For the people who do not know this: “Ana” refers to anorexia and “Mia” refers to boulimia. Both are nick names, heavily romanticizing these eating disorders, which are fueled by a severly dangerous mental state.
Disclaimer: if you are triggered by images or text related to eating disorders, I advice to skip to the part which says “After seeing all of this, I decided to report it.”
The title of this post shouldn’t really be shocking. The term “freedom of speech” is being thrown around whenever, simply to justify ones offensive remarks. I’m pretty sure we’ve all experienced this way too many times. Yesterday, however, I came across this weak-ass argument again in the most rediculous context ever.
I was looking something up for intership-related research and stumbled upon this image. It scared the shit out of me to be completely honest. I thought to myself, what kind of website would post this? Maybe it’s an article about anorexia and the dangers of it? I got curious. I clicked the “visit page” button and landed on a WordPress blog, just like the one I have, but then completely devoted to pro-Ana/Mia posts. On top of that, the page on which that image was posted was called “Thinspiration” a.k.a. “do you feel bad and want to quit? Look at these images and motivate yourself to become even more dedicated to STARVING YOURSELF TO DEATH :)”. If that isn’t creepy, I don’t know what is.
I looked around that blog, just to get shocked message after message. “Thin Commandments” including 2) Being thin is more important than being healthy and 3) You must buy small clothes, cut your hair, take laxatives, anything to make yourself look thinner. Also “10 PURGING TIPS TO SAVE YOUR DAY” including Eat soft foods that will be easy to bring back up. Eating things like chips will make it harder and more painful to purge. (Purge meaning to throw up, in case you hadn’t noticed yet.) Excuses for not eating, ways to fake eating your dinner, how to hate your body, how to eat max 300-500 calories a day, body goals such as shown left, and more. The blog’s subtitle alone send shivers down my spine: “Going to bed hungry, hungry to rise, makes a girl a smaller size.” And on top of it all, it wasn’t an old blog or anything. It’s latest post was from December 2016. Just a month ago!
After seeing all of this, I decided to report it.
I could choose from a few reasons, including “This content promotes self-harm/suicide.” That’s exactly what it’s doing. It’s promoting self-harm really clearly with statements such as the ones I mentioned before. I’ve reported content on various sites before and most of the time I did not receive a response from the website owner. This time, however, I did. His message was the following:
EX-FUCKING-CUSE ME!? FREEDOM OF SPEECH!?!?
So that’s where I completely lost it. I have read their rules and promoting physical self-harm (cutting yourself) or promoting suicide is forbidden. For some reason that I cannot comprehend, internal self-harm, destruction of ones body from inside out – anorexia/boulimia – does not fall withing this category. WHY THE HELL NOT? People really do die from these disorders. It’s not just a lifestyle, this is promoting bad mental health. It can be compared to romanticizing depression and yes, even physical self-harm. All of these situations are no matter of freedom of speech. These are dangerous movements, which need to be stopped, no matter how small or uninfluencial they may seem. As humans we have the responsibility to make the word a better place. How dare you go “oh well, it doesn’t violate our rules, so there’s nothing we can do”.
THEN CHANGE THE GODDAMN RULES.
This made me think of when in India, just 3 years ago, a women would get sent to prison if they had been raped. The victims got sent to prison. Lots of India people thought this was wrong, but that was the law. So what did president Pranab Mukherjee eventually do? He changed the law! What do we learn from this? If the previously set rules do not match basic human decency,
CHANGE THE GODDAMN RULES.
Of course, this never goes easy. So what can you do? I am planning to write a letter about all of this out in a polite but firm manner after a while, when I have slightly calmed down. It will be directed at WordPress. This is a site soo many people make use of, including myself. I cannot agree with an organisation, which allows this kind of public messages to be spread and refuses to do anything about it.
If you would like to help:
This is the blog I am talking about thinforanamia.wordpress.com. Maybe if enough people report it in the same way, it will also send a message to WordPress that this needs to change. You can report content by clicking the three horizontal dots, right next to the “Follow” button in the right bottom corner of the screen, which appears when you scroll up. Thank you in advance if you’re willing to do this. You never know what might tip the scales.
One final thing I’d like to say. Do not, and I repeat
DO NOT see these kinds of sites as examples.
No mental condition is pretty. None is going to make you feel or look any better. If you are struggeling with your mental health or feel obsessed with your self image (whether this concerns your appearance or behavior), ask for help. Or at least tell your point of view to a close friend, or a family member. This does NOT make you a bad person. This does NOT mean you have lost. You’re only fighting yourself. This does NOT make you weak. This only helps your future self to live a happier life. Trust me. Do not fall for pretty shot pictures or beautifully written words. Daily pain is NOT beautiful and should NOT be romanticized. You are worth more than that, because YOU are a human being. You are unique and magnificent and beautiful. We all are.
– Katrin –
*Side Note: I do have to note that the owner of that blog has a disclaimer stating “With this blog, I do not promote anorexia or any other eating disorder. If you have an eating disorder, I urge you to get help immediately!” However, I choose to completely disregard this disclaimer considering that the entire content of the blog contradicts this statement.