It was back in high school when I found out about this dark, underground, web-based group of anorexia advocates. My best friend and I both had personal website accounts on Xanga.com and she was browsing through the different types of groups and found a pro-anorexia group for girls.
Basically they helped each other stay anorexic, a support group to be sick perhaps. She gasped and immediately told me about it. I looked through these girls’ profiles and felt a mix of different emotions. I felt hurt for the girls but also an undeniable sense of astonishment in how this could’ve happened. When did helping each other die become part of the characteristics of a friend?
It became one of my goals in life to research this topic and find out what these girls are going through. Were they all anorexics? Or were they just trying to “fit in” to this mold? When my friends and I all sat around the cafeteria table in high school, we used to moan about how fat we were getting–“Oh my gosh, I need to lose, like, ten freaking pounds by prom!”– or dismissed the French fries and opted for the yogurt instead. But I thought our playful criticisms to our own bodies and the times we occasionally stood in front of the mirror and pinched our belly fats were one of those personal rituals we did on our own. We never tortured ourselves–we just wanted to lose a little bit weight here and there.
But in this community, it’s not about that. It’s not about losing five pounds just to fit into that perfect prom dress. From what I’ve researched, it’s about control. Their lives are so crazy and uncontrollable that they feel the need to control something. Not eating equals immortality. Immortality equals power. From their minds, they help each other to try and achieve this so-called “power.”
But here’s the sad part: If they don’t eat, they will die.
I don’t know why I wanted to write this article on this. This isn’t an article on how to dress well or how to score that guy in five days, but I just wanted to tell all you young ladies out there reading this: You’re all beautiful. I don’t care how much you weigh; I don’t care how many zits you have, or even what your bra size is. You are beautiful and someone out there loves you.
I guess I wrote this article so I can tell you that, somehow.