It was when I browsed journals on community on-line, I learn about pro-mia (short for pro bulimia), and its sibling, pro-ana (a truncation of “pro-anorexia”). Both are strands that promote “being thin is pretty”. They admit they don’t have eating disorders. They are strong people with a lifestyle under The Thin Commandments, please see point no. 5.
On google, I found a definition for both pro-ana and pro-mia is an a lifestyle mediated by online media, by using chat rooms or websites. Why online? Merely because pro-ana/pro-mia person knows exactly people outside their community think they are sick. While they feel uncomfortable to be seen of “having eating disorder” in the real world, they reach out for support and affirmation on the web. Online, they share tips to get skinnier, ranging from purging to laxativing, They worship thinspirations, thinspo, bitchspirations, and celebrity thin.
Anyway, do the members of pro mia and pro ana have the same opinion (that they are sick?) Nope. Being a bulimic or an anorexic is a sign of strong will power to control yourself. Being a bulimic and anorexic person is a lifestyle choice: to be pretty in the sense of turning the body into a pile of bone: “You will be able to see your beautiful, beautiful bones. Bones are clean and pure.”
Therefore, if you go through all pro ana and pro mia web page, they also see people with ED (eating disorder), that having mental illness, need sympathy, empathy, and support. And, Ana’s and Mia’s are ED’s great supporter.
Reading through one site, you might be convinced. That they are not sick. That they don’t have eating disorder. That they are fully in control over their body and their will. That they have options (whilst according to Ana’s, ED people don’t have options). That they don’t have problems. That they are healthy.
Are they healthy people? I don’t think so (although they put vegetables and fruit on their menu). In this website, they compare themselves and ED people. But the fact that lack of nutrition in pro-ana and pro-mia ALSO causes loss of menstruation, should sign something but health and normal.
I think, Ana’s and Mia’s focus is not on how to be healthy. Their focus is on how to be thin, because being thin is pretty. It is so obvious how they stress on how many calories intake rather than nutrition intake. Although several Mia’s and Ana’s disagree with purging, bingeing, vomiting, but they still do if they feel they eat too much. Number is important to them: they keep counting they calories intake, how many calories they burnt after exercise, they keep scaling their weight.
They feel uncomfortable after ‘over eating’ (then conforming binge eating). Even though, this ‘over eating’ means a cup of coffee or one Oreo biscuit. They feel guilty after having family dinner, even when that was the first proper meal during a year – and with family. They prefer not to spend time with family and friends. Therefore they can skip foods without being questioned. They feel uncomfortable for their body. Gaining a kilo within a week is enough for them to judge themselves: “I’m fat! FUCK!”. They have idols, bone thin people – mostly world’s models.
They label others, those for them are FAT (*sigh* when they are eager to say: being super thin is their choice, why don’t they consider, perhaps being super fat is other people’s choice?). They call fat people pigs. For them being fat is disgusting, and therefore fat people do not exist.
Body image. They might be not ‘mentally sick’. Though Ana’s and Mia’s transform social myth (being skinny is pretty) it into ‘control over something’ and therefore they are mentally stronger than ED’s, still – they are socially sick. Like the rest of us.
Socially sick includes every single act that belittle others because they are not ‘similar’, because they are different. Socially sick includes every single act that disrespect our kids because they are ‘kids’. Socially sick includes every single act that try to make homogeneous human (and culture).
mirror, mirror on the wall
ruthless to your victim
suiting you becomes my love
tied to my reflection
hunger takes a hold of me
making my decisions
glossy fashion magazines will feed my new addiction
(Edith Backlund, Skinny)
I borrowed Pikachu from die for diet.