Pro-anorexia websites a danger

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the Editor:
The Internet has been labelled a place where one can push boundaries and create websites about whatever interests them without legal charges. This is because someone who seeks harmful material can’t proclaim they aren’t at least somewhat at fault for feeling harmed by it. This excludes the only concept I have known to be illegal on the Internet: child pornography.

But why is THAT the only illegal web material out there? Why has the “pro-ana” movement been allowed " if not encouraged " to continue? Pro-anorexia sites mask themselves under the false pretense that they’re “helpful” and “supportive” to those who already suffer from an eating disorder. This is how I became an avid member of the forums at age 15, thinking this was helping me to recover by finding friends who understood what I was going through.

However, these sites taught me more effective techniques to purge everything I ate, how to cure hunger pains when restricting, and light exercises that prevent fainting at the gym. It wasn’t until I was 5’4” and just under 90 pounds that I realized being an active supporter of the “pro-ana” movement was NOT helping me conquer my disease.

Now, six years and 30 pounds later, I’ve managed to mostly recover, mainly by removing myself from the forums. However, I have to live with the guilt of all the “lessons” I taught other girls seeking my advice. I have no idea how old those girls were or even if they’re still alive today. Why is this a legal form of online communication? If it’s illegal for a 40-year-old man to send sexually explicit pictures to a 14-year-old boy via the Internet, why was it perfectly legal for me to train possible 12-year-olds on how to reach their “ideal” weight?

Those of you involved in the “pro-ana” Facebook groups " which I know exist " remove yourself and awaken from the coma you’re living in each day. You’re better than this.
Music, III

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