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(July 23, 2002)

My friend Ana...

Ok. This is a bit of a wierd one. It's about the pro-anorexia sites which are out there. Before going on to the links and stuff, I just want to say a couple of things, because frankly this all makes me feel rather uncomfortable, and I'd like to list some of the cognitive dissonances:

Lots of these sites have been forced offline. Google "Pro-Ana" and two thirds of the links won't be there when you click them. Google "White Power" and there are pages of links. Hundreds of them. Go to God hates Fags and see how much people can hate each other and still get hosted. That seems...inequitable.

Earlier today I linked to the Body Modification Ezine. Lots of that stuff is painful, dangerous even. But it is accepted as a (marginal) fashion statement, a lifestyle choice.

Obviously, I am not saying I think the pro-ana stuff is good. I know this is glib, but I think it demonstrates what happens when as a society we give rigid messages about what is beautiful, and we shouldn't get all pissy when people take that seriously. I think that the reason these sites are forced offline whilst more dangerous and offensive material isn't, is because it is seen as ok to censor girls but not men. It is ok to be paternalistic towards a 16 year old who wants to weigh 6 stone, but not towards a murderous rascist, because thats a man thing, and not towards a wannabe abortion-clinic-bomber because that's a freedom of religious expression thing - the only people who are denied access seem to be Al Qaeda, Child Pornographers and anorexics - can you spot the sore thumb?

The anorexia part is a social thing, not an individual thing - ban advertising if you want people to have a good body image (S points out that it's more about control than anything else - you might not be able to control who has sex with you or what happens to you, but you can control what food you do and don't put in your mouth - which is still a socio-political thing rather than an individual "disease" thing), but you; the internet part is a free speech issue, and forcing people offline is not only censorious it also further marginalises some extra-ordinary people even further.

All that said, there is some stuff that makes you stop in your tracks...they really do try and portray this - thing - as a lifestyle choice (albeit one your parents won't like, like being vegan or one of those neo-goths), and and the combination of self absorption (physically and mentally) and lack of anger makes it rather hard to stomach (sorry).

"Hey... there are plenty of foods like this, that burn more calories digesting than they actually contain. They're called negative calorie foods. I got this information from its a good site. I even think there is more foods like this, I saw them someplace else but sorry I dont know where they are. Good Luck.

Foods which have been considered "negative calorie" include:

Beet Root
Celery Chicory
Hot Chili
Garden cress
Green Beans

Grapefruit Lemon/Lime
Papaya Pineapple

(from a pro ana massage board: ProAnaDiary)

This next bit came from Ana by Choice, in a section headed "Tips and Excuses"; the site also features a gallery, which ranges over several pages - it starts with Kate Moss and Callista Flockhart, some stretched supermodels and so on, and goes on to include some quite shocking pics. They also have a reader's gallery. I didn't go ther

"When you get a craving, satisfy your hunger with low calorie foods first. Then eat what you crave in a small portion.

It's ana's way or no way at all.

Chew gum. Sugar free has fewer calories.

Exercise often. Make time for it. Push yourself.

Go for a walk at lunch, during school or work.
It gets you away from food, and burns calories.

Drink plenty of water. It may help you feel less hungry.

When you eat, eat foods low in fat and calories.

When you feel like eating, do something else. Walk, clean, exercise, anything to distract you.

Hunger soon passes.

Take diet pills.

Stop eating before you feel full.

Write down everything you eat and the amount of
Calories you eat each day.

No thanks, I ate a huge breakfast (or lunch)

Doctor says I may have an ulcer

I bit my tongue earlier and I think it's still bleeding

I'm allergic to this food or that food

The last time I ate that kind of food, I barfed for two days

I ate at my friends house

I don't feel like eating, I have a headache

I have a cold sore on my tongue (or lip) and it hurts to eat

I ate something this morning that didn't agree with me, so I don't think I should eat quite yet

No thanks, but I could use some Tums"

Rant over. More fluff tomorrow.

posted by Unknown 22:41
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