Not many people are aware of the fact that Pro-ana sites are circulating on the internet and on Facebook. Pro-ana sites which appear on Facebook or other types of social media are meant to be secretive. Because of this theme’s social inappropriateness and clandestine nature, it is hard to locate pro-ana information. Pro-ana is a shortened version of the term, “pro-anorexia.” Pro-anorexia advocates run sites which promote eating disorders and anorexic-type behavior. Eating disorders are destructive and ruin lives, so it is bizarre that there are those who want to keep the practice of disordered eating alive.
Topics which are discussed on Pro-ana sites on Facebook revolve are the “size-0” culture. Members of these sites share ideas on how to restrict food intake, how to lose weight, and how to stay thin. Even more appalling is the fact that these ideas are meant to be kept on the “down low.” Advocates of Pro-ana sites discuss ways to continue destructive behavior while keeping said destruction hidden from loved ones.
Websites like Facebook enables a secondary dynamic by enabling networking that is close. The girls who see these pages are now able to trade info and even exchange phone numbers to talk their problems above. The creators of the groups maintain so anorexic girls can support one another, they were created. A few of these websites are by focusing on recovering from anorexia legit. Yet the issue is the more girls get exposed to these pro anorexia websites, the more they will likely get a eating disorder.
Pro-ana sites are disturbing, to say the least. Unfortunately, if this eating disorder advocacy culture continues, many people will live in secretive sickness. These people will not only continue to remain ill, but they will spread their sickness to others. Eating disorders tend to be competitive in nature. Individuals with anorexia-nervosa, for example, tend to compete with other individuals with anorexia.
Making comparisons between oneself and other individuals with eating disorders tend to cause the disease to further spiral out of control. One may feel that they are not as “skinny” as another person, may eat too much compared to another person, or may not be as “disordered” as another person. These thoughts are obviously misconstrued by the mind of the ill individual, and ana sites only further the misconstruction of these image-related thoughts.
There are many people who suffer from eating disorders. Most of these people struggle on a daily basis. Food and obsessive thoughts revolving around weight keep them from feeling normal. A majority of these people with their disorder would love for it to go away. It is a silent killer and a serious Western epidemic. Luckily, once a disordered person recognizes they have a sickness, there are ways to get help. Not everyone who has an eating disorder wants to stay sick.
The big problem with Pro-ana sites on Facebook is that those who offer advice and tips are slowly killing the members following the site. Those who are lost may turn to anorexia advocates, who instead of offering positive help and support, offer ways to slowly destroy the body. Ana sites can only be described as internet locations where people are advocating the torture and murder of others.
Pro-ana sites are not the only eating disorder sites currently operating on social media. Pro-mia revolves around the advocacy of behaviors relating to bulimia. It makes sense that eating disorder advocates are on the web. Their openness towards the disease is another symptom of the disordered thinking that takes place in the mind of an ill individual. If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, please know that these sites will only cause bodily harm. Please contact the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) or a local therapist to get help.