Something has been brought to my attention, again. I thought I might bring it to yours. Not so long ago, right after I had my first baby girl, I was on Live Journal. If you don’t know what it is, it is a journal community. Similar but different to all the journal communities out there. One could make communities for anything they were passionate about. We had spinners and knitters communities galore. But there were other darker communities of course.
One such genre of community really got to me. It was the pro-ana communities. Pro-ana = yay-eating disorder. It was all communities filled with girls that hated their bodies. I don’t mean hated like all teens do in a way. I mean hated in a way that led them to the eating disorders. Hated in a way that kinda chokes me up a little to think that little girls do this. The communities were there to help support one another in the hate. Things were bandied about like “Look at yourself in a mirror, think about how much you hate your body, think about all the changes you want to make. DON’T EAT – you’ll never change all that flab if you eat”. Lots of photos as well:
The pro-ana communities are not helpful and its worrisome if your daughter is in those communities and believing the hate your body messages. Boys can fall into it to but the eating disorders are mostly a girls domain. I fought in those communities. I went in and I yelled at them. I told them how wrong they were…..sigh. It really wasn’t so productive. These girls were sick and holding on their illness as if it were a life raft that I was trying to throw them off of.
I don’t know what it would take to help those girls.
Lately on Pinterest there has been a bunch of Pro-ana things popping up. I had been largely ignoring them because of past experience, I knew there was nothing I could to help the Pro-ana community at large. Then I read THIS ONE and it got to me. It was that same statement as what I mentioned above. So I made my response to it as a photo and put it up in Flickr.
Clickable so you can read it.
And now as I see offensive pro-ana stuff I’ve been posting my responses as I’m inspired. I am under no delusion that pro-ana sites like Starved Down would ever go away but I thought maybe if I helped Moms and Dads know what’s out there, just maybe I could help a little. I worry that when I’m dieting and exercising that my daughters might misconstrue that into something else. Every time my 10 year old asks me if I think her thighs are fat, I cringe. I try to be careful to not talk about fat and thin in such ways that may sway them. I try to stress healthy. HEALTHY. Not fat or thin. We want healthy. HEALTHY. It doesn’t matter if you’re fat or if you’re thin. It matters if you’re healthy. Put good food in and good will come out.
Here’s what I’m doing. For the time being, when I see this pro-ana stuff and something strikes me, I’m going to put up an “anti-ana/pro-healthy” ad onto my flickr. If you want to borrow it, you are absolutely welcome to it. Maybe in the end all I’ll be doing is making my ads to make myself feel better and to remind myself of one of the dangers that lay in the minds of little (and big) girls everywhere. That’s enough for me.