Friday, April 6, 2012

Pro-Ana (part one: Websites)

*Trigger Warning* I don't usually have to put one of these up BUT I know some of my readers are recovering from eating disorders and I don't want to trigger you. If that's you please LEAVE NOW!

This is hitting the news again (it cycles) so I feel the need to touch on the subject. If you are a parent please stick around for this series. It's quite serious.

For those that haven't heard the terms "Pro-Ana" or "Pro-Mia" or "Pro-ED" let me enlighten's PRO eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, eating disorder...respectively).

Yes, I'm serious. These websites have been around for a LONG time. I've been using the internet for almost 15 years and it's been around for the entire time.

For me it started with AOL chat rooms. Then, when the internet became much much more than AOL, I discovered the pro-ana websites.

I truly don't remember what I searched in Yahoo! to bring up these pages. I just know that I searched *something* related to eating disorders and it brought up a pro-ana site. I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole into an entirely new world. (Like that cliche isn't over-used right? lol)

These sites, in my opinion, are more damaging to your household than pornography. They're also harder to block! Is your child on Facebook, Tumblr, Xanga, Pinterest, etc? It's there. And it's not blocked as often as scantily clad women.

What's found on these sites?

Prepare to be disturbed...

There are tips for things like staying full, losing weight, and HIDING your eating disorder.

There are photos (many photoshopped) of varying sizes. The incredibly skinny are "thinsperation" and the obese are "reverse thinspo."

Most have a Letter From Ana. (I put it in a Google Doc so I wouldn't risk linking directly to a site)

There are "Thin Commandments" that include things like "If you aren't thin, you aren't attractive" and "Being thin and not eating are signs of true will power and success."

There are diets, exercises, and links to other blogs.

All that nourishes me, destroys me.

Are you scared? You should be. These sites tend to fall under "free speech." It doesn't matter if they get removed. It's like soon as one is gone a dozen come in to replace it.

What do you do?

Be aware. As a parent you may browse these sites to know the signs. Know your enemy. With the rise of teaching children that fat is bad and telling them they're obese we may be feeding this problem.

Please share your thoughts below! And please please share this post!!

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