disfigured: anorexia, obesity and a friendship

reviews seem to be the theme these days. here’s a video i was sent – disfigured. i wonder who shouldn’t watch it. one-track-mind rambo fans, perhaps. people who can’t stand delving into other people’s psyches. those who don’t like sex scenes on screen, no matter how elegantly presented. and if you don’t like watching people who are overweight, it’s not for you, either.

if you don’t count yourself among any of these, watch it. it’s well done, it’s interesting, you’ll learn something.

disfigured is about a friendship between two women – one anorexic (darcy), one overweight (lydia), neither of them extremely so. which makes me like the movie right off the bat – it’s good to remember that most of “those” people are actually quite normal (whatever that means, but that’s material for another blog post).

here are some tidbits:

on using anorexia to deal with conflicts:

someone pisses you off, you count how many calories you can cut the next day – YOU’re the one in control … now it becomes a blood sport

both, overweight and underweight, get the “we-have-to-talk-about-your-health talk” from well-meaning people, or people who can’t resist the temptation to stick their noses into other people’s business:

they let me know that i am fat … they always have some great system or plan … “you have such a pretty face if you only – ” (ate more; ate less; exercised more; exercised less – pick appropriate advice)

part of the plot is a half-hearted relationship between lydia and bob. bob weighs a bit too much, as well and – shoot, i’d love to tell you about that but i’d spoil it for you.

on the secrecy of overeating: “you eat at home, alone, when no one’s looking.”

which again, isn’t so much different from being anorexic. when you’re anorexic, you pretend to eat to distract people who are watching you.

on the addictive quality of overeating when lydia, after trying to “learn how to be anorexic” in order to lose weight, caves in an brings home bags full of goodies:

i just want to really get it over with? what – life? i already feel crappy but i have to eat what i bought, i just want to get it over with

then the tables are turned – well, maybe, that’s for you to find out if (when!) you watch the movie:

bingeing: you should try it … it’s better than sex … cross over to the dark side

many psychologists and therapists would say that part of the reason for eating disorders are disjointed feelings around what it means to be cared for and about. this meets with flippancy (“you hate me? no, i’m fine”), eating (“this is me taking care of myself. at least somebody is. – who takes care of you?”), and isolation (“you don’t understand!” “i do understand!” “i won’t let you!”). finally “if anyone is going to try and care me into getting healthy, i’ll scream.” and then … well, as i said, see for yourself.

the film ends with a moving, inspiring monologue by lydia.

these bodies – they’re us. how can we live in them every day and find them so strange? how can we hate them? they’re beautiful, and miraculous and sad – everything we experience, we experience through them. sooner or later we’ll just have to find a way to love them for what they are.

i’m not a big movie buff, actually more of a movie scrooge. if there were more movies like disfigured, though, i’d watch way more.


  1. Wow, this film looks wonderful. It looks from the trailer that this weight issue is finally being handled with respect, insight and much needed humour.

    I have been overwight for most of my life. In High School, I used Black Beauties to bring my weight down to 120 lbs, with a waist of twenty-eight inches and a size C cup. Later, I hovered around 160, give or take 20 lbs.

    When I started taking psych meds, I bloomed to 275. Part of this was due to my lack of balance, which stopped me from riding my bike. In fact, I had trouble even walking. Depression fed my desire for comfort foods, ice-cream, bread, cheese and chocolate.

    This year, I took the bull by the horns. I’d arrived at 2008 with a weight of 260. I followed a program designed by Duke Hospital, a rice, fruit and vegetable based diet. I’ve lost thirty pounds.

    I could have lost more, but wandered away. But I’m coming back, as it’s cheap, effective and I’m fat and broke! But that’s beside the point.

    I hired a friend to work with me on a restoration project. “M” is a spit-fire of a girl, a surfer, natural beauty, talented artist, with a body I’d inhabit like an alien, if it were possible.

    What’s sadly funny, is that she is as worried about her body as I am mine. She has almost no body fat, so her breasts need no support. Her self-esteem is lower than the Grand Cayman Wall. As we spent a lot time together, we gained some insights into each other’s body-image issues.

    It was a talk that many would benefit from. This film may open the gates.

    Dano MacNamarrah’s last blog post..Another Modest Proposal.

  2. Besides blogging I’m in the counseling profession so I stopped by to comment on the video which is perhaps one of the best means to assert good feelings about this dilemma. This issue is rarely projected in this manner on internet; thumbs up dear!

  3. Nice movie. Looks really interesting. And well obesity needs to be looked in both ways. Some people cant help to be obese. the best example for it is it is in there genes. apart from that other people who are obese due to excess eating need to control them self. Which is really needed.

    Diet Plans’s last blog post..Diet Case 1- Week 2

  4. Nice movie. Well obesity is a problem. and most of the people don’t mind it. Fair enough. but what they are forgetting is being obese is inviting trouble. Especially health problems. True you shouldn’t hurt your self esteem saying your obese but your health also needs to be looked into.

  5. Great movie. Obesity is always a problem. As veterinarian mentioned health is the main problem in being obese. It is really important to maintain the correct weight.

  6. @diet control – people need to control themselves … hmmm … it’s often not that simple …

    @kristi yes, junk food probably has a lot to do with it. and the hyper-availability of food everywhere. even if you go to a good restaurant, the portions are huge and the vast amount of the the calories comes from carbs and meat.

    @veterinarian hm, with all due respect, it doesn’t sound like you’ve talked to a lot of people who are obese. i have yet to meet an obese person who is not supremely aware of the health impact of their weight. everyone knows that it’s important to have a reasonable weight.

    too many people do not understand that overeating is an addiction. it’s just like smoking. if it was as easy as just reasoning that after a while you need to put the fork down, there wouldn’t be nearly as many people who are obese.

  7. One of my buddies pointed me to your site. It’s really cool. Thanks for the information. Personally I believe that obesity is something can be controlled. but there are instances where sometime people have less control over there weight. But if there’s a will there’s a way. If u want to reduce your weight you definitely can do it.

  8. Obesity is definitely a problem. Everywhere in the world. Yet no one wants to do anything about it. Even though they know it is bad for their own health. That is the sad part.

  9. Interesting article. Well I certainly do have a lot of friends and colleagues. And 40% of them are obese. But the disappointing fact is that most of them don’t admit and some of them do but never do anything about it. Its just that obesity is bad for you health. To live a happy life you need to be healthy. and when your obese you can’t do that.

  10. Interesting article and video. obesity is certainly a huge problem nowadays. even amongst kids. Being obese certainly does not help to be healthy and this in turn really does not allow you to enjoy life. People should know to control there eating and also exercise regularly.

  11. nyway, I wanted so see some weather and nigh races and I didn’t get either. The smoke looks great from outside, from inside the car not so much, it shows ugly edges on the dashboard. The AI was plain stupid on standard settings (which is not an excuse anyway). Low velocity physics felt off. I played on professional setting for anyone who wants to know. You couldn’t really hear all the sound with that background noise, but the V8 was way too high pitched… it didn’t sound like a V8 at all.

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