Sunday, April 7, 2013

Oh, the glorious pro ana community

To put it simply, I am no stranger to the lovely world of eating disorders. I really don't feel ready to post my story just yet as I feel as if it is something that I'm still coming to terms with and getting my head around, but I am pretty sure I will post about it in the future.

Something that continues to make me sick (just realised the irony of that; I promise you it was typed with absolutely NO pun intended) is the 'pro ana' movement in social media, such as tumblr, instagram, twitter etc. For those of you lucky people who are blissfully unaware of what pro ana means, it is the promotion of anorexia. This is done by using images and slogans, such as 'anorexia is a lifestyle, not an illness' and 'a moment on the lips, forever on the hips' to name the most innocent. And as for the pictures, well I feel that in itself would be promoting and exposing this disgusting topic to further lengths.

Members of the delightful pro ana community endorse anorexia and bulimia as desirable, share crash/fad dieting tips and tricks, compete in their weight loss, commiserate with each other after binging or breaking fast, advice on laxative use or how to best induce vomiting, glamorise the illnesses of anorexia and bulimia to vulnerable young girls, post their weight and body measurements as motivation, and post thinspo ('thinspiration) images to further glamorise eating disorders.

Now let me point out, This blog post is possibly going to be triggering to any of you out there with eating disorders. And it is something that I'm really getting fired up about for one simple reason- pro ana sites have over the past few years ruined aspects of my life. They have distorted my view of healthy and attractive, and plummeted my self esteem levels to an all time low. It is something that I'm trying so hard to change at the moment, and I quite frankly would like to shut down every single pro ana site out there and slaughter all of their publishers (I will explain further later) not only for ruining my life, but undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of other vulnerable young girls and boys out there. It honestly pains me to think of young girls even today, stumbling across such disgusting websites and developing the same issues that I have.

The people who begin these horrific websites fall into two categories- 1) sufferers of anorexia, who are usually recovering and are looking for other people in the same situation to talk to, who get warped in by the disgusting hideous monsters of the second category- 2) horrific trolls who are incredibly sad, pathetic people with an obsession with thin girls (may I add, studies show such monsters are usually overweight themselves) and use this community as a way to feed their sick obsession. I don't blame either one of the two people- both stereotypes are suffering undoubtedly from mental issues and illnesses, I quite frankly blame social media for allowing such things.

Eating disorders are developed by the brain. It is not something you choose. This seems unknown to so many people. And eating disorder is a mental illness, which is usually triggered by things like wanting control, self hatred, low self esteem and loneliness. Things like pro Ana only further and deepen this illness, and trick sufferers into thinking that what they are doing to themselves Is healthy, normal and right. Not to mention, causing many vulnerable young people who don't know better to try things out like fasting and purging for themselves.

This has to stop. How many more lives need to be ruined before these websites are shut down? How many more young girls need to die before the government realises just how preventable eating disorders can be? When is enough truly enough?

If only big websites like tumblr and twitter were to abolish the 'pro ana' tag forever. Would it really be so hard? Why can websites like blogger and word press make it easier for complaints to be formed, and take complaints more seriously in ways that involve taking steps to shut down dangerous websites?

20% of people with eating disorders die from their eating disorder, not to mention the countless number of sufferers who become infertile and die young

In my eyes, people need to realise exactly what is happening. I can bet you any amount of money that parents (even my own parents, who know the struggles I have been through) have no clue what damaging material is out there and how easy it is to come across. If every adult in this country was aware exactly how bad it is, I guarantee we would have less of a problem.

So I'm asking you to do something about this. Blog about this issue, write a letter of complaint, YouTube a video response about it, talk to someone about it. If we could make 100 more people aware of this issue, then the first step would have been taken towards tackling this scary problem that so many innocent young people are facing today. If you have read this blog post and support my wish, then please take the time out of your day to sign my petition. It is quick, easy, anonymous and best of all FREE, and means more then you can imagine to me as I really feel it could make a difference. You can find it here. Thank you so much if you do :) Now, before it becomes too late to change anything. Deaths from eating disorders ARE  preventable.

Thanks for reading, and for your continued support xox