Pro-Ana Suicides

Anorexics are definitely suicidal reports a new study, to be published in Journal of Affective Disorders later in the year.

A blog exploring girl issues can’t ignore eating disorders due to this statistic: 10 million women and 1 million men are anorexic in America today (NEDA).

Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. But, it’s not because they’re starving to death – they’re actually killing themselves with other very violent means, literally.

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA)reports that Females between the ages of 15 and 24 are 12 times more likely to die from anorexia than all other causes of death.

That study of about 250 women suffering eating disorders showed the risk of death by suicide among by anorexic women to be as much as 57 times the expected rate of a healthy woman, according to the article in Time.

The article also looks at the drastic and violent ways anorexics use to kill themselves. They do not quietly swallow pills, as other women tend to do. The methods point to the hatred of themselves that anorexics experience.

It’s not really about a BMI. It’s about self-hatred. Physical thinness is only the manifestation of self-loathing. Self esteem isn’t just a nice thing for girls to have – it’s imperative for survival.

Visit MamaVISION for more information about the dangerous pro-ana movement sweeping the web, putting girls at risk. Mama is a former model who knows first-hand the drastic measures she took to maintain the beauty ideal. Now recovered from anorexia, she is a grass-roots fighter against the pro-ana movement.

If you haven’t heard, the “pro-ana movement” is the addictive thinking where anorexic girls defend their right to starve themselves for aesthetic appeal. They meet on public pro-ana websites to trade starvation tips, share ever more skeletal photos, pass around purging tips and support each other in keeping their mental illness.

Mama is currently chatting with Shelly, from an HBO documentary, Thin. Thin has a compelling and educational website to help people understand the addiction behind eating disorders.

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#1 radical mama on 03.05.08 at 8:22 pm

This issue is such a concern for me. It seems almost impossible to instill a healthy body image in my daughters in our culture. For me, it only took one boyfriend telling me that I was fat to make me start obsessively losing weight. I was 18 and only weighed 120 pounds to begin with (and that was at 5’4″.) Luckily, after losing 20 pounds, I had enough strength in me to realize that it was the wrong path and he was the wrong guy, but so many girls are more vulnerable than I ever was.

#2 Tracee on 03.05.08 at 9:21 pm

I’m so glad you recognize and acknowledge your own strength.

This makes it a million times more likely to instill positive body image in your daughter.

There’s lots we can do to combat negative body culture for girls – athletics, girls scouts, a sense of inner strength.

I think it’s ultimately very hopeful for your girl and mine.

#3 radical mama on 03.06.08 at 12:49 am

I hope so…

I think athletics is a double-edged sword in the body image department. It really depends on the sport. My 6yo wants to a cheerleader. Which makes me throw up a little in my mouth. So I thought, why not gymnastics? Same skill, but its own sport. But look at how skinny those girls are! (And this coming from me, who is as thin as a person should and still be healthy). I’d really like to get her into swimming or soccer or something that would really allow her to build strength and muscle and I think is less prone to negative body image. And yes, girls scouts totally rock. We will be joining them next year. :)

#4 Tracee on 03.06.08 at 1:18 am

I feel the same about cheerleading. I have put Ainsley in soccer and Taekwondo and swimming (not at the same time).

The APA report on Sexualization of Girls backs up your intuition about girls’ more appearance-focused sports.

Dance, gymnastics and cheerleading can all have the wrong effect on girls. It depends on the teacher and the culture of the class, but it a lot of emphasis is put on being pretty or thin or provocative instead of athletic ability they can have a negative effect on body image.

Of course dance, ballet, gymnastics can be acceptable forms of discipline. I think it depends a lot on who is teaching or coaching the class and the attitude of the fellow students and mothers.

Always go with your instincts.

#5 Anonymous on 03.06.08 at 2:26 am

There is a lady at my gym, and I SWEAR she weighs 80 lbs soaking wet. It is utterly heart breaking, and she never makes eye contact or talks to anyone :(


#6 Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer on 03.07.08 at 8:54 pm

Glad you stopped by my blog, Tracee! I’ll check it out…….

Thanks for the information on this post. It is scary and disheartening to see what our culture/media is doing to promote such unattainable, unrealistic, unhealthy a body image.

Have a wonderful weekend.


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#8 Empowering Girls: No Name Calling — The Girl Revolution on 12.15.09 at 2:56 pm

[...] I read the statistics about teenage girls that declare that 13% of girls are depressed, 10 million women have an eating disorder, 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat, 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be [...]

#9 Empowering Girls: Top 10 Posts in 2008 — The Girl Revolution on 12.15.09 at 9:07 pm

[...] 1. Pro-Ana Suicides [...]

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