“Anorexia is a lifestyle, not an illness.” [unknown source]
“thinspiration” is a term synonymous for pro-anorexia, or pro-ana for short – maintaining anorexia. a few years back, many websites have begun to personify this as “Ana”. one pro-anorexic said, “Ana helps me feel in control. She helps me do at least one thing right in my life.”

“Ana is an art form, a revival of the ancient art of body modification, only instead of just piercing, tattooing and adorning we are changing the structure and shape of the body itself.”
[source not verified.]

[image source:,,2001290023-2006020519,,00.html]

the objective of pro-anorexia websites
– to continue to encourage anorexics to continue with their eating disorder, avoid recovery and discourage people from seeking help.
– for those looking for advice, tips and support from fellow anorexics to help them become “better” anorexics.
most pro-anorexics have their websites adorn with pictures skeletal-like girls, with skin stretched across their bones or pictures of teen celebrities Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Mary-Kate Olsen – to encourage them to continue with their obsession. many of pro-anorexics consider this a “lifestyle choice”.
[image source:]
[image source:]
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they don’t think themselves as victims, but more than ‘survivors’ or ‘thrivers’ – “We thrive upon challenge, upon competition, upon the raw stimulation of life, keenness of our senses, strength and artistry in our bodies, alertness and clarity in our minds’ ..
this is really beyond anorexia. “Anorexia Nervosa is a complex psychological disorder. Starving oneself or simply being skinny does not necessarily imply that one has Anorexia. A person diagnosed with Anorexia eats very little indeed – they don’t just skip breakfast – they almost opt out of food altogether. This is often coupled with obsessive exercise. Life becomes a daily obsession with food.
how bad is it, really? pro-anorexias have their own food pyramid. water is staple ‘food’, and next are diet pills.
anorexic food pyramid
[image source:]
the pro-anorexia culture has grown so wide (in the US) that 29 years ago, the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorder was set up by a lone woman, which has expanded through time.
cult or culture? obsession? illness? what do you think?

some critics believe that pro-anorexias have made it into a religion, having its own 10 commandments:
1. If you aren’t thin you aren’t attractive.
2. Being thin is more important than being healthy.
3. You must buy clothes, cut your hair, take laxatives, starve yourself, do anything to make yourself look thinner.
4. Thou shall not eat without feeling guilty.
5. Thou shall not eat fattening food without punishing oneself afterwards.
6. Thou shall count calories and restrict intake accordingly.
7. What the scale says is the most important thing.
8. Losing weight is good/gaining weight is bad.
9. You can never be too thin.
10. Being thin and not eating are signs of true will power and success.
some further information:
Totally In Control
Anorexia Goes High Tech
The Skeleton Crew
Weborexics: The Ethical Issues Surrounding Pro-Ana Websites [PDF]

what an eye opener.

and i thought my cabbage lunch diet was bad.

22 thoughts on “thinspiration”

  1. i think i only practice the 4th commandment. ;P
    rych: attractive meh? not to the extent of skin and bones ler, right?

  2. electronicfly: hehehe. i enjoy buffets some more. ;P
    obeliskdee: aiya, as long as not overboard, k? i’m also trying to diet …. but i love food!!! ;P

  3. uhm..u don have to be that stick thin…
    diet ..u may..with care moderately..:)
    exercise..go gym la..join one…no need to get a friend la, they won’t do much help.ahaha
    this is scary..but thanks bimbo for bringing this show ppl out “pretty” anorexic girls ar…pfft!~

  4. These girls are deluded. They’re lucky their internal organs haven’t completely shut down on them, but at such a severe stage, I won’t be surprised if their kidneys and other internal organs are starting to fail.
    Please people, please don’t encourage others to starve themselves to this point!

  5. weird, but those pro-ana sites helped me lose over 15kg few years back. growing up fat wasn’t exactly fun. and i don’t mean 10pounds overweight fat.. i mean “point-and-laugh” fat. though i dont want to end up stick thin, these images keep me in check of what i put in my mouth. i dont want to go back to what i once were, i do understand how these girls/guys can go overboard with food restricting. trust me, talking smack about ana to them will just make them stick to it even more.

  6. i wanna be thin! but not that thin though. hmm. mebbe i should join their support group so that i’ll have the support to not eat …… a lot.

  7. once fat: i applaud pro-ana’s determination and discipline, because that’s what i lack. and it’s good that it did motivate you or support you in achieving your goal to lose weight. yay!
    if i lost that much weight, i wouldn’t want to go back to being overweight fat. it’s not about being vain or not loving yourself. that’s rubbish. losing weight for health reasons and happiness is GOOD!!!!
    in some ways, feng shui or luck of a person does change for the better. i’d be happy if i were able to wear store bought clothes instead of tailormade XXXXXXXXXXXXXL clothes – if you know what i mean.
    one thing worse is when the family do not provide support for their overweight children/siblings to lose weight. a friend’s cousin has always been teased by her family members, she does try, but there is no incentive for her. or determination. she loves food, she loves to cook. her brother once told her he’ll give her RM1000 for losing 15-20kgs. i think that’s an incentive enough, but if i’m not mistaken, the deal never went through.
    nevertheless, family members and friends should assist and join in with healthy eating and living, and not tease or ostracise.
    unfortunately for pro-anas, it’s the extreme opposite of being overweight. if you read the articles on the internet, some end up being really weak and die. they even continue with their online support group forums from hospital beds!
    and taking advantage of the faith in pro-ana, religion-like is a bit scary.
    but then again, what can we say? we can’t criticise them because it’ll make things worse.
    i’d rebel should my parents criticised me. ;P condescending tones do not work!

  8. bimbobum:
    my dad once offered me RM50 for every KG lost. That was over 10 years ago. Nothing happened. gain weight, ada lah!
    What i learned is u need to WANT to do it. And with dieting, do not let yourself feel deprived.. u’ll just end up pigging out. Fortunately for me, I love vegetables and bread (not white). So i gave up fatty & sugary things, with some help of pro-ana sites i must admit. However, i did go overboard at one point & ended up a lil sick. I’ve also survived on nothing but bread, soup, water & plain salads (no dressing). 1 slice of bread during the day & soup/salad for dinner. God knows how i did that!
    Fitting into a size 6 instead of a 12.. pure bliss =)

  9. Pro-ana sites dont generally discourage people from gettin help. If you look at all pro-ana site they have warnings!! But really if anorexic people go on to site that say ‘Pro-ana’ they aint lookin for help are they now.

  10. I’ve been mia for the past 2 years and I am fine. Three months ago my family found out and I weighed around 99(my lowest weight). Now it is so tricky so I am trying to become anorexic. I am lower then 99 now I think and workout alot. If I cannot throw it up I wont eat. LIfe is hard, but this is the way I should ive.

  11. I hate the way some people say it’s as easy as just eating something and you’ll be better. I don’t know if I suffer from anorexia nervosa, but all I ever think about is my weight, and I eat a bowl of extremely low fat cereal every four to five days. The rest of the time I live on water. I’m starving but I just can’t bring myself to eat anything. Even when I’m eating my cereal I feel really REALLY guilty and just think to myself: ‘I didn’t need to do that’. I’m SO FAT!!! I HAVE TO STOP EATING!!! I MUST STOP EATING!!!!!

  12. I suffered from anorexia nervosa from the ages of 14 until i was about 17. nothing helped. not encouragement from anorexia survivors, not being told i was in trouble by psychiatrists. nothing.

    except me.

    I looked at myself one day, and i looked at my poor family who were suffering even more than me. my mum was broken, my sister was confused and my dad didnt know what to do.

    i looked at my ana diary and i wrote the words.. “i will beat this”

    Everytime I went to make myself sick i looked in the mirror at this person who used to be grace. and i thought to myself,

    “i need to get that spark back in my eye, i need to be happy again.”

    It didnt happen over night but i eventually said goodbye to ana, and i am finally happy! I have had my first boyfriend since ana, my friends and family are happier and i enjoy life… i actually enjoy it! i dont have to constantly add up calories or wiegh my food… I’M FREE.

    YOU DESERVE TO BE FREE. the answer is you.
    Beautiful. Strong. You.

    love you,

    grace x

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