Eating disorders: Pro-ana websites and thinspiration photos almost killed this teen

India Edmonds, now 17, said that at age 14 she developed anorexia. She said she’d always felt uncomfortable about her weight because she used to be bullied by her classmates for having short chubby legs.

She began spending a lot of time combing through the internet and photo sites such as Instagram and Pinterest to find “thinspiration” photos. Edmonds became obsessed with her thigh gap and often took a dozen selfies a day.

Thinspiration photos are often selfies taken by pro-anorexia, or pro-ana for short, individuals who share tips on how to lose weight, purge, and starve themselves into being ever thinner.

Edmonds was a healthy 136 pounds, but when she was finally hospitalized for her eating disorder 6 months later she barely weighed 84 pounds.

During the first 3 months of her 7 month hospital stay Edmonds was forced fed through a feeding tube, while doctors and family tried to convince the teenager that she had to eat or she’d die.

Edmonds said the pro-ana blogs and photo sites helped her destroy her self-respect and her life. One of the common set of rules found on many sites are the “10 Thin Commandments”.

Thin Commandments

If you aren’t thin, you aren’t attractive.
Being thin is more important than being healthy.
You must buy clothes, style your hair, take laxatives, starve yourself, do anything to make yourself look thinner.
Thou shall not eat without feeling guilty.
Thou shall not eat fattening food without punishing oneself afterwards.
Thou shall count calories and restrict intake accordingly.
What the scale says is the most important thing.
Losing weight is good/gaining weight is bad.
You can never be too thin.
Being thin and not eating are signs of true will power and success.

Edmonds is now well on the road to recovery and weighs a healthier 110 pounds.

Instagram announced a ban on users who promoted anorexia or other eating disorders. Some countries such as Italy have even considered criminalizing pro-ana sites and writers.

And finally, anyone for a wafer thin mint?


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