Autor: denver_d 25 December 2009
Words: 1180 | Pages: 5
My reaction to the various websites I found promoting anorexia and bulimia went from being disgusted to having a little sick interest. The human body, in all its forms, is compelling. In general, most of the sites I found had a few things in common with one site on pro anorexic and bulimic called â€œoOoâ€¦anaâ€™s underground grottoâ€¦oOoâ€ that has everything: pictures to help keep your goal in mind, a chat room to find others like you and friends to diet/fast with, rituals to follow and help you stick to fasting, poetry as a way to motivate you not to eat, and a post area where you could see entryâ€™s made by anorexics/bulimics.
The pictures that I found on â€œoOoâ€¦anaâ€™s underground grottoâ€¦oOoâ€ were set up like a gallery and included disgusting photos of women who are suffering from the disease as well as pictures of famous models or actressâ€™s. Another part of the gallery showed something called a reverse trigger or a picture of an overweight person, usually a female, usually in a bathing suit. All the pictures were disgusting and not something I would want to look at. â€œFragile Innocenceâ€ is a very disturbing website that also has pictures but on this site they are used as background. â€œFragile Innocenceâ€ has lots of links and I found a poem that seems to be about anorexic death, how it is suicide and all the emotions that connect to a person considering killing himself/herself. The poem is called â€œ[s]caredâ€ and is by simply Brittany.
The chat room on â€œoOoâ€¦anaâ€™s underground grottoâ€¦oOoâ€ was what stunned me the most. Some of the girls in the chat were teaching others how they â€œmade itâ€ (whatever that is) and what to do. Others were just sharing their experiences with one another. This sharing is what some of the websites are all about: telling your experience, such as with â€œfiregalâ€ who explains that her website â€œis not intended to encourage people to develop eating disordersâ€ but that she has decided that she doesnâ€™t â€œhave the strength to go into recovery. I just want to keep losing weight until I no longer feel fat and see fat when I look in the mirror.â€ Although the least pro of the sites I visited, â€œfiregalâ€ makes you feel sad.
As I continued to visit sites I realized that most of them had a link where you could view posts that people put up usually asking for a fasting partner or a tip. One post I read stated â€œstarving yourself is hardly a challenge!â€ This is called thinspiration. Thinspiration is any kind of motivation to keep starving yourself, a wicked opposite to 12-step recovery programs. Pictures, poems, quotes and idols are thinspirational to anorexics and bulimics. Some other quotes I found on â€œoOoâ€¦anaâ€™s underground grottoâ€¦oOoâ€ are as follows:
â€œNothing tastes as good as thin feels.
One moment on the lips ... forever on the hips.
The thinner the winner!
You can never be too rich or too thin.â€
â€œHunger hurts but starving works ...â€
â€This is forever. I will do whatever it takes. I want to be thin more than anything, even food...â€
â€Starvation is fulfilling. Colors become brighter, sounds sharper, odors so much more savory and penetrating that inhalation fills every fibre and pore of the body. The greatest enjoyment of food is actually found when never a morsel passes the lips.â€
â€THIS IS NOT A DIET. IT IS A LIFESTYLE.â€
â€One day I will be thin enough. Just the bones, no disfiguring flesh. Just the pure clear shape of me, bones. That is what we all are, what we're made up of and everything else is just storage, deposit, waste. Strip it away, use it up.â€
Tips from the â€œFragile Innocenceâ€ site came under the following headings, which say it all: â€œHow do I purge? Do laxatives work? Why do I involuntarily vomit when I run? How many calories do I have to eat to say alive?â€ and so on. Thinspiration seems more like euthanasia than support.
People who are becoming anorexic or bulimic using these site are teens who think they are overweight and/or those with a low self esteem: somebody looking for a clique or group, a place to fit in. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by voluntary starvation and exercise stress. This is dangerous because these teens are putting themselves at multiple risks by not eating healthily, especially because they are still in puberty. According to â€œWikipedia,â€ the diseases are really a psychological condition in which the subject engages in recurrent binge eating followed by intentionally purging or riding themselves of food. The â€œWikipediaâ€ site also explains, â€œThe cause of anorexia nervosa is unknown, although it is likely that both inherent biological factors and factors in the patient's social environment play a part.â€ It is also important to understand what makes someone consider it as an option: â€œPuberty, deaths in the family and other life stresses are all believed to be potential triggers of anorexia.â€ I guess you could say that the diseases are like other ones that â€œonsetâ€ in puberty, such as OCD or depression, and that all have stress triggers as one reason added to others.
It was surprising to me to learn that there is some support for pro-ana sites. The â€œWikipediaâ€ article explains that â€œdoctors who deal with anorexia see these websites as a life-threatening danger to current and prospective anorexicsâ€ because the sites are â€œactively trying to recruit new anorectics.â€ The other side of it is that â€œmany pro-anas wish they had never started, and thus, abhor wannabes. These websites can offer potentially life-saving advice, such as admonishments to avoid the use of syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting. They can also be a support network, a place for the anorectic to go to talk to those like him/herself, and possibly feel better about him/herself. Pro-anas are not anti-recovery, and an anorectic who wishes to recover can find support for his/her choice through this network, which is often the only place for such approval.â€ A perfect example of this would be the â€œfiregalâ€ website.
As a peer educator I would have to be a sympathetic listener. In addition to the â€œWikipediaâ€ article, another one entitled, â€œLearning to Love Anorexia? â€˜Pro-Anaâ€™ Web Sites Flourishâ€ by Deidre Dolan shows the disease to be a very lonely existence: â€œGirls suffer alone, fighting to control their body by obsessing about what they put into itâ€¦ As the anorexic experiences less and less support, the victim of an already isolating disease only winds up feeling more alone.â€ Listening and helping that person connect to a non-judgmental person would be a first step in support, along with the suggestion that the person could call for support at any time. The goal is to be supportive of the personâ€™s decision. There are enough people telling these girls to stop as a peer educator you could really help them just by being there for them.
http://www.plagueangel.net/grotto/id2.html â€œoOoâ€¦anaâ€™s underground grottoâ€¦oOoâ€
http://www.observer.com/pages/story.asp?ID=6913 â€œLearning to Love Anorexia? Pro-Ana Web Sites Flourishâ€ by Deidre Dolan
http://winkin.phpwebhosting.com/~joeic/privet/thin/index2.html â€œFragile Innocenceâ€
http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/firegal â€œMy Storyâ€