The Cult of Ana

Morford's latest column is out, Hideously Skinny White Girls and he details the anthropomorphication of anorexia (Ana), bulimia (Mia) and eating disorders (Ed).

Girls getting together online to figure out how to be like Ana, the wispy waisted, non-eating queen of supposed hotness. And a really dangerous and damaging role model for impressionable young women to be exposed to, much less look up to as an ideal.

To any young person reading this by chance, don't allow someone else to dictate how you feel about your body. Anorexia is a really dangerous and damaging illness that can cause permanent damage to your body. Love yourself for who you are. If you want to look better than exercise and eat sensibly, consult a dietician, talk to a trainer at a gym. Please don't fall into the trap of intentionally starving yourself for some bizarre false ideal that Hollywood propels by showcasing scrawny celebrities. Love yourself.

I dated an anorexic girl while I was overseas many years ago which, I think, gives me some insight into the vicious nature of a corrupted body image that results in eating disorders. She was beautiful and in great shape but would freak out if she ate more than a couple of pieces of liqourice in a day. She also was completely unable to accept a compliment without knocking herself down in the process. A handful of popcorn was an extravagance for her and she had been hospitalized four times for kidney failure in the two years before we met. It sort of made twisted sense, in the end, when she dumped me to go back to her boyfriend who beat her even though it about broke my heart. She needed to have her illness validated by his violence and that was about the worst aspect of my time in South Africa. Oh yeah, aside from all of the violence, running machine gun battles through the townships and general friction between classes and races.
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