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What is Fatorexia? Opposite of Anorexia

Updated on December 23, 2012

There is a Story Behind This Picture, no pun intended

Taken at a store in Wyoming by my niece's boyfriend.
Taken at a store in Wyoming by my niece's boyfriend.

Fatorexia, Myth or Reality?

One of the girls I work with said she took this picture at a fast food restaurant in Wal-Mart this morning and showed it to a bunch of us. None of us could believe our eyes. I asked her to send it from her phone to my phone.

What was wrong with this woman?! She’s disgusting! Why would she dress like that and go to Wal-Mart or anywhere?! Did she just wake up and put on her kids shorts by accident? Does she even know how horrible she looks? Does she think she’s beautiful? How did she get those shorts on?! All these questions were flying around the office.

This is indecent exposure at best, at worst; this could be some sort of disorder. I mean, really, I got to thinking, if an anorexic person sees a fat person in the mirror then maybe a fat person can see a thin person in the mirror, right?

Regardless whether or not this is a disorder, people should not be allowed to walk around in public dressed like this. If she had walked into my store I would have refused to serve her. I’m not a mean person nor am I prejudice against overweight people, I’m over weight myself by about 60 pounds, but I dress accordingly, modestly, this should have been kept at home.

Sara Bird, Author of Fatorexia

I came home and got online and guess what? There is only one person out there talking about a reverse disorder and she calls it Fatorexia. Sara Bird, she’s neither a doctor nor an eating disorder specialist, yet she has written a book about just what I see in this picture. A disorder where women, this woman in the picture, sees herself as thin and even refuses to buy clothing that will actually fit her obese body; totally ignoring the fact that her BUTT is hanging completely out of the back and her stomach is hanging all the way out the front.

The difference between Sara Bird and this woman is that Sara wore clothing that gave her the illusion of being thin. She used other methods as well as clothing to hide her obesity, she said she used smaller and smaller mirrors and when her doctor told her she was obese she was shocked.

Fatorexic: Urban Dictionary definition

Opposite of Anorexic: People who are in reality heavy, fat, overweight etc. but see themselves as very thin or underweight, boney etc. An exmaple of a fatorexic: a heavier person squeezing into pants 4 sizes too small and thinking they look hot..

Isabelle Caro, Model

We have given so much attention, nationwide, about anorexia and other eating disorders that cause thinness and death. It’s heart breaking that people have such a warped vision of themselves. I watched an eight year old girl, online, who is at an anorexia hospital where they make her eat and try to give her a rational picture of herself, try to give her a positive body image. She can barely hold down the food and this video I put up of a model in Italy, is hard to watch. She is doing a campaign against anorexia but still has a hard time gaining weight. She was down to 50 pounds at one time, she is 70 pounds now.


British Medical Journal

They did a study and found that one quarter of obese and overweight people did not see themselves as fat?

BBW Yes They Are Beautiful Too!

I hope nobody gets the wrong opinion of me from this hub. Large women are beautiful too, I'm not saying they aren't, they are wanted and desired all over the world. All I am trying to convey here is that large women who know they are beautiful don't try to fit into a size zero, they dress in beautiful clothes made for their sizes.

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    • profile image

      ella 6 weeks ago

      This is THE most disgusting thing I have ever read online! Not because of what all you ignorant people are thinking, but because of the fact that I am over weight and I hate it, I really struggle with my weight. I struggle with small things, things that other people wont think twice about. Things like, leaving my house. I have severe depression and anxiety, caused by my weight. I have tried to do something about it but it is a lot harder than thin people realise.

      The fact that there are people on this earth that spend their time humiliating overweight people makes me feel physically sick. I am an educated woman, I have a mathematics degree and a master degree in economics and finance and yes, I am overweight. Does that make me less of a person than any of you??? I have to fight with myself every day to remind myself that I am not only the weight the scales gave me. I am a person, with real feelings and emotions. The next time you want to comment on something like the, insulting a fat person. Stop. Think about how you are affecting their lives. I can tell you from personal experience that it is very hard to overcome ridicule and snarky comments made by people who have never in their lives had to feel the way I, and many other people in this world, feel. I hope you never have to. Have a think next time. Surely, you are better than this?

    • Ancillotti profile image

      Ancillotti 4 years ago from Brasil, Vitoria - ES

      I confess I had never heard of fatorexia and thank you so much for teaching me that. Knowledge is the best thing that exists and can be us to know someone with the disease, but now I can help.

      A big hug. Voted up and useful

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      First of all let me say that to each his own, but seriously, I have seen way too many people wearing articles of clothing that are simply not flattering to their body types at all. There are so many options out there for all body types and I do agree with you that it is not necessary to try squeezing into clothing that is 4 sizes too small. Also, wearing clothing that is too tight for you is actually unhealthy, especially pants. I thought this was a great article. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Sara 4 years ago

      Put simply FATorexia is the denial of obesity.

      FATorexia develops over a period of years and is more prevalent in yo-yo dieters where they have gained and lost significant amounts of weight (in some cases many stones over and over again).

      The FATorexic ultimately gets to the stage where the fear of failure to remain slim gives way to a reluctant acceptance of being fat, being obese and everything associated with it. The FATorexic then becomes accustomed to being obese and in order to help themselves feel better they begin to stop looking at the fat image in the mirror, they stop looking at themselves properly as they don’t want to, and ultimately cannot, see the truth of the image staring back at them.

      http://www.fatorexia.org

    • Abbyfitz profile image

      Abbyfitz 4 years ago from Florida

      I think most most modern women equate beauty with showing as much skin as they can. In reality I think modesty is far more beautiful

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      No worries Borsia! I've seen it up here in Idaho. I wear a one piece with a towel around me in front of others. Modesty in any size woman is a lost art.

    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 4 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      For many years I lived at the beach in Southern California and the things that you see in string bikinis will astound and frighten you.

      Close your eyes and picture what this woman would wear for summer fun,,, OK sorry about that I hope you can erase that image from your mind ;-(

      Great Hub Tigerbaby

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 4 years ago from Alabama, USA

      Very interesting, apparently there are many who refuse to face weight gain. I see guys that wear their pants under their buttocks, I guess that's a weight gain problem too. It's not about love because you definitely have to love yourself before someone else loves you. It is plain to see that the problem what ever it might be is completely out of control. When looking like this does not phase the person, then it is obvious that some shrink time help is needed. Thanks for stopping by.

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      I agree with you Sally, someone should love her enough to do that.

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Goodness! Someone needs to take that girl aside and give her a good talking-to! Voted up and interesting! ;D

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      Thank you Renee!

    • ReneeDC1979 profile image

      Renee' D. Campbell 4 years ago from Gaithersburg, Maryland

      Great job on the hub...love the first pic.

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      Absolutely Pink!

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I totally agree, it's not what size you are, it's how you dress yourself. No one is going to see the size of your garment but you!

    • pinkhawk profile image

      pinkhawk 4 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

      I never heard or thought about this type of disorder before, thank you for the new knowledge...

    • carlajbehr profile image

      Carla J Behr 4 years ago from NW PA

      My mother always said, "dress the body you were given" - as I have aged and gained some weight, I remember this and just accept and dress appropriately with taste.

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      Me too Abby! So I always try to wear clothing that is loose and hides my fat! I'm 60 pounds overweight and I actually admire larger women who dress and look beautiful. I don't have the knack.

    • Abbyfitz profile image

      Abbyfitz 4 years ago from Florida

      Sometimes I wonder if they really think they looked good when they left the house that morning. Then that starts to make me wonder. I thought I looked good when I left the house this morning. Do I really look good, or is someone taking a picture of me and texting it to their friends saying "She left the house in that?"

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      I have never heard a label put on this sort of an image distortion. But I have certainly wondered many times what some people see when they look in the mirror when they are obviously dressed in clothes that not only are unappealing, but do not even fit correctly.

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      Fatorexia! That's definitely new to me. Really interesting...

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 4 years ago from Mason City

      Your welcome.

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      Thank you so much Gail!

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 4 years ago from Mason City

      Really great article. I know that I wouldn't want to be seen like that girl in the photo was seen. I would rather wear clothes that fit. Wearing clothes that are too small does cut off the circulation and are very uncomfortable. That girl in the photo should realize that her shorts don't fit at all and she shouldn't be seen in public like that. She looks terrible and she is not beautiful at all.

      Isabelle Caro has a terrible problem with Anorexia. She looks like she's close to death. Hopefully, they can help her somehow to save her life. She looks terrible and doesn't look beautiful at all. Very interesting hub and I voted Up! I loved watching the videos, too. People should read your hub and see the videos.

    • Abbyfitz profile image

      Abbyfitz 4 years ago from Florida

      I think your article is spot on. I have come up with a sort of ratio the past few years from my observations. It seems the bigger they are the least amount of clothes they have to have on.

      I don't know if it is a disorder like anorexia or not. I think they wear clothes five sizes too small just to be able to tell people they can wear a size 6. Also, people just have no standards anymore. They just don't care how they look for the most part. The rest of us have to suffer for it though

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      Wiley, I weighed 120 pounds when I was nine months pregnant with my son. I now weigh 200 pounds. I run all day at my job and eat once a day. The weight gain is horrible yet I still wear clothes that accommodate my extra baggage.

      If someone wouldn't buy clothing that fit their child I think that's abuse. Its painful to wear too tight clothes.

      Women will do almost anything to fit in a too tight pair of jeans or a shoe that's too small because society has put a size on beauty and worth. It's sad!

    • wileyspeaks profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from Auburn, Indiana

      I can believe that there are many people that used to be thin and just have gained weight and can't admit it. I mean those clothes cannot be comfortable. I also know of a mother who refused to buy her daughter bigger sizes and went and threw away all her bigger clothes forcing her to wear clothes that were too small until she lost the weight she had gained. I think it is hard when you have been smaller to admit that you have gained weight, since there is such a stigma on what weight you should be.

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      Kawi, I believe we are on the way to help for this disorder. In my hub I sited the British Medical Journal has mentioned it and Sara Bird wrote a book about her struggle with it.

      I'm not trying to judge people I'm just trying to point out that anorexia and bulimia are not the only disorders out there. Overweight people can have misperceptions about themselves also.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Nice article, a little risky at the beginning, but you pulled it together nicely. You've said what a lot of people already say amongst themselves - and I agree, leave that craziness at home. I wonder though, what treatment - if ever is given, or if there is enough warrant for an actual professional diagnosis of the disease. Just wondering... Voted you up/awesome. Kawi.

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      Me too Debbie. I can't even wear tight shoes. I love to move! Too small clothes are a hindrance to everything if you ask me. There was a time when I liked form fitting clothes but I was young and quite thin!

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      This is an interesting concept and you might be on to something. I have seen my share of fat people in clothes that are for skinny people, and besides looking grotesque, it has to be painful to them. I am a little overweight and when I wear jeans that are a bit tight, I'm uncomfortable all day, feeling like I can't breathe, and even get a headache from the lack of circulation. I can't imagine how terrible it must feel to be very overweight and stuffed into a size 4.

      I consider it indecent exposure, because they are showing much more skin and fat that anyone wants to see. I have a hard time keeping my mouth closed when someone is indecent in public. As I said before, I too need to lose some weight, so my issue isn't with overweight people, it's with people who show the public what the public doesn't need to see. Even thin people show too much skin in public and I usually speak up when something indecent is showing!

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      Boys need a lot more than that! Haha

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

      Boys too!

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      Thank you Suzanne! I also think girls need a little finishing in school!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

      When I was a young girl and teen, one of the things we were taught in school was to recognize the best points of our appearance and learn to present ourselves well by dressing appropriately and displaying appropriate deportment.

      Believe it or not, this was part of music class in elementary school when we learned how to attend a dance. Boys and girls spent a little bit of class time talking and thinking about the right kinds of clothes to wear. Boys learned how to ask a girl to dance and girls learned how to accept or decline, and we learned how to dance together - in public elementary school!

      In 6th grade, my enthusiastic, intelligent and creative homeroom teacher taught us how to present ourselves well and how to meet and greet others in English, Spanish and French!

      When I was in high school, I took 4 years of home ec (a required course) and learned, not only how to choose the right colors and styles to dress my particular body appropriately, but also how to make that clothing so that it would fit me perfectly!

      Today, people say these sorts of skills should be taught at home and schools should only teach academic (and now only practical per manuals provided by corporate entities) information. I heartily disagree! I am grateful for the well-rounded public education I received lo those many years ago, and I believe that if the woman in the picture had received the same, the picture and others like it would not exist.

      Good hub! Voted up and interesting! :)

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 4 years ago from Nampa

      Thank you Magdelene! I think we see this problem in all sizes of girls. They are trying to get attention for one reason or another. Past trauma or hurts maybe or lack of fatherly attention. Unfortunately, this girl must have, at some point fit into those shorts and still thinks she does.

    • Magdelene profile image

      Magdelene 4 years ago from Okotoks

      I'm truly left wondering on this one and not at all sure. I don't understand and I do have to wonder what happened in that persons life or brain that caused this but... we see this sort of behavior in many different forms unfortunately. The mind has many different ways of compensating for what is personally viewed as a shortcoming. If I were a nanobot it would be interesting to get into the neural pathways of this brain and try to figure out what caused this and attempt to repair the damage. But, this is assuming a person would want to have this fixed and if they actually see it as a problem. I don't know about anyone else but I would like to know the why and how of it all. She may very well be a truly grand person but something is off kilter and something caused things to go awry. But, that being said, we cannot fix something in another person unless they see it as a problem. I've rambled enough, that picture is a real attention grabber. Interesting hub.

    • Rufus rambles profile image

      Rufus rambles 5 years ago from Australia

      I have to admit I have seen very overweight people dress in clothes clearly too small for them - you wonder how they can look in the mirror and feel it's appropriate? Don't any of their friends tell them? Clothes should be there to provide warmth, comfort and proper coverage! This picture is just frankly unbelievable.

    • tigerbaby777 profile image
      Author

      tigerbaby777 5 years ago from Nampa

      Thank you all for your support on my hub. It is sad that people are so insecure that they have to dress like they are a size zero when they aren't. I think that this disfunction is going to get a lot of coverage in the near future.

      I hope that people can get some help and move forward with weight loss, in my case, and fashion reality in other's.

      This may not be as dangerous as Anorexia or bulemia but it is still a disfunction of the brain center.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I think it is all about denial. I know plenty of people that were once small and still want to wear their cute small outfits. Sadly, once a person gets to a bigger size, she MUST get new bigger clothes. Usually a close friend or family member has to have an intervention with the poor delusional person. Thanks for sharing this. Voted up!

    • Shelly McRae profile image

      Shelly McRae 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      That picture really freaks me out. Someone, please, call the fashion police. Glad, though, that it promted you to write such an interesting hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • ananceleste profile image

      Anan Celeste 5 years ago from California

      Interesting subject. I always wondered if they did it to get attention. I knew of someone in my family that fit that description. I always felt bad because even her children made fun of her. But all the times I tried to address the subject she would get very defensive and angry, so I gave up. It's just plain sad. Voted up!

    • quotations profile image

      Robert P 5 years ago from Canada

      I had never heard of fatorexia before, but I have certainly seen people who seem to fit the definition. I think that you are on to something. People of Walmart.comhas many more pictures.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      People should most certainly dress for their body type and I've often wondered if anyone owns a mirror at home. Sharing your story.