Spanish authorities have taken strong action against a website actively promoting anorexia:
MADRID, Jan 10, 2007 (AFP) – Spanish authorities have banned an internet site which was about to run a competition for young women suffering from anorexia, a regional health spokesman said Tuesday.
“This kind of thing is just not acceptable,” a spokesman for the Madrid health and consumer department told AFP, while a statement by the authority condemned a scheme which it viewed as “posing a health threat, above all for those suffering a food-related disorder.”
After being alerted by police to the competition on the Porcelain Princesses website the health authority threatened legal action, prompting the site to suspend its services.
Aware that recent studies say some 100,000 young women in Spain are anorexia sufferers, Spain has cracked down on the problem.
Last September, Madrid’s prestigious Pasarela Cibeles fashion show banned five models from participating because they did not meet World Health Organisation (WHO) weight guidelines saying that a body mass index of less than 18 (56 kilograms for 1.75 meters or 123 pounds for five feet eight inches) is unhealthy.
The competition, which would have run for a fortnight from January 13, offered points to those reducing their calorie intake to a minimum, with starvation rations of 50-150 calories a day worth nine points while “the honour of a podium placing” and a maximum ten points was offered for not eating all day.
Prior to its closure the website said in a disclaimer it advised visitors to “not follow” advice they might read there.
Following the furore, the site is currently down, save for a message advising that “princesasdeporcelana has been suspended.”
In another development, for individuals who have been “brainwashed” by the pro-ana movement, help is available. The website webiteback.com describes itself as “the first post-pro-ana website”, run by and for males and females who have previously found themselves caught up in the pro-ana movement and broken free:
This is the site that comes after the madness. There is no place for people to go who have been finding support on pro-ana forums, communities and email lists once they decide they don’t want to do the ana thing anymore… not until now.
Welcome to the first post-proana forum! This is an eating disorder recovery community, with an orange twist.
Pro-ana strengthens negative behavioral patterns, while post-proana strengthens positive ones. Have thinspiration pictures lost all appeal? Maybe you just want them to lose their grip on you. Maybe you are starting to feel like you’re growing out of this eating disorder thing, or at least you want to learn how…? Find bulimic behavior returning like a bad habit? You might find a verbal purge helps you deal with the seed of the problem that motivates your disordered eating habits. Ever wonder what it would be like to finally work on not punishing yourself for punishing yourself?
Stop shaming yourself for seeking support on eating disorder forums, and instead improve your outlook. You have found a truly unique eating disorder forum, made especially for those exiting proana boards and communities. We’ve got our wits, and we can take control of our lives by making better choices for ourselves. Choice is powerful. With anorexic behavior, you feel in control initially by starving yourself – then you lose your control to your eating disorder. The thing that you use to feel in control ultimately controls you, and on this site, we are trying to regain control in a frank and honest way. We try to keep a positive outlook, because recovery is a trust game with your body.
Recovery is a process, a journey – not a destination. This is not like anorexia with goal weights, and some marker that says you are “there”. We believe that recovery takes a series of many choices… and you need simply be choosing each moment to be a little better to yourself. Don’t rush. Allow yourself to have as much time to get out of this thing as it took you to get into it. Allow yourself a moment to suppose that maybe you can still have a tight group of online friends without destroying yourself. Help yourself and you can help your friends. It’s as easy and as hard as that.