When Finding Melissa clashed with Pro Ana and the Nanny State…

I have tried to be positive with my site.

I have been sensitive with the subject – and with the audience.

I have stuck to my ‘only say something if it is actually helpful’ rule – as much as is humanly possible -

But the escalation of pro-anorexia websites – in comparison to the impossibility of getting anyone to promote an anti pro-anorexia site – has pushed me over the edge.

It’s utter madness – and I’m fuming.

We’re so scared of saying the wrong thing that we’re saying nothing at all.

We’re so worried about being seen as promoting or contributing to the rise in eating disorders that it’s safer to sanitise – or silence – anything that’s a little risqué, a little too frank.

An online reference to anorexia or bulimia provokes a flurry of nervous energy; the request for a website link is lost in a bundle of bureaucratic tape; even some very tasteful postcards provoke a sense of panic that ‘it might be taken the wrong way’ -

No wonder that the pro-anorexia message reigns victorious.

Are we really surprised that teachers don’t know how to broach the subject – or parents are terrified of saying the wrong thing?

Is it really that strange that the causes, experiences, and escape from eating disorders remain so mysterious and misunderstood?

So, I’ll keep talking about it, even if the reception’s a little hushed; because, the silence just plays into the disorder and adds to the fear.

And I’ll keep sending out my links, even though people are too scared to reciprocate; because, finding out that my feelings weren’t unique was key to my recovery and helped me make sense of the things I couldn’t understand alone.

I’ll get over any self doubt – because I know that what I’ve learnt is important – and I’ll put the shame to one side – because my eating disorder has diminished me enough – and I’ll keep twittering and blogging and writing about it all, in the hope that, one day, someone get a little bit brave –

And realises that Finding Melissa might actually help…

- and that the only way to move beyond the fear – and get past the unknown – is by facing the subject head on.

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