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Pro-Ana in the Tumblr Community

Posted May 07 2013 1:33pm

In the circles I frequent over at Tumblr, there’s been a bit of an “outrage” regarding “pro-ana” blogs being reported and deleted. People who run these “pro-ana” blogs are upset, claiming that their only therapeutic outlets are being taken away. People are even bold enough to claim that people will “kill themselves” if their blogs are deleted, as if these blogs are their literal lifelines (and let me interject here that if your Tumblr is the only thing keeping you alive, maybe you should get some professional help; your blog doesn’t seem to be doing a great job at helping you if that’s the case).

Firstly, for those who are unaware, “pro-ana” stands for pro-anorexia. There are a select few out there who believe Anorexia Nervosa is a lifestyle choice, and that anyone can choose to be anorexic in an attempt to lose weight.

In my personal opinion, those who consider themselves pro-ana are solely misusing the label of Anorexia, and because society has made Anorexia Nervosa seem like an extreme diet or weight loss fad, insecure, desperate girls in the world have latched onto that and turned the very deadly mental disorder into something it’s not.

These girls will engage in very unhealthy dieting measures and will promote and encourage such behavior on others. These types of blogs are discouraged and eventually deleted by Tumblr staff if found, and those who run them often lament over this and cry that it’s “not fair.” They claim that by deleting these blogs, both Tumblr and those who report these blogs are doing more harm than good because these blogs are the only way these “sick girls” can vent about their frustrations, struggles, and feelings.

What these girls fail to see, however, is that by engaging in pro-anorexic behavior, encouraging others to do the same, and blogging about unhealthy means of dieting and frustrations over being “fat,” these girls are harming themselves and others far more than if their blog gets deleted.

In my honest opinion, just speaking about the blog owner alone, I believe holding a blog with pro-ana material on it, even if they are using it for “therapeutic purposes”, is toxic. Regardless if the person has a real diagnosable eating disorder or not, I think running that type of blog is just as detrimental to the owner’s health as it is if the blog suddenly got deleted.

I should know, given the fact that the various blogs I’ve run in the past haven’t been the most healthy for my own well being, and those weren’t even considered “pro-anorexic.”

And although these girls will probably just create new blogs in light of their old ones being deleted, it’s time that people understand the definition of enabling and how in the long run, it only hurts people instead of helps them.

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