Pieter on Sun, 18 Aug 2002 11:50:52 +0200 (CEST)

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a note on your anorectic thread (was: Re: <nettime> Dear Halle Berry)

In reply to the anorectic thread re: the Halle Berry discussion, I was
reminded of a disturbing little piece in one of Michael Quinion's recent
*WorldWideWords* issues,

2. Turns of Phrase: Thinspiration
This is one of the key words associated with a deeply disquieting
online trend. In the past couple of years or so a number of Web
sites and chatrooms have appeared which actively promote anorexia
nervosa (known on the sites as "ana") and other eating disorders as
lifestyle choices. Since 90% of anorexics are young women, these
"pro-ana" sites are usually run by and attract that group (one term
sometimes used for them is "weborexics"). Sites offer suggestions
on how to become and remain thin, often through tips on avoiding
eating, and how to disguise the condition from family and friends.
Other themes sometimes featured on such sites are self-mutilation
("cutting") and bulimia ("mia"). Thin women, such as supermodels
and Calista Flockhart, are presented as "thinspirations", examples
to emulate. Sites have had names such as Starving for Perfection,
Wasting Away on the Web and Dying To Be Thin. Medical professionals
in the US and UK are deeply concerned about them, because they
accentuate the low self-regard of young women, who are particularly
prone to eating disorders, put their lives at risk, and discourage
them from facing their illness and seeking treatment for it.

The Internet is home to a number of pro-eating disorder Web sites -
- places where sufferers can discuss tips, trade low-calorie
recipes and exchange poems and art that may be used as "triggers"
or so-called "thinspiration."
                                         ["Calgary Sun", Feb. 2002]

A new trend among young adults has been sweeping the nation: pro-
anorexia Web sites. Also known as pro-ana, these sites glorify
anorexia nervosa and offer "thinspiration" on maintaining a
starvation lifestyle.
                                     ["University Wire", Apr. 2002]

World Wide Words is copyright (c) Michael Quinion 2002.  All rights
reserved. The Words Web site is at <http://www.worldwidewords.org>.
You may reproduce this newsletter in whole or in part in other free
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prior permission: contact <TheEditor@worldwidewords.org>.

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