Danica Marjanović knows exactly what you're thinking when you look at her.
She doesn't have to ask to know that when most people look at her body, they'll be "concerned" about her health.
"I can’t tell you how many fake health concerns/bullying/body shaming comments I get that start with 'I am all for self love BUT... you should be working out to love your body,'" she wrote on an Instagram post earlier this month.
However, she pointed out, those comments are often reserved specifically for fat bodies, designed to mask weight discrimination.
"Would you tell an underweight anorexic patient in the early stages of recovery to start exercising to prove she loves her self?" she asked.
Marjanović, who is recovering from an eating disorder, wrote on her photo that becoming fat saved her life, and hit back at what she calls "the treatment of bodies that are not skinny."
The thing is, you can't tell whether or not someone is healthy just by looking at them, but people feel much more free to comment on someone's body if they're overweight — despite the fact that people who aren't thin can also be struggling with disordered eating.
"Just because my body does not conform to society’s standards of an eating disorder recovery body does not mean I am not overcoming a serious issue with restricting my food," Marjanović wrote. "No one has the right to then use their ill informed ignorant judgment to tell me how I should or shouldn’t be showing love to my body you have NO not even a SLIGHT idea how far I’ve come with my relationship with food and exercise."
The stereotypes we hold up about what eating disorders look like can keep survivors from seeking help, she said.
"I always felt not skinny enough to go get help about my issues with food and body image," she wrote. "If anything I’m trying to make a point of the treatment of bodies that are not skinny even in the treatment of eating disorders — this has to change."
Refinery29 has reached out to Marjanović for comment, and will update this article when we receive a response.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.
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