the "t" with Trinity: comfort

High school senior and Philadelphia Young Playwrights intern Trinity's take on Mouthful. 

Taytiana’s story should be heard everywhere to let other females know they are not alone...  
— Trinity Williams

August 7, 2017:

Lose it. Eating disorders do not discriminate.

When we think about eating disorders we normally think about a young white girl but, because eating disorders don't discriminate: anyone can get one.

On Episode Two of Mouthful, they talked about Eating Disorders. Taytiana Velasquez-Rivera, a high school senior at Science Leadership Academy, was brought in to talk about her experience with her eating disorder. Growing up as a young Latina, she always found it hard to stay a solid weight and not eat a lot. When Taytiana was 13, she was brushing her teeth and accidentally hit a part of her throat that made her purge. From that day on she would do it after every meal. She lost 50 pounds doing this.

As a class assignment, Taytiana had to write a monologue that won Philadelphia Young Playwrights' Monologue Festival. Taytiana stated that after she found out that she won her emotions were everywhere she was happy but yet fearful because her mother was the only person who knew about her eating disorder. Her bravery and courage is something that pushed her to share her play with others, “I was actually going to decline coming, but I was like I have to do it because this is my story and I know there are other people out there that have experienced the same thing.”

Taytiana’s story was very near and dear to my heart because I understand how it feels for people to constantly have something to say about my weight. While listening to her story I began to cry because I understand how she feels. There are a lot of times when I find myself in Taytiana’s shoes .

When I look at other people and see how much they can eat and how they don't have to worry about their weight it makes me sometimes feel insecure. Her story is relevant at this time because many people struggle with eating disorders just like Taytiana.  According to Walden Center for Education and Research about youth eating disorders show that:

  • 15% of women 17 to 24 have eating disorders
  • 40% of teenage females have eating disorders
  • 91% of female teenagers have attempted to control their weight through dieting

Dr. DeCaro, clinical therapist from The Renfrew Center was a special guest on the podcast, and stated that Taytiana was very brave for writing the monologue and sharing it with others.

According to Dr. DeCaro some signs of an eating disorder are:

  • Calorie Counting
  • Obsession with weight
  • Constantly weighing themselves
  • Comparing themselves to others

Dr. Decaro encourages parents to keep a lookout for these signs. She also asks parents if they find their child or someone else with these signs to get help for them immediately. Eating disorders should be taken serious just like any other illness.

There are many thing that can trigger eating disorders and social media is one of them. In the US, 81% of people have social media and more than half of the people are youth 21 or younger according to University of Haifa in Israel created a study in 2011 to see how social media affected youth ages 12-19. The study showed that between these ages youth have the most exposure to social media and have the highest rates of eating disorders or related diseases. It also showed that the more time females spent on Facebook the higher they were at risk of getting a eating disorder or thinking bad about themselves.

Bulimia and Anorexia are not the only eating disorders there is also binge eating. Binge Eating is just as severe as Bulimia and Anorexia because just like the others they can cause death. There are many alternatives to having an eating disorder such as:

  • Call a friend or your therapist and discuss what is happening.
  • Call a hotline. 
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. 
  • Remind yourself that everything is going to be okay. 
  • Find something that will help with stress release.

Taytiana’s story should be heard everywhere to let other females know they are not alone and shouldn’t have to resort to eating disorders.