Jo is 21 and suffers from bulimia, a kind of eating disorder.
Jo is 21 and suffers from bulimia, a kind of eating disorder. Her obsession is not about being thin; it’s about not gaining weight, in spite of the huge amount of food that she ingests every day. Bulimia has taken all her time and money, and also her passion: dance. “If I was not bulimic I would be dancing like before – Jo says – But ballet is about elegance and perfection, and I’m a crap person in the middle of chaos”. She doesn’t look overweight and she hates her body and can’t see herself in leggings in front of a mirror anymore. She also thinks that her addiction is ‘disgusting’. That’s why she never told anyone – not even her boyfriend – about it. For some reason, she decided to open herself to me.
I woke up with her and listened to her saying: “I hope this is going to be a good day.” With her I went to the supermarket and watched movies in her computer. I also saw her going through daily crisis, eating and vomiting immediately after. She confessed to me that she does self-injured, specifically small cuts in her legs and feet. I saw her good days turning into very bad ones and I saw Jo acting in public as if everything was absolutely fine. And this is actually what this illness is all about, pretending that everything is all right while it’s not. An apparent normality that makes bulimia one of the hardest disorders to diagnose and a devastating killer.
The lies and misunderstandings that surround bulimia are what convinced me to further develop this project. My aim is putting the viewers in a disturbing situation where they will also have to experience opposite emotions and elaborate different judgments. If people generally feel either pitiful or horrified by stories of eating disorders, this time I want them to empathize with these girls and get to understand their weakness and instability. For their bad days are a tragic form of fragility that ultimately belongs to every human being.
Photography: Laia Abril
Video Editing: Pablo Pastor
Music: Francesco Novara