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Pro Ana Websites Effects On Women Essay

1205 words - 5 pages

Pro-ana Websites Effects on WomenIn Mim Udovitch's article "A Secret Society of the Starving," she discusses pro-anorexia websites, the sense of community felt when using these sites, and the risky behavior in which these girls become involved. This essay expresses the sense of community among these young women with eating disorders. Udovitch explores the world of a pro-ana by interviewing several women that consider themselves pro-ana and visiting these websites. She shares these women's stories and her findings from the websites.Udovitch begins by introducing the readers to an eighteen year old girl named Claire. Claire plays two sports, exercises excessively, has obsessive compulsive disorder, and considers herself a pro-ana. She and many others depend on these pro-ana websites for support of their lifestyle. Claire states "I can go online and talk to them there, and they know exactly what I'm going through and how I feel. And I don't have to worry about them judging me for how I feel" (Udovitch 151).Udovitch also introduces the readers to Chaos, another pro-ana. She is twenty- three years old and has been either anorexic or bulimic since she was ten years old. This is her lifestyle; she practices "restricting" foods, binges, purges, and punishes herself by cutting on a regular basis. She is also obsessive-compulsive, as are most anorexics and bulimics. She has her own blog site where she goes for comfort and to support other pro-anas. Chaos "stands a very real chance of dying any time" (Udovitch 154).Udovitch explains how pro-ana websites provide an opportunity for these girls to find a group that doesn't judge them. They use these websites as support systems and a way to connect with others suffering with the same problem. If they were to express their habits openly with others who don't share the same behaviors, or lifestyle choices, they would be shunned from society. Others leading "normal" lives will target and harass them, trying to force them into their "normal" world instead of trying to understand their choices. They will feel scrutinized by the rest of society. "Pro-ana, the basic premise of which is that an eating disorder is not a disorder but a lifestyle choice" (Udovitch 151).Udovitch states in her article that pro-ana websites are a support system for these girls and women with eating disorders. Although I do agree these websites are supportive, I believe they are supporting an unhealthy rather than healthy lifestyle. These girls should be encouraged to get help so they can stop their eating disorder, rather than communicating with others that have an eating disorder and encouraging each other to keep going.In today's world, the media plays a huge role in affecting the way women and girls view their bodies. Young girls are very impressionable, so the things they see in day-to-day life stick with them. "A meta-analysis of 25 studies published from 1979 to 2001 revealed that body image was significantly more negative after...

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