Here’s a trend that needs to die a swift death: the inclination to slap “-orexic” at the end of a word to imply the over- or under-use of something. I.e., Liarexic. Drunkorexic. And the latest: Bleachorexic.
The Huffington Post reports on bleachorexia, calling it an “obsessive beauty habit.” Supposedly it pertains to people who bleach their teeth compulsively. Pretty simple concept: these are people who buy teeth-whitening products in abundance, get preoccupied with how white their teeth are, and go to the dentist frequently for treatments.
But here’s the breaking news about comparing teeth bleaching to anorexia, which is essentially what making up the word “bleachorexic” does. Anoroxia isn’t a habit. It’s a disease, and a deadly one at that. Categorizing it alongside made-up nonsense like “bleachorexic” perpetuates the widely-held notion that it’s just a diet gone wrong, something that can be remedied by simply eating a sandwich. It inadvertently treats eating disorders like a joke, when care and research for them are woefully underfunded, and when they have among the highest mortality rates of any are among the deadliest psychiatric illnesses out there.
Is your habit of bleaching your teeth going to kill you? Is it going to cause your liver or heart to fail? Is it going to cost you your health and your relationships?
Orly? It isn’t? Then let’s stop comparing it to something that will.