Sisterhood of Starvation

BY: Dena Alfadhi

At age 14, I stood in front of a mirror and pulled at my skin. I stared at the reflection of myself in the mirror with disgust and self-loathing. I disconnected my mind from my body and watched as it slowly deteriorated. Three years later, I stopped feeding myself lies, and began feeding myself food. But I fell witness to watching a body other than my own put itself through the same kind of suffering. In an effort to not play the motherly figure, I knew I would have despised, I ignored the little signs: the slow eating, the smaller portions, the obsession with working out. Soon enough, I started playing her game, joining her endeavor to self-destruction. I was lucky enough to pull out before I was nothing more than a weightless object with no passion or desire to get better, but many are not as fortunate. I now fear a woman leading herself in to what is ultimately suicide, and not so much about playing the motherly figure. If you have the chance to potentially save someone’s life, it is worth them hating you for the time being. I watch as girls and women today laugh about their ‘water only’ diets and hear their decisions to skip meals together, as if harming their bodies cooperatively makes it more acceptable.


Sisterhood of Starvation


We took an oath,

We made a pledge.

We vowed to never let one another

Taste the tender soft bread.

Or the lay a tongue

on the sweet chocolate bed.


We vowed to help each other forget

our satisfaction and needs that could not be met,

To forget the feeling of gelato on a summer day,

No more warm cookies when the skies are grey.


At first it was a game.

Swallowing pills and guessing calories.

Feeding off each others abnormalities.


But then it was a war.

At our necks and throats, together we tore

Skinnier meant prettier.


We took an oath

We made a pledge

Together we grappled, hanging on a ledge

But at any point, we could have stopped


We could have put down our knives

and saved each other's lives

Whispering the only words we ever wanted to hear

“You are perfect the way you are”


Instead, we held up our blades,

And compared how much we weighed.

We ripped apart at each others’ skins,

while our stomachs pricked with needles and pins.


Until our shattered bodies hit the floor,

Cold bones, together, and no more.

We lay still.



We took an oath.

We made a pledge

To wage a war

And at each others’ bodies,

We tore.

Off The Cuff Magazine