorexic but are suffering from a different condition.

    I agree with you that anorexia is a mental illness but what is interesting about delusional mental illnesses is that even though the underlying disease may be the same, they are expressed differently in every time and place and these differences can give us insight into the nature of the society in which the patient lives. For example, in the 19th and early 20th century, people were often deluded that the were royal princes or princesses whereas nowadays they are deluded that they are of the opposite sex. Lots of people claim to be men trapped in a woman’s body (or vice versa) but no one claims anymore to be Princess Anastasia or Napoleon.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  116. Jack D says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Ultimately, what we see as attractive is programmed by biology, which is universal across all human cultures – evolution has programmed into most of us the desire to plant our seed in fertile soil (and in woman the desire to be impregnated by a biologically fit mate). So most of the things that you mention are cues that the woman is at or near the age of peak fertility. So thing that signal pre-pubescent status (short legs, narrow hips, flat chest) are negative signals as are things (shorter hair and lack of eyelashes) that signal post-menopausal status. The age at which women are consider to have peak sexual attractiveness coincides perfectly with the age at which they are at peak fertility.

  117. Jack D says:
    @Rosie

    Women (especially for some reason modern women) seem to have a strong preference for taller men – it is common on dating sites for women to specify that they are only interested in men above some height and they often set the bar fairly high – 6′ is typical. (Ironically, the women making these demands are often of short stature themselves).

    Most men, OTOH, will find a petite woman, even one that might only be 5′ tall, to be attractive so long as her body is proportional and it is rare on dating sites for men to specify a minimum height. Being 5′ tall might be a problem if you want a career as a fashion model but it doesn’t seem to be any impediment for finding a man. Shorter men often lament that they are disadvantaged in the dating market but there are few such laments from females.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  118. Thatgirl says:
    @Corvinus

    It makes sense to me that anorexia might be a form of OCD. These high-achieving girls focus on their weight and counting calories as a way of controlling their anxiety because being thin is valued in our society; however, if their OCD was not channeled in this direction it would possibly manifest itself in another area.

    Sort of like how many recovering alcoholics become addicted to cigarettes.

    I seem to remember a few years ago reading that the medication that was most effective in treating anorexia was the same that was used for OCD but I don’t know if that is (or was) true.

  119. Thatgirl says:
    @Rosie

    As a middle-aged woman with a thyroid problem that was caused during pregnancy, I agree with Rose. When I was young, I could stay slim with moderate exercise and being careful (but not obsessive) about my diet. Now, it takes lots of exercise and very very careful eating just not to get fat.

  120. Rosie says:
    @Jack D

    Most men, OTOH, will find a petite woman, even one that might only be 5′ tall, to be attractive so long as her body is proportional and it is rare on dating sites for men to specify a minimum height. Being 5′ tall might be a problem if you want a career as a fashion model but it doesn’t seem to be any impediment for finding a man. Shorter men often lament that they are disadvantaged in the dating market but there are few such laments from females.

    True in theory, meaningless in practice.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19250584

  121. Kind of unrelated: any correlation between certain groups / parameters and Anorexia vs bulimia? I remember reading an interview by Diane Keaton when she called bulimia a very expensive disease and anorexia being, well, easy on the pocket. Bulimia is also correlated with high achievement individuals (I think), or maybe people who are hard on themselves or overly concerned about external perceptions? Lady Di was bulimic. So are a bunch of high achiever types. What kind of people become one type or the other

  122. Something tells me that the people in the photo are not really anorexic but are suffering from a different condition.

    Obviously, but when ordinary people see anorexia nervosa patients for the first time, they say they look like concentration camp victims with malnutrition, because that is what immediately comes to mind.

    You are right about delusional fashions, though. In the nineteenth century it was common for patients in asylums in England to claim to be Napoleon, because Napoleon was the great bogeyman of the time, like Stalin or Hitler later became.

    Religious delusions were quite common in West Indian patients in England in the 1970’s, when they had pretty much died out in England, along with the more extreme types of Christianity in which people were supposed to believe in supernatural powers.

    Even later, assassins like Chapman, who murdered John Lennon, was obsessed with the book The Catcher In The Rye and hoped to bring attention to that book by his actions (crazy, huh?) and Hinckley hoped to gain the attention of the lissome lesbian Jodie Foster by shooting Ronald Reagan. Possibly he did get her attention, but neglected to foresee that he would also get the attention of many others, and not in a good way.

    Anorexia and bulimia seemed to become much more frequent in the 1970s and 80s, coinciding with the obesity epidemic in the United States, even though they had been around for a long time before, and seem to have replaced some historical forms of extreme abstinence that may have had religious significance.

    As you say, being born with the wrong set of reproductive organs seems to be the fashionable delusion of today, and possibly the much written-about mystery as to why transsexuals have a high rate of homelessness is simply explained by the fact that they overlap a lot with the mentally ill population.

    In very recent times, there has been a theory that US embassy staff in Havana became sick due to mass hysteria. The more things change, the more it is more of the same thing.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/01/the-real-story-behind-the-havana-embassy-mystery

  123. @Jack D

    Perhaps so, but I must say it doesn’t strike me as something men imposed on Chinese women. Rather something that some Chinese women imposed on other Chinese women. It was probably something like corseting that way, albeit of course, far crueler. In other words, regarding Rosie’s original point, that foot binding demonstrates the culturally contingent nature of what men find attractive; it may be true but I don’t think this is proof.

  124. @Jack D

    Lots of people claim to be men trapped in a woman’s body (or vice versa) but no one claims anymore to be Princess Anastasia or Napoleon.

    I actually had an older cousin – he was institutionalized as far back as I can remember -who claimed to be Napoleon. That’s true conservatism.

    • Replies: @Anon
  125. @Dave2

    Babe Paley, wife of William S., said, “You can never be too rich or too thin.”

  126. Anyone noticed how, since all things trans started hogging the headlines and Tumblr accounts, “self-harming” no longer seems to be the rage among adolescent females? Ten years back it was a BBC and Guardian staple topic.

  127. Anon[160] • Disclaimer says:
    @kaganovitch

    No, it’s centrism, the Bonapartists are to the left of the Orleanists.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  128. @Steve Sailer

    Steve Sailer asked “Do girl volleyball players get spiked in the face? Is that bad?”

    Well, yes, it does happen that a ball will ricochet off a young woman’s head or face, but I’ve never seen a serious injury in over seven years of high level volleyball.

    My observation is that at the higher levels, while the outside hitters are deadly, so too are the skills of the defensive specialists. The liberos and the d.s.’s possess such remarkable agility and hand-eye coordination that they are seldom on the receiving end of a direct shot to the face – they can maneuver themselves very quickly to get that ball “up”.

    At lower levels, the girls aren’t very skilled so there are fewer defensively agile players. But the offensive players’ skills lag even more (timing and hitting a volleyball down the line vs. crosscourt in a split second is really hard), so it all evens out.

  129. @Anon

    No, it’s centrism, the Bonapartists are to the left of the Orleanists.

    I know, I just meant it’s conservative in the sense that my family would have nothing to do with newfangled delusions, only with tried and true classics.

  130. J1234 says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Thank you for your kind words. Her disorder first became apparent when she was 13. We caught it early so that made a huge difference. She’s 17 now and in a much better place, though there are still difficulties. Like many people with anorexia, she kind of went in the other direction and became somewhat overweight. The important thing is that her weight has been very stable over the last year.

    It’s much more difficult to treat young women who are first diagnosed at age 18 and older, largely because they’re legally adults and their parents can’t force them into treatment programs. There was one girl in her group who was about 20 years old. She stayed in the program one day and never came back.

  131. @Rosie

    Men aren’t starving themselves, they’re going on perma-bulks and doing steroids to get jacked. Being muscular is the ideal for men, NOT skinny.

  132. @Rosie

    It doesn’t take much to maintain a low BMI if you never overate in the first place. You only have to “starve” yourself if you’re overweight and trying to lose weight.

    I do appreciate your perspective here because most commenters are men and we don’t understand on a visceral level what the expectations for women’s bodies that you see in the media, porn, and social media are. But your average Hollywood actress like Emma Stone or whoever has a perfectly healthy body that would’ve been considered completely normal 50 years ago. They’re not starving themselves. They just never get fat.

  133. @J1234

    So glad to hear your daughter is doing well.

  134. @Stan Adams

    The look on #44s face says it all. Thanks for including that photo.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
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