The rise of first-person writing on the Internet has proven that just about any self-destructive behavior can be reclaimed and explored for artistic (or traffic-baiting) purposes. It's hardly a shocker; drug addicts and drunks populate the Western canon, and irresponsible sex has long sold itself. Self-starvation has a home in some feminist literature and the grim Internet underworld of pro-ana blogs. But what about bulimia?
There's a reason writers tend not to wear their binge-and-purge habit as a badge—it’s totally unglamorous. It’s actually pretty gross. So, leave it to Cat Marnell, the former xoJane.com writer whose unapologetic pill-and-angel-dust use has inspired many a concerned think piece, to shatter what might be the personal essay's last shame barrier.
In the umpteenth profile of her, published in Page Six Magazine today, Marnell "owns" her eating disorder.
She dismisses her mother with a wave of her hand and describes her as an "empty lot." All she inherited from her, she says, are eating issues: Cat is proudly bulimic. "Real girls know how to do it," she smiles coyly. "It's part of being a woman."
She added on Twitter: "you CAN be just a LITTLE bit bulimic ;)... You feminists should try it instead of wordvomiting all those earnest 2000 word essays about how tragic and pathetic I am."