I have to tell you about a song I heard this week. It’s been playing inside my head on repeat, free of charge. I first saw the video linked on one of my favorite Instagram influencers. As I watched the video and listened to the lyrics, I had a strong physical reaction and felt tears streaming down my face. The message of this song was body positive, inclusive, and was something I didn’t know I needed to hear.
“Victoria’s Secret” by the artist JAX hit number one on iTunes the first few days after it was released. The song tells the artist’s story of the eating disorder she struggled with as a young girl. She states on her Instagram that stores like Victoria’s Secret and others lead to the belief that “itty bitty” bodies are the best. She believes this message contributes to various eating disorders in an attempt to feel beautiful. JAX said in an interview, “The issue with toxic commercial body standards is not just the lack of plus-sized representation, but that belief one body type is the right body type.”
JAX wrote this song for the 13-year-old girl she nannies. The young girl had gotten in the car in tears after friends told her the swimsuit she was wearing made her look flat and fat. JAX knew she wanted to combat the type of messaging that young girls and boys receive on social media daily, so she wrote Victoria’s Secret. The song begins with the lyrics, “I wish somebody would have told me when I was younger that all bodies aren’t the same.”
28.8 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder sometime in their life. There are many different types of eating disorders. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia are probably the two most well-known disorders. Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by a severe restriction of calories and weight loss or lack of appropriate weight gain in growing children. Bulimia is characterized by a cycle of binging and purging by vomiting or the use of laxatives. Other eating disorders include binge eating disorder, orthorexia, pica, and different types of disordered eating that put a person’s health at risk.
There are multiple risk factors to consider with eating disorders, including biological, psychological & social risk factors. Each person is unique, but we know that having a close relative with an eating disorder puts one at risk. In addition, a history of dieting, perfectionism, body image dissatisfaction, teasing, or bullying, especially around weight, can negatively affect a person. Studies have suggested that adolescent girls’ eating disorders have increased over the last 50 years. This increase is often blamed on social media and the young person’s attempt to achieve the thin, perfect body ideal.
What should you do if you suspect you or someone in your life suffers from an eating disorder? A hotline is sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association(NEDA). You can contact NEDA for yourself or for a loved one by calling
Call 1-800-931-2237 or text 800-931-2237
Helpline volunteers are trained to help you find the support and information you need. You can also visit the NEDA website to find confidential screening tools and other helpful resources.
Be sure to go and watch the Victoria’s Secret video and share it with someone if you think they would appreciate the song’s message. It’s quite a catchy tune!
Written By: Christine B., Masters Level Intern
Morris AM, Katzman DK. The impact of the media on eating disorders in children and adolescents. Paediatr Child Health. 2003 May;8(5):287-9. doi: 10.1093/pch/8.5.287. PMID: 20020030; PMCID: PMC2792687.