From The Guardian,
Isabelle Caro, a French actress and model whose emaciated image appeared in an Italian ad campaign and whose anorexia was followed by other sufferers of eating disorders, has died aged 28.
For at least the last decade, young girls in search of something to be a part of have been lulled into anorexic culture. I won’t link to any of the Pro-Ana/Pro-Mia websites, because medical studies have universally shown that simply viewing the sites can result in lower self-esteem.
They lure the impressionable and persuade them that the Pro-Ana community is providing caring and nurturing advice.
A study published in European Eating Disorders Review exposed healthy college girls with no history of eating disorders to 1.5 hours of pro-ED sites and they showed decreased caloric intake the week following their exposure. Some participants admitted using techniques and tips they viewed on the sites and had “strong emotional reactions” up to three weeks after the study.
It’s easy to blame the fashion industry for these unhealthy ideals, promoting images of increasingly thin women, but we could just as easy blame the myth of “choice” for the epidemic, a product of a world view that sees the self as a decision one makes as an isolated individual.
What to do? How to act? Who to be? These are focal questions for everyone living in circumstances of late modernity – and ones which, on some level or another, all of us answer, either discursively or through day-to-day social behaviour. (David Gauntlett, Media Gender and Identity, Routledge, 2002)
The Pro-Anorexic community claims the disease is a “lifestyle choice”, that this choice should be respected by the medical community and their family and friends.
Pro Anas who defend their anorexia not as a disorder or an affliction from which to recover, view it instead as an accomplishment of self control and a part of their identity and one that defines them to a very significant extent.
It’s difficult for me, as a women myself, to see others conned into the belief that something so terrible, menacing and deteriorating for them is something to be respected. Sound familiar?by