Thin women: Other thin women to blame

On and off, over the course of my eating disorder career, I have been too thin. Do you know who’s to blame? Thin women. Only not thin women like me. It’s all those other thin women. The irresponsible bitches.

The main culprits at the moment are Victoria Beckham and Alexa Chung, whereas a decade ago it was Lara Flynn Boyle and Calista Flockhart. But that’s just the high-profile ones. There are loads of them out there, and some of them are proper, full-on anorexic (unlike Beckham and Chung, who are, by contrast, fat mingers). These full-on evil thinnies even set up their own websites, where they go on and on about how ace starving yourself can be. I guess it’s something to do in-between thinking about where the next sliver of cucumber’s coming from. But if you ask me, these woman are seriously lacking in ambition.

I was first diagnosed with anorexia in 1987 (yeah, I know, I’m fucking hardcore, me). Back then we didn’t have the internet and Closer. There was none of this (fat-free) spoon-feeding; we had to make our own thinspo. And do you know what? I think it did us good. There was a lot more asceticism to the whole thing. An afternoon spent listening to the Carpenters while reading a recipe book – that was enough for us. None of this help, I need more pictures of Alexa! If you ask me, it’s pathetic.

I’ve looked at some of these pro-ana sites (said in the tone of someone in their seventies discussing One Direction as “the new popular beat combo”). They’re rubbish. Lots of pictures of emaciated women in bikinis, as though you can’t already see these fucking everywhere. And the shit slogans: “nothing tastes as good as thin feels”. Thin doesn’t “feel” like anything, or rather, it’s synonymous with feeling hungry, which feels crap. Which you might think feels less crap than feeling fat, and that’s fine. But let’s be honest: “choose your preferred form of misery” would be a more accurate summing-up.

I struggle to muster up the requisite arsedness to challenge the pro-ana “movement”. So thin women collect and distribute pictures of other thin women in order to encourage each other to be even thinner. Big sodding deal. I mean, it seems a bit of a waste of time and effort to me given that you can now get size zero specials from the gossip mags every day of the week. But each to their own. It no doubt keeps these ladies out of trouble (by which I mean going into WH Smiths and seeing the Candy King display and going absolutely fucking mental).

But anyhow, given that pro-ana’s here to stay (at least until all the website co-ordinators die of heart failure), I have a proposal to make. Girls, you need to get organised. How do you feel about the prospect of one massive pro-ana mega-thinspiration super-duper-skinny database? I think it can be done. We just need to bring everything together: intrusive photos of ill women, crap slogans, “triggering” literature (that’ll be you, Marya Hornbacher), long-lost episodes of Ally McBeal. Can you imagine it, all in one place? You’d never eat again. And the beauty of it is, you wouldn’t need to do anything at all to market it. Just set it up and wait for the Daily Mail to get all “concerned” and provide all the promotional links and screenshots for you.

Alas, yet again, as with the Prom magazine off-shoots, this is another of my brilliant ideas about which I can’t be bothered to do much. But perhaps YOU could. Ladies, are you feeling thinspired?

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2 thoughts on “Thin women: Other thin women to blame

  1. The crux of this is that the vast majority of “pro-ana” girls don’t actually have eating disorders at all–it just sounds cooler to be “ana” than on a “diet” (this said in the tone of Regina George telling Gretchen that “fetch is never going to happen”).

    You nailed it with the bit about asceticism. I may not be as “hardcore” as you, haha (dx’d in 2001), but my ED has never been about skinny women, prom diets, or beauty at all–and I strongly believe that this is the case for a much larger percentage of (actually) eating disordered people than sensationalist anti-pro-ana talk shows would have us believe. They’re about self-denial, in one form or another.

    But hey, in shortage of an internal and predisposed compulsion to starve or vomit, let’s go ahead with the massive *~thinspo~* database. Sounds brilliant. They could print it all up every month and call it, oh, I don’t know…Vogue?

    1. I do worry about becoming an ED snob, as in “you pro-anas are so not welcome in my club” ;). But I agree an awful lot of these sites are just about dieting. And they ought to make those who promote dieting in crappy magazines question what they’re doing instead of making out “pro ana” is worlds apart from them.
      I think the editor of UK Vogue wrote a letter complaining about how she was “forced” to use tiny models because clothing samples are always so small. But no one takes responsibility. Seems that size 0 clothing samples, which you’d expect to be man-made, are actually a naturally occurring element …

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