Your post made me think of an excellent book that I recently read: Dietland (http://www.saraiwalker.com/dietland). I found it tough to read at times, but it was worth it. In some ways, it reminds me of your experience of looking — and not looking away. That hard look for me was at our society and the double standards we have even when we are trying not to have them. I found myself challenging my own way of thinking and challenging the societal acceptance of violence and cruelty as the way things are rather than working to change.
Thanks for sharing your experience,