chapter  10
The Relational Montage of Eating Disorders
ByJEAN PETRUCELLI
Pages 17

These words chillingly evoke the experience of living in the emotional abyss of an eating disorder. Past, present, and future collapse. The insidious negative selftalk is loud, the aftermath of trauma pervasive, the affects overwhelming. What might have been a full life is reduced to the myopic world of a single bagel. Culture, with its many offerings of visual objectifi cation, provides eating disordered patients much opportunity to feel scrutinized, objectifi ed, and cut off from their bodies. When bodies are experienced as “mere aesthetic wrappers of the self ” (Pitts, 2014, p. 107) while simultaneously being thought of as central signifi ers of identity, one is more vulnerable to expressing pain via an eating disorder. Yet cultural infl uences on the development of eating disorders are only one part of a much larger mystery.