Marya Hornbacher isn’t someone you would have looked up to back in her teen years. She suffered through her adolescence with issues of self-image and self-love. She didn’t have a strong family background and nothing was ever good enough for her parents or even for herself. Oh yeah, she also had anorexia and bulimia.
Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia is a critically acclaimed autobiography by Hornbacher that is so graphically intense and detailed that it would send shivers down your spine. When I read it over the past summer, I was so immersed in the pages that I couldn’t look up for a couple of hours.
Hornbacher went through her adolescents in self-hate. She tried to attain the unattainable: Be impossibly skinny, get straight A’s, and reach perfection – all at the same time. She wrote about how she would make herself throw up, how she would take laxatives to get rid of extra calories, and how she would eat only a couple of apples a day. She basically ran on caffeine and cigarettes for months. She continued this, went through psychiatric therapy, and was in and out of hospitals until the doctor gave her an ultimatum. Either eat – or die.
Why do I think she’s an inspirational figure? I bet you that everyone has image problems. I, myself, have been through endless cycles of dieting and exercise. I hate my thighs and knees. I wish I was taller. It never ends does it? Hornbacher isn’t some “special case”. She’s just like all of us, but it just went out of control. But what happened to her that’s special? She chose life. She chose to live, even if that meant putting on a couple of pounds. And that is incredibly extraordinary.
If you haven’t read her memoir, please go to your nearest bookstore and grab a copy of it. It is so deep and personal, you won’t be able to not relate to this young, love-hungry girl.