by Hannah Klomp

THIS TOPIC actually makes me want to cry. For those of you who are not yet aware,  I am actually “Tumblr crazed”, meaning I can spend hours and hours just reblogging photos and pretty much pointless ‘crap’ onto my blog, like the many other people crazy about Tumblr. Anyway, as I was searching for tags about art, these photos of extremely skinny girls started appearing on my dashboard and the weird phrase of ‘pro-ana’ were also a tag on a many of these posts. Unclear of what this strange word meant, I found myself quite curious and started to research this concept of ‘pro-ana.’

For those of you who had never heard of these words, ‘pro-ana’ is short for pro-anorexia, the promotion of the eating disorder of anorexia. When I saw this my mouth dropped and I was so shocked to discover that something like this actually existed. I was actually mortified to say the least. I kept searching this topic, whilst still on the blogger platform of Tumblr and was bombarded with phrases such as “Whatever you eat in private, you wear in public” and “Anorexia is not a disorder, it’s a lifestyle.” This organisation apparently exist to be a place to converse with other people with anorexia and to support those who are either continuing their illness or on the way to recovery, but either way are there to encourage the disorder of anorexia.

‘Thinspo’ or thin-spiration is another concept within the Pro-ana group which is basically images of petruding ribs and bones, of girls so thin, they resemble that of a skeleton to act as a kind of inspiration to people who are suffering from Anorexia. I did not know this even existed and I really wish that something  like this existed, let along be allowed to be so easily conveyed over the blogging site of Tumblr. It really makes me think about the negative influence that the internet can have on a person’s sense of self as well as their body image. How can this be allowed to appear on the internet? Should there be more gatekeepers on the internet rather than less? If organisations such as pro-ana are able to be allowed, it really makes me question the idea of not only gatekeepers, but also the idea of ‘pro-sumers’ as it has made me question if society was really ready to have such strong control.

What do you think?


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