From film to media to treatment center brochures, eating disorders have been framed as a “white women’s” illness. Eating disorders impact people of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexualities, and ages. The BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community has been greatly impacted by medical professionals, mental health professionals, and researchers overlooking how racial trauma can lead to eating disorders.
Researchers and clinicians taking an intersectional approach to eating disorder diagnosis and treatment would help center BIPOC voices. Javon Garcia, LSW has started a BIPOC therapy group at Howard Brown Health Center to process racism, racial trauma, identity development, microaggressions, and racial violence. The group is focused on providing a safe healing space for BIPOC folks to cope with depression, anxiety, and stress that’s tied to one’s culture, identity, intergenerational trauma, and experiences of racism/discrimination.