For years now, there has been an increase of members in an underground community that support and promote eating disorders. The two eating disorders that this community supports are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Many of the members suffer from eating disorders themselves or strive to develop an eating disorder in efforts to lose drastic amounts of weight. This community is self titled as Pro Ana, meaning pro anorexic. The sole purpose of this group is to support those with eating disorders and give them motivation to keep losing weight, even if they are emaciated.
All is not harmonious between the group. There is quite a bit of controversy. Anorexics feel that he individuals with Bulimia are weak, since they are not able to completely resist the temptation of food. Other members of the group that are shunned are those who strive to develop eating disorders, but are currently over weight. These individuals are called “wanarexics” amongst the Pro Ana community. The anorexics are certainly the ones with the upper hand in the group, as they are idolized by the bulimics and wanarexics because of their willpower to resist the temptation of food.
This Pro Ana community exists solely on the internet and is brought about on sites like web forums, blogs, and individual websites that target the Pro Ana community. The Pro Ana community itself is cult like, developing absurd rules and regulations of food consumption and exercise, and sometimes even developing a creed such as the one below. The Pro Ana creed is an oath to never abandon anorexia and further weight loss at all costs. According to the website Pro Ana website Thinnest of Them All, the following is the Pro Ana creed.
“I believe in Control, the only force mighty enough to bring order to the chaos that is my world.
I believe that I am the most vile, worthless and useless person ever to have existed on this planet, and that I am totally unworthy of anyone’s time and attention.
I believe that other people who tell me differently must be idiots. If they could see how I really am, then they would hate me almost as much as I do.
I believe in oughts, musts and shoulds as unbreakable laws to determine my daily behavior.
I believe in perfection and strive to attain it.
I believe in salvation through trying just a bit harder than I did yesterday.
I believe in calorie counters as the inspired word of god, and memorize them accordingly.
I believe in bathroom scales as an indicator of my daily successes and failures
I believe in hell, because I sometimes think that I’m living in it.”
I believe in a wholly black and white world, the losing of weight, recrimination for sins, the abnegation of the body and a life ever fasting.”