This may be one of the scariest things the internet has yet produced. Last I checked, eating disorders were still ravishing diseases that attacked both mind and body. I'm figuring the last thing an untreated anorexic needs is someone to tell them to keep up the good work.
"But what worries doctors is that the sites often encourage girls to embrace their disease, to lose even more weight, rather than seek treatment. Some of the sites describe themselves as 'pro-choice' or 'pro-tolerant,' and have names like 'The Thin Page,' 'Starving for Perfection' and 'Ana by Choice'."
You know, when I first heard about this, I thought it was just a really sick joke. Well, I had it partially right I guess. It's just really sick. Anorexia is not a "lifestyle" it is not a "choice" and it should not be "tolerated." It is a debilitating and at times fatal disease that is treatable. By encouraging people with eating disorders to "embrace" their conditions, these sites are keeping them from ever seeking treatment. It's like telling someone who's just discovered a growth to embrace their cancer. You don't embrace it. You get rid of it in any way you can before it literally eats you alive. Anorexia will do the same thing. When you don't provide your body with any nutrition, your body starts by eating away at the fat, and when it's done with fat it starts eating muscles and organs.
That doesn't even begin to take into account the damage it does to your mind. An eating disorder can be caused by any number of factors, but they all have one thing in common: self-loathing. I don't care who you are or where you're from or what you've done, self-loathing is not healthy.
Various "tips" I found in a quick browse of some of these sites:
"Make yourself nauseas! You won't eat!"
"Don't eat/drink anything that is a red color. When vomiting, in some cases bleeding may occur and you won't know if it's serious, or just what you ate/drank."
"Check the fridge when nobody else is around. Find foods that you would have eaten and get rid of them, for example, three eggs and a piece of butter. Then if someone asks, you can say you had scrambled eggs and are really full. And if they check, the ingredients are gone, which reinforces your story. Consider dishes and silverware as well. "
"With the exceptions of days 1-5, particulary day 3, fasting is not nearly as difficult as one might imagine (In fact, after day 10, quite pleasurable)."
What is wrong with our culture that we make people think starving themselves will make them beautiful? That fasting and purging is a valid lifestyle choice? That size zero is something to strive toward? Don't get me wrong -- if your body is a size zero and you have a *healthy* diet and excercize plan, more power to you, but it is not an attainable goal for 99% of the women out there. I am not ashamed to say that I am a size 10. I am comfortable with being a 10. I could probably stand to loose a pound or two, but it isn't worth harming my body over. I really wish Hollywood and Vogue and the like would move away from the waif look. It obviously isn't projecting a healthy image.