A friend called over the weekend to say that she'd been listening to this interview with the author of Peony in Love when she heard interviewer Liane Hansen make a comment about anorexia that made her blood boil. The author was describing lovesick young girls in 17th-century China. Hansen's comment, which comes about 4.15 minutes into the interview:
"It is interesting, the lovesick young ladies that are affected by the opera, what happens to them in their lovesickness is they starve themselves. And that's so much like anorexia, where you have young women today, and young men, starving themselves because that is the only way that they have some control over their own body."
Dear Liane Hansen, you may be an expert on so many things, as your NPR bio indicates, but anorexia is not one of them. Your throwaway comment about anorexia was made out of ignorance rather than malice, I'm sure. But ignorant it was.
Most researchers today believe that anorexia is a biologically based brain disorder. It's not "about" control. It's not "about" bad parenting, any more than autism or schizophrenia are. In fact, it's not "about" anything at all except having the bad luck to be genetically predisposed and to live in a culture full of triggers.
You have a lot of influence, Liane Hansen. I hope you will take this opportunity to educate yourself about anorexia. This website and this website would be great places to start. Then give me a call--I'd love to talk.