I’m taking a break from religious and cultist and new age group influence and symbology this week in this post to bring up an issue which isn’t overly important in The Prodigal Band Trilogy but an issue I am well familiar with–eating disorders, which according to my research on the fashion industry and histories of fashion models seems to be quite prominent. Several of my female characters, wives or girlfriends of my prodigal band members, were models in the fashion industry as well as celebrities otherwise. One of them had an eating disorder known as bulimia.
Bulimia is highlighted by eating–sometimes huge amounts of food–and then vomiting it up to supposedly maintain their skinny (or otherwise) weight. This is one of the more prominent disorders to maintain low weight; the more serious one is called anorexia nervosa, which is self-starvation. But some folks simply cannot starve themselves. So they eat, and then vomit the food.
For proof that fashion models and celebrities (mostly female) have been ‘forced’ to keep their weight down to a very skinny level, I have some links to articles that will verify this:
Oh, and I too was bulimic on and off for six years–in order to attract a future husband! That is one reason my most important female character was made to be bulimic. Ger is the name of the character, and she is the woman of Erik, my singer-front man character. She is five-foot-eight with dark brown close-cropped page-boy hairstyle with a widow’s peak, and has sultry blue eyes and an enticing smile. She was born in London to an upper-middle class family, and her father owns a hardware store in Walltown, where the band is from. When her man Erik and the rest of Sound Unltd make it big in 1989, she desires to be a super model. So it went.
In the first snippet from Chapter Two of Battle of the Band, Ger, living in a flat she shared with Erik in a bohemian section in London, receives a phone call from her friend, Lady Sandy, who had recently married a lord and publishing mogul. The conversation is about the band’s third album which is rapidly climbing the hit charts. Ger, who was ‘sick,’ did not know this. Later in this chapter is revealed why she is ‘sick.’
Ger, a coquette with a close-cropped asymmetric page-boy hair-do with an accentuated widow’s peak and nearly as tall as Erik, sat on the couch near the phone. “Hello?”
“Ger, this is Sandy. Get ready to move out of that garbage dump, girl. Get ready to move to my neck of the woods.”
“Oh, right, Sandy. Right now.”
“My God, girl. Have you been hibernating in bohemia lately?”
“The past few days, yes. I have a stomach flu or something.”
“Oh! Sorry, luv, but hasn’t Erik told you?”
“Told me? He hasn’t been home the last few nights with me being sick. Last night he stayed at the recording studio composing or something. And I know what you’re thinking! No, Sandy, it’s not another girl, okay?”
A second later, her conviction faltered.
“No, Ger, I didn’t think that.” Sandy knew otherwise, but wisely dropped the subject. “You mean they’re working on new tracks already?”
“Yes, since the beginning of last week. They want to have it finished by the end of February. So what’s the big news?”
“My God, Ger, Powerhouse is selling out all over the place!”
Ger gripped the edge of the couch. “You mean the record shops are selling out?”
She shot out of her chair, screaming, “Are you serious?”
Ger sat speechless for about a minute.
“Are you there, Ger?”
“God! I must be the only person in London who doesn’t know Powerhouse is selling out. Listen, I have to ring off and go out.”
”But you’re sick, remember?”
“I don’t care! I’m too excited to fidget around in here.”
“Well, don’t go mews hunting until you get better.”
“Mews hunting?” Laughs. “No, I’m going for a walk. Bye.”
Before Ger went for her walk, the soon-glamorous petite took her time out to vomit. Her toilet was marked by residue of previous bouts of bulimia she wouldn’t admit to having. Even to herself.
Must be stomach flu, but I’ve had this a couple of months on and off. Could be I’m just anxious about being too fat to model. Maybe it’s good I have this flu because I keep throwing up and I’m losing weight fast. But I need to be shapelier, skinnier.
Ger’s bulimia comes to full force in Chapter Nine of Battle of the Band. After eating hardly anything during the day while working on her TV show, when she got back to their fancy estate south of London she consumed eight cookies with lots of calories that she ‘dealt with’ later as her man came home from his video work. Later, after he ‘forced’ her to eat dinner, he caught her again doing her purge act.
December 2, 1995
When Ger arrived home late that afternoon, the MegaThin diet queen headed straight for the kitchen, took a fruit-shaped dish from a cabinet, went to the chocolate-chip cookie canister and placed eight biscuits on the plate. The ten-million-dollar-girl hadn’t eaten all day. She woke at nine a.m., quickly groomed herself and rushed out of the house so she’d get to the TV studio in time to pre-record her December 15 show. She hardly touched her lunch at a fancy eatery. Five minutes after she took the cookies, she looked down at her empty plate. Panic struck her. All eight are gone! I ate all eight of those things—seventy calories each—in five minutes! Five hundred sixty calories. Fat calories!
With angry force, she slapped her stomach. Bad tummy! Bad girl! She could feel herself getting fat. She could feel those tiny fat cells in her body grow and multiply. She could see the cellulite oozing onto the surface of her perfection, making her look fat, making her ugly, making her bad. Bad girl!
Ger ran up the stairs to her bedroom—four times, and down four times. She could work off sixty calories that way. Feeling a little more triumphant, she strolled to her scale. One-hundred-four pounds. Yesterday, she weighed one pound less.
A sick feeling came over her. I gained one pound eating those stupid biscuits! She beat her tummy again. I’ll show you, bad girl! Ger bent over her stained toilet—Why doesn’t my maid clean this thing?—put her right index and middle fingers into her throat and vomited. Globs of partially digested cookie balls plopped into her toilet. Her throat and insides hurt. Serves you right, bad girl!
Just as Ger threw up her last glob, he entered their room and heard her coughing over the toilet with the bathroom door open. Just as she was about to clean herself, Erik stood at the bathroom door puzzled.
She washed herself, then turned, and, startled, shrieked, “My God, Erik! Where’d you come from?”
“I just got home. What’s wrong with you?”
“Well, I felt sick is all. But I’m feeling better now.”
“What made you sick?”
“Oh, I hadn’t eaten all day and then I came home and wolfed down some chocolate-chip biscuits. You know how that goes.” Ger laughed to lighten things up. “No biggie.”
“Well, eat some lunch, girl. You’re wasting away.” He pulled her out of the bathroom by her arm, then hugged her twenty-inch waist. “There’s hardly anything left for me to grab onto.” Pinched her waist. Nothing between his fingers. “You’re skin-and-bones, love. I’m gonna make sure you eat something tonight. Shit, girl, all you had last night were some celery sticks, lentil soup, and three bites of roast beef. I’d die on what you eat lately.”
After throwing up that afternoon, Ger complained over dinner in the parlor. “Look, Erik. My stomach hurts and I can’t eat this greasy lamb chop.”
Erik wouldn’t hear of it. “Shit, girl. You either eat one chop—all of it—or I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.”
Ger quickly polished off the chop, the peas and potatoes. Just as quickly, she made for her bathroom, drank two glasses of water and began to vomit. She didn’t hear Erik sneak up on her as she made her stomach heave again.
Without going into details–since she never told him about her bulimia, he angrily leaves her (temporarily) and later consumes large quantities of booze as the band works back home in Walltown on more videos, with dire consequences. Though they make up marriage-wise while Erik and bassist Keith lie in hospital beds, Ger, staying with Keith’s wife Jarris in her mother’s fancy flat, realizes the consequences of her unwise bulimic behavior. This third snippet is from Chapter Four of The Prophesied Band.
Ger went over to the water pitcher on the ornate silver serving cart. Poured a little into a crystal glass and sipped.
Coughed it back up.
“What happened, Ger? Wrong pipe?”
The brunette was alarmed. “No. It didn’t go down my throat. I was startled because— I just has trouble swallowing the water. Hurt a little bit.”
Jarris put her hand around Ger’s shoulder. “You probably picked up a bug in hospital. Take a cough drop, eh?”
She couldn’t admit to herself the dull heartburn-like pain of swallowing had been going on for weeks. Ever since her persistent binge-purge cycle of bulimia had peaked.
Chapter Six of The Prophesied Band tells of the result of these consequences. What result? Buy the book to find out!
The Prodigal Band Trilogy © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde, Battle of the Band © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde, The Prophesied Band © 1998 by Deborah Lagarde and The Prodigal Band © 2018 by Deborah Lagarde. Permission needed to copy any materials off this page.