I think this is one of those things you can blame on the media. I usually resist the urge to take this tack, but just look at what celebrities are put up on a pedestal. Kim Ritchie, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan...
Britney Spears has an extra 10 pounds of post-birthing weight on her and she's fat. Amy Winehouse is called fat by a critic and drops pound after pound after pound as a result.
Unfortunately, our culture puts rail thin women on a pedestal. Mothers who constantly worry about their weight don't help the situation either. And what about all this scuttle over how obese that Americans have become?
I really believe this pro-thin paradigm is shifting, though, as women with a bit more girth start to make it onto the screen with more positive roles.
Plus, Pro-Ana is a relatively new phenomenon that has experienced its stratospheric rise with the popularity of waif models in the very early 1990s. Anorexia isn't that new, but it wasn't exactly a prevalent problem before the 1960s.
Pro-ana people, like you have pointed out, feel that their extreme thinness is a sign of beauty. Instead of trying to confront a pro-ana directly, I recommend that we honor healthy people.
You are walking down the street with your pro-ana friend when you pass a person of a healthy weight. Comment on how beautiful you find that person. Repeat this as often as possible. Eventually, it will hit them at a subconscious level and might, just might, help them change their own concept of beauty.
The one thing that worries me, though, is the notion that any rail-thin person is unhealthy or pro-ana. They aren't.
I had a friend in high school who took extreme measures to put weight on. She ate constantly, no bulimia, just none of the calories took. The doctor put her on steroids and she gained a paltry 5 pounds within the next month.
Why did she want to gain weight? Because of her conception of beauty. This was the late 1980s, when "real women had curves."
As with any addiction, though, it's tough to get the addict to admit they even have a problem. Criticism is damaging; Compassion is key.
2008-07-07 16:49:22 Posted by roguewriter ()