Pro Anorexia Websites

I guess this should be addressed to everyone at UVM.

Being the boyfriend of an anorexic-bulimic girl, I have found a new enemy to my efforts to help her overcome these illnesses. This enemy comes in the form of websites nicknamed “Pro-Ana” or “Pro-Mia” sites. These are forums and chat rooms where person suffering from anorexia and bulimia can share thoughts and techniques on making themselves thinner through means of self degradation and self criticism.

Within these sites, predominantly women and some men, share their methods of weight loss and techniques for hiding the symptoms and awful practices associated with the illness. I have visited these sites and read some of the entries and for an outsider looking in, it is downright depressing.

My girlfriend and I have been together for over two years, and in that time I have seen her go through many ups and downs with her illness. Recently, my efforts at supporting her and giving her encouragement have been thwarted by her new source of support, these websites. Now, it is as if we are back to square one. She has become increasingly obsessed with her looks, her weight, her clothing size, and what other people think about her. With her new found “support” group on-line, she has begun a new intense regime of eating, exercising, and purging.

The reason I am writing this letter is because I have recently run into petitions advocating the creation and networking of these “Pro-Aan/Mia” sites. I want to inform and possibly get feedback on how people feel about such websites and if there is any legal way in which UVM can ban these types of sites from being visited on school computers. Thanks. -MEStudent UVM, Class of 2003