You may have noticed I added a donation button to the blog last week. I did this with great hesitation.

This effort is one that started about a year ago, on a complete and total whim. Many of you may not know how mamaVISION came to be so I wanted to share the past.

Back in September of 2006, I had to dig into blogs for work. I needed to research what blogs were, how they technically functioned and how they were influencing the interactive market. When I started I was like “what the heck is a blog and who cares?”

I heard about this “WordPress” tool, didn’t have a clue, logged on and was asked for a user name. First thing that came to mind was “mamavision.” I find this kind of odd since I was to utilize this tool for business research, this was to have nothing to do with my personal life or being a mom….coincedence? I don’t think so.

So, I started blogging. I wrote strictly about tech geek topics, youtube was just getting hot back then, and myspace was just bought out. I was heavy into the experimenting with the various blogging tools, when one night I wasn’t feeling well, so I flipped on the TV (which I generally don’t do, we don’t even have cable. Not cause we are freaks about TV,  just because we don’t watch that much TV, no time).

I caught an episode of America’s Top Model. I have never seen it and I was totally appalled at what a joke of a show it was. The episode happened to feature a nude photo shoot. 30 girls, wrapped in towels, waiting in line, ready to prance up on this huge white stage on top of a damn skyscraper (could this be more sensationalized) and show their stuff. 28 girls didn’t even blink at streaking, while the other 2 hesitated for a few moments (pathetic, but that’s a topic for another day).

The next day, I recorded a YouTube video and wrote a post about my feelings about the show. The post focused on my then six year old daughter who just happened to walk in the room during this nudie show. She was totally confused and said,  “Mama, why are they showing their private areas?”

How exactly do you explain this to your precious little girl? Especially since you and Daddy have been teaching her about respecting their body and how to be aware that no one should see or touch her private areas.

In an instant, my blog stats hit the roof. Back in skinny jeans picked up the story. Then she reached out to me privately to introduce herself and urged “You have to keep writing about these topics.”

I spent the weekend in heavy thought because I really didn’t want to reveal my modeling past, nor my real name, or really even be a blogger for that matter. This was a crossroads because I had two options 1) Delete the blog and walk away 2) Continue and see where it leads.

I took door #2, and I thank god I did. I think I needed to get all this crap out of my system and just let all the secrets go. Do you know that I hid my modeling past from all my collegues for 14 years? I was embarrassed. I also knew my modeling past would bring about judgements about me, and I thought, about my skills as a business women.

Something told me to just let it all rip. And I did. And I am grateful. I feel I am now doing something here that matters. In fact, I know this blog matters, each and every day I read your posts and receive messages that totally blow me away. I can’t thank you all enough for your encouragement and support.

Ok, enough sappy stuff, on to the plea for cash. :)

  • Our daily readers average about 2000.
  • Regular posters have created this awesome attitude, flair and point of view to the community.
  • I’ve been approached to perhaps publish mamaVISION as a book.
  • I’ve reached out to major media outlets for coverage of the mamaVISION and proana community. I expect a response will come soon.
  • I’m not slowing down, in fact I am having a hard time keeping up. I am considering adding contributing bloggers, and I am looking for help in compiling statistics we have gathered here (feel free to apply for either opportunity, just post your interest here).
  • We have maxed out on the free storage for, so I need to pay to keep the blog running. My personal budget is tight, as you may know I bring home the bacon in the family, my husband is a writer and takes care of the kids. Life is awesome, we are both happier than ever, but we track our expenses on an excel spreadsheet, so needless to say a few extra bucks will go a long way for all of us.

Not sure where we are headed, but I have a feeling mamaVISION may have an exciting year ahead. If we are going to grow this effort, I need financial backing. I know how to market the cause, I have the guts to hone in on the right people who can influence change, and I’d like your support and vote of confidence in moving this thing to the next level.

Bottomline, your support and friendship means more than anything. If you can swing $5, 10 bucks to donate great. If not, don’t sweat it….just keep coming here and lending your unique voice.

Because guess what girls? They are listening. We have their ear. Now we need to collectively influence change. I can’t do it with out you.

Love, from the bottom of my heart,



When you click the donation button you will be directed to PayPal’s secured site. Donations are accepted in virtually all currencies , go here to view a demo. You will be asked to create a paypal account, when you do you will select the currency in your country using a pull down menu.

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31 Responses to Wings

  1. Vanessa says:

    wow. you get a book deal and your readers get the opportnity to give you their money. and, um, arent like more than 50% of your readers young, like, under 18? young enough not to think through this little transaction, not to wonder if your self promotion will ultimately benefit you financially as a writer or journalist or whatever you are. trying to think of something more to say to this than wow… ok, got it. how about this: if you do get the chance to write a book based on this blog, once you get an advance for the book will you send each of your contributers a refund?

    self promote if you like. write a book. make money. i may disagree with much of what you say but i sure wont stop you. but to then put your hand out and ask for donations? wow.

  2. PrincessAmie says:

    umm MamaV ill give you some money… i dont know how to get it to you though, i dont have a credit card… do you have bank details or like something? I think what your doing is great and i want to back you up any way i can…

  3. Vanessa says:

    you have inspired me to revive my mostly defunct blog. you can find the entry here, for what its worth:

  4. SarahBear says:

    Mama, I need some help. I don’t know where to go for it, and I don’t want help from anyone but you. I’m overweight, and i decided I really needed to loose some, and I was venting to my new friend, when she told me she was ana, and she showed me pro-ana-nation, and i read it, and she told me she was liquid fasting, and i did it with her, and then i did it again two days later, and i did it untill i got dizzy and nearly passed out. I got dizzy and bitchy and it was all very bad, but i lost three pounds in two days, and I can’t say I regret it. Still, it hurt my friend, a different one, very very badly, so i swore to him I’d never do it again. I swore I’d never ever ever ever ever ever do it again, and I haven’t. Still, I’m dieting like crazy. Lately it’s been getting more and more, extreme. I’ve been keeping myself under 1200 calories a day, and I BEGGED my mom to let me make myself throw up and not tell my doctor, even tho, i couldn’t because i promised that same friend i wouldn’t do that again either (i’ve only done it once.) still….now i feel guilty about eating, and i feel guilty about being hungry, and i HATE myself when i start to eat, and i want to be beautiful and i just feel like lard, and i DON”T admire nicole riche and i DON”T want to be bones . I have a goal, i want: hipbones visable, and collar bones, and my spine, but no ribs, but i just…want to be skinny. I’m not, and my dad said i’ll never be skinny that i don’t have the body type for it. That’ll I’ll never look good in a bikini because i was born to swim like a racer, and I have braod shoulders, and narrow hips, and I’m too wide, and I want to be smaller, and I want to shrink down, and I don’t want to jiggle, and my mom has me working at the gym with her trainer, but I can feel myself getting obsessed, and I don’t want to stop, but I don’t want to get sick, but I can’t not go on pro ana, and I keep searching for thinspos, I wish I was pretty enough for vouge, and every day… I hate myself more and more. I wish i could curl up and dissapear, or be my aunt who is SO SO SO thin, and she eats, but she’s so pretty. Or my cousin whos gorgeous, even if she is a bitch, and I just…..don’t want to be me anymore. i really hate myself, if I loved myself even a quarter as much as my friend who’s trying so hard to not let me go crazy, if i loved myself a quarter as much as he loved me I’m sure I wouldn’t have these problems. My mom says I’m going to shut down my matabolism because I only eat 800-1200 calories a day, she says at my age i burn probably around 3,000, but that makes no sense to me. I’m so lost and confused, and everyone tells me different things, and makes me feel awful, and my moms always complaing about how fat she is, and I just…….want to be someone else, i even know who i want to be, ….i feel………ick. I don’t know what to do.

    All i know is i want to be skinny, all i know is i want to be beautiful and fit into lolita clothing becaue i want that to be my style, and i don’t know what to do.
    please, any help would be so much appreciated, i had to type my email, ti won’t be published but i hope you’ll see it and respond. it would mean the world to me. thanks mama, it helps alot, and i don’t think my mom understands what’s going on, and i don’t either, you seem to get it though, and i really really really need help……
    all i know, is part of me is terrified, but part of me thinks this is what i need, and i KNOW i need to be beautiful and i KNOW i’ll be happier thin…and I’m obsessed…..and i’m making calories less and less everyday….i want to….i dunno….waste away untill i’m a good size…
    i jjust feel everything i eat slows me down, and eating makes me feel like a failure because a minute on the hips is forever on the lips, mama if you read this…please…help? i think your all i got in this…even my friend….he’s in over his head, i don’t know what to do.


  5. Hannah says:

    What Mama does is great, otherwise other girls just like SarahBear wouldn’t come to her for help. Anyone who could ever think Mama would collect donations to benefit herself has obviously not read this blog; she’s doing it for us. If it weren’t for us this blog wouldn’t exist in the first place.

    Keep it up MamaV.. I love you & your blog!

  6. mamavision says:

    Vanessa: Wow, you really nailed me. How insightful you are. Between you and me… I am going to be just sitting here laughing as all the suckers that read this blog send in their funds….then I can just sit back and eat bonbons all day.

    Hey….this is just of like a little cult isn’t it. Maybe I should play that angle, what do ya think?


  7. mamavision says:

    Hi PrincessAmie: You are a sweetheart. Thank you for your kindness. I have the donation system set up with credit cards, and I don’t know about taking donations via mail or check.

    Let me think about this one, and thank you for your interest in donating. I really appreciate it, and I am glad to see you as a regular here.

  8. mamavision says:

    Hi SarahBear: I am glad you reached out, Let’s continue this conversation over on the Open Forum, look at the top of the blog for the tab.

  9. Vanessa says:

    i KNEW it! just be careful with all the bonbons. you might get FAAAAT.

    btw, in response to your comment on my blog, ani difranco sez “if you’re not angry then you’re just stupid or you don’t care.”

  10. Joey says:

    SARAHBEAR – email me asap at

  11. Vanessa says:

    look, nats, i was trying to be lighthearted and let this go in my 3rd comment, but i don’t appreciate being called names. i have every right to my opinions and to read whatever i like and comment and disagree if i so choose. so, you’re in a clinic? that’s nice, i’ve been in them 3 times, and right now i’m in relapse. again. so forgive me for being somewhat bitter at times, but i know a thing or two about eating disorders.

    further disagreements with everything about mamavision from the content of her posts to the color of her hair (KIDDING!) can be found at my blog. i linked to it up above but here it is again:

  12. Gabi says:

    hi mama, even though not in recovery i wanna give some money, but im english so do you have like pay pal or something to convert the money? i wanna donate £10.00, thats about (if the exchange rate is still going at $2 to the pound,) $20.00. so let me know how i can do it?

  13. mamavision says:

    Hi Girls! I was brainstorming with my husband this morning on what we could do with collected donations, and I wanted to share a few ideas for comment. I figure this may spark your creativity, and I am thinking you guys can help me narrow down options:

    1) Set up a mamaV fund for girls who are in need of ED treatment but do not have insurance coverage

    2) Set up a non-profit organization, dedicated to support groups (around the world). This would take a lot of effort, but we would take baby steps. Here I am thinking we have our online support group here, would it be even more powerful if you could meet up with each other in certain cities throughout the year?

    3) Ok, this one personally appeals to me. I would like to take mamaV on the road so to speak. This is why I like the book idea, I would promote the book, educate parents, be a voice of reason in a public event/speaking type setting. Then donate the profits to NEDA or ED treatment centers. Here the money would intially need to be used for marketing needs.

    Please send your ideas!

  14. PrincessAmie says:

    Hey Mama

    I like the idea of number 3. Its like a way to prevent eating disorders. There are many organisations already that offer support groups etc for people who already have developed eating disorders but there isnt much on educating people and preventing the disease… its sort of like the idea of working with children and telling them about safe sex and giving them tools to keep them safe from pregnncy and std’s rather than talking about saf sex and condoms etc when the girls are already pregnant…. i think its a great idea! Preventing the problem before it becomes a problem :)

  15. Jane says:

    Not happy – just wrote a long reply and the internet closed the page!

    I agree with Amie, prevention is afterall better than a cure. Being able to get this message further, away from just the net would be amazing… there is certainly a lot that needs done to educate people about ED’s. I didnt even know what anorexia and bulima weere until I got diagnosed (even then I only knew I had them, not what they were!). Number three is the most appealing. Plus, your book would most certainly be number one on my shopping list :o)

    About donations, as soon as I start working and actually have some money (which better be soon, am starting to struggle!!) I would love to give something. I have the same concern as Gabi, do you have paypal, or another system that’s international…?

    Love what your trying to do MamaV x

  16. Joey says:

    Bit nervous saying this, but i’m ever-so-tentatively going to give Vanessa my hand of support on some points..

    Before i get into this though i believe MamaV to be well-meaning and kind, however, as she knows, i often don’t approve of her methods!

    Some of Vanessa’s points…:
    – i agree with her that i don’t think the fashion industry is quite as influencial as she as a former model may think. Many teenage girls, like my 16-year-old sister who i believe to be pre-dispositioned to anorexia like me, don’t watch America’s Next Top Model, don’t read many magazines, etc etc. I didn’t until after my ED developed and then looked into proanorexia sites for support and found all the girls had this weird interest in such things. HOWEVER society in general IS pro-thin and pro-beauty-perfection, but it’s advertising, products, TV and maybe celebrities who are more influencial, not just those on the catwalk who only get seen by some teens.
    – I don’t really agree with using the pictures from proanorexia sites, especially if the girls have asked to have their pictures removed and MamaV has refused, especially considering a lot of girls wouldn’t have put their pics on the pro-ana sites themselves in the first place! And the captions she has written beside the pictures are mocking – appalling considering some of them aren’t involved in pro-ana sites at all! And they’re the sickest thinnest girls…the average BMI of girls on livejournal pro-anorexia is about 22 – a perfectly healthy weight.
    – I agree that I’m not sure MamaV knows what it’s like to have a full-blown ED, maybe just cos she doesn’t talk about it. As a lot of girls here are struggling to recover we’d kinda like some advice about how to do it from those who have achieved it, but MamaV hasn’t given any advice of the sort. Maybe this is because noones asked her directly, but i doubt i’m alone in wanting help.

    This is a really controversial one …. but what do you, MamaV, aim to achieve? What is your mission? What have you got to say or what do you want to do that is original, and going to change peoples lives? Vaguely saying pro-ana is bad, and the influence of the pro-thin media is done over and over, in the media itself and in books and sites.
    And then a reallllly controversial one – do you MamaV help individual girls with EDs? I’ve seen many MANY comments here crying out for your help, and they’re rarely responded to by you, and an email i sent once in a state of desperation wasn’t replied to. I know you’re very VERY busy, but if you want to make a real difference these individuals need guidance.
    You can kinda see why girls turn to proanorexia sites. They’ll ask people and search for support all over the place – parents, friends, doctors, teachers, mamaV, pro-recovery sites like somethingfishy, NEDA……and there’s no help there. Either they’re ignorant to your problem, don’t have the time, don’t care, or censor you to the bone. Proanorexia sites are the ONLY place where girls can get real support from people who understand. No wonder they’re so popular, both for girls with EDs, and girls struggling with ordinary self-image problems, depression and low self-esteem alike.

    MamaV, I really don’t want to cause offense, because i do believe you want to make a difference and are a good person. However Vanessa has made some good points which should be acknowledged.

    I also want to agree with the other commenters here – EDs aren’t well-covered in the media at all – for example BED, COED and EDNOS are hardly known, even though they’re painful debilitating problems, possibly worse than anorexia and bulimia because there’s no support or treatment available to sufferers, and often they don’t even know they have a diagnosable problem!
    Also girls should be educated about how to lose weight correctly – normal fad diets don’t work, and that causes wannarexia, extreme dieting and many EDs. Correct weightloss advice should be spread for those who do need to lose weight, and the ineffectiveness of ED methods should be explained too (people believe that starvation, purgeing, etc work, because it does for anorexics. when in fact weightloss is easier with ordinary dieting because it’s the anorexic mindset that causes the weightloss!).

  17. PrincessAmie says:

    hey Joey,
    I agree with some of what you say, You sound like you know what your talking about :)

  18. Vanessa says:

    joey- i really really appreciate your taking the time to see where i was coming from. especially since i know i expressed myself in a way that was a bit over the top at times.

  19. mamavision says:

    Hi Gabi: PayPal does accept most currencies. However, I read on the mamasDONATION page that you use maestro and that is not accepted. In regards to sending checks, I am in the process of setting up a PO Box so this will be forthcoming, I’ll keep you posted. Thank you for considering a donation!

  20. mamavision says:

    Hi Vanessa: Please read the next post, I am going to respond to Joey who was defending some of your statements.

  21. mamavision says:

    Hi Joey: Thanks as always for your thoughtful response! I love a good debate, so never, ever hesitate to post your point of view, that’s what this place is all about.

    Vanessa: This goes for you too, I like “over the top” people…so bring it on.

    I want to address your comments regarding my mission. As I have stated, I am figuring this out as we speak. I have posted to the community to chime in with their feedback. I am a believer in having the community at large be a part of the effort so for now that’s the game plan.

    So, we could say I could potentially be sitting here with a pile of money and I could
    1) Blow it in on whatever I want to
    2) Let it sit in a bank account until a fund is set up for a particular purpose pertaining to EDs
    3) Use it for marketing the cause
    4) Other that I have not thought of.

    You all have this promise, you will be informed as to where the money goes. I will post a quarterly statement online detailing where every penny is spent. I even thought it would be kind of cool to post names of the individuals who contributed. Thoughts on this?

    Now, on to the point that ED’s are covered in the media. Yes, they are, but I believe in a somewhat of a superficial, sensationalized way- explotive is the word I am looking for. Do you agree?

    I am looking to hone in on what I have called “social anorexia” or I guess we could call is “proanaorexia” but that term has become so convoluted. I want to speak to girls who are just starting down this path, or perhaps they have been in it long enough to be sick of it and desire change. I want to start a movement. Sounds grand, but it needs to be or I’m not interested. I feel compeled to grow this effort, so I am following that feeling.

    The above point is an important distinction, as we discussed in the past, anorexia, the mental disease is totally out of my realm of experience and I don’t believe someone like me without the educational background or personal experience can or should council these girls. All I can do is show true compassion and try to guide them to help.

    Speaking of guiding to help, I respond to as many girls as I possibly can. If you see a comment that is not answered on the the blog, please know that often I email the girl directly and communicate privately. I do admit though, some slip through the cracks and this bothers me. Others wait way too long to hear from me. Any advice on what to do about it?

    I am maxed out right now, I don’t want to just shut down the mamas help section or put up some generic info on where to go for help….but I also don’t want to leave anyone out in the cold. I think that is worse dont you? Feel free to send your ideas here, Joey, I know you are in the same boat. You have taken on the responsibility of helping and at times it can be overwelming.

    One idea would be for me to connect with NEDA and ask for a specific individuals to take all calls from mamaV’s group. I could get to know that person and make sure we are in sync, and then provide that persons contact info and time available to all, so if I am not able to respond, they can go direct to the person that will ultimately help them.

    What about literature of some sort? I could mail this out, seems kind of lame at first glance, but maybe this could be a part of something bigger.

    On to the business side of this. I work in marketing and advertising, I run my own web business (one dedicated to charity). Bottomline is if I want my message of 1) education to parents on “social” or “proana” 2) support to girls seeking or into the lifestyle, I need to expand this effort beyond the blog. I am an ideal spokesperson due to my modeling past, degree in journalism, and experience on this blog. Whether we like it or not, this is about crafting the right message that will speak to girls stuck in this belief that body and beauty is life. Then personalizing that message as I believe I have done here,

    As much as Dove, or other Corporations try to do this, it doesn’t stick. Fashion, unfortunetly is not going to change (although I am actively pressuring them to start being reasonable with a 0 to 8 campaign, more on that later) , all the media messages are going to keep pounding into our heads.

    So what’s he answer? Self esteem. Catching girls before they loose it and helping girls who need it back. I can be that motivation, and I believe I can make even a greater impact through public speaking. Don’t mean to sound cocky but I believe in myself.

    I think that covers my thoughts for now. Looking forward to your comments Joey, and Vanessa- fire away, I am ready! :)


  22. Vanessa says:

    well, you didn’t answer any of the issues i specifically raised. but off the top of my head:

    1. have you considered that absolutely anything you do that draws more attention to proana will also draw more girls into it? every newscast that talks about proana invariably brings a flood of new girls to proana sites. will you end up bringing in more people to proana than you help escape it?

    2. in my opinion, most of what you call “social anorexia” is what i think of as “ed-lite”. its a phase girls go through and they might get over it naturally or they might require a bit of treatment, but they get over it fairly easily. do you have any reason to believe that this type of eating disorder is a serious problem? it seems like you may have gone through a lite phase yourself, and you seem to have gotten over it just fine. i’ve always thought that those of us with more persistant eds, the ones you seem to consider beyond your help or experience, would have developed similar problems regardless of the proana movement. i admit- i may just be telling myself that to help me sleep at night.

  23. Nats says:


    Sorry for screaming back at you, no matter what you say you should be able to say it and discuss what you have said. I blew up at your comment, I am not sorry for that at all asi still have no idea where your coming from, but i am however sorry for calling you names.

    I read through your blog, it seems to me that you are angry at the whole world not just mamaV and yet you seem to take it out on the one person you know will be able to help you but wont let her because you think you are in control of your ed and you enjoy having it. Dont get me wrong i am not saying you actually want it right now but from one of your posts on your website says “my old friend is back”. Seems to me that you know exactly what you are doing with your ed, you take comfort from it which is fair enough I did too, but you are having at go at someone who is trying to help others and you if you would let her.
    I feel for you really I do, I am now in recovery as they call it and will be allowed to leave the clinic in a week. Yes I am scared at the possibility of relapse but I know that thereis a chance it will happen bBUT I will know the signs of it and I will know that the one person to help me through it will be MamaV as well as all the people on this blog.

    I hope you manage to find the strength to beat your ed, your head and heart will tell you when your body is ready to take on the big step. I am not in any way patronising you, I have no idea how old you are nor do I care, everyone is going through the same thing and all we and mamaV want to do is help you. x

    If you want to talk or if you want to scream back at me or whatever then i have nop problem with that at all, I will look forward to your response.

    Hope your ok, take care

    Nats x

  24. Alyss says:

    Hey mamaVision… I know I don’t comment much but I am an avid reader…
    I notice there is quite the argument going on regarding what it is you are going to do with the donation money you recieve… in my opinion I honestly don’t believe you have malcious intent with this blog, or the donations. Talking to other parents and my own parents, I know it’s very expensive to live in Western soiciety these days- minimum wage is too low and costs are too high! And being a former dependant myself and slowing becoming independant, I can see looking back how much money was probably spent on my brother (still) and I…
    Paying a monthly fee for a blog can indeed add up, along with the costs of mortgage, food, transportation etc… I am unaware of how much it would be to keep a blog running per-month but I’m sure over a years time those numbers add up! I don’t blame you for requesting a donation – not to mention you have brainstormed what you could do with the extra money donation to help us who are suffering (by the way I agree with option 3… get it out there – prevent it and create awareness!)
    I myself have been suffering with an eating disorder since last summer from tramuatic events, this website helps give me some hope – although I don’t feel I can reach out to anyone because last time I did I got “Well what are we supposed to do?! You aren’t even underweight…”- my step father.
    And even watching your vidoes, I don’t see an ounce of lie in your face (or words), you mostly sound shocked and almost desperate at times at what you come to learn (and don’t forget compassion) – and it is so human, so real. It makes me feel like you are a friend or relative who truly cares, and as I can see in this blog… I’m not the only one who feels this way.
    Also I’d like to point out, you are merely asking a donation, you aren’t charging us fees to join, or to leave comments! I think it was brave of you to ask some help from those you are helping… we know you aren’t perfect or rich. But you take so much time and effort in helping us and caring for all these girls (and guys) you don’t even know! That takes heart, I honesty also don’t believe you felt particulairly good asking for donations, but obviously at this point… to excel you had to.
    That’s all I have to say for now… and good luck on whatever you choose to do! I believe in you mamaVision-keep up the great work!

  25. Joey says:

    To MamaV:
    – EDs are definitely sensationalised and exploited in the media, i guess it’s because media is for entertainment, not for informing people. (I think i sent you my article about the link between EDs and the media MamaV? I go into quite a bit of detail there!). The only ED that’s really covered is anorexia, even though it’s by far the least common ED. BED, EDNOS and COED are hardly covered at all, and not many people really know about bulimia either – they forget about the bingeing bit, and think all sufferers are bone-bags like anorexics, which is far from true.
    – With “social anorexia”, i think you’d have to think carefully about how you would define it, especially amongst all the other terms around, like “wannarexics”, “extreme dieters”, “disordered eating” “ED-lite” etc. I’d be especially concerned about the use of the word “anorexia” within the name, because it implies sufferers are all severely underweight and meeting the clinical definition of anorexia, when in most cases it wouldn’t be true. You’d also have to work out how many of the pro-ana community do actually consider themselves to be “social anorexics” – if you want i can use my influence/power in livejournal proanorexia to find out. And then, if you want to help these girls, you’d have to think about HOW you could help them – even if they decided to not be influenced any longer, they’ve still got biological, metabolical and physiological differences to ordinary girls which would prevent them from switching back to normal eating. It then depends whether you’re trying preventative measures or helping measures too. I think a lot more girls in pro-ana communities will have traditional problems than you might imagine.
    – With helping large numbers of girls i’ve found the best way to go about it is to have mini-sites or articles which give large amounts of information or advice in one go. Some examples are,,, Links to these can be put all over the place and get large amounts of information out. The most effective support by far though is simply having someone to chat to, and that’s the massive benefit of pro-ana communities – at any time of the day or night there’s someone there who understands exactly what’s going on in your head. I wonder, MamaV, if it would be beneficial to you to have a forum, like a livejournal community or something similar, where all your readers and supporters can chat together and provide support to eachother? It would be a better medium than chatting in comment-threads on here. It could have rules like “no weightloss advice” which then means it has most of the supportive qualities of the pro-ana forums, but with a lot of the negatives missing.
    – I think, personally, your best focus would be on self-esteem and healthy natural beauty. Getting into the pro-ana stuff involves you into the traditional EDs, where they’re kindof “beyond your help”. Getting to girls of all ages who are considering unneccessary dieting, plastic surgery, spending all their pocket-money on makeup, sunbeds, etc is much more effective I think. Spreading information about healthy eating, exercise, self-esteem boosting, interests beyond making oneself beautiful – they’re all areas not covered well enough. There’s definitely a “gap in the market” so-to-speak there!

    I agree with Vanessa that what’s not needed is more focus drawn to pro-ana sites at the moment. I’ll bet everyone who has visited them did so because they learnt about it from people warning them against it! My “fort” as it were is to find a way to get support to girls with EDs in a similar way that pro-ana forums do, but without the harmful aspects.
    I disagree with Vanessa about “social anorexia”/”ED-lite” not being a serious problem – i think it is a serious problem. Girls could do irreparable damage to their bodies by doing such things – the biggest one i think would be the damage to the metabolism which could lead to longterm weight problems. There’s also the chance of developing a full-blown ED, major depression, etc too.

    One thing which i know i’ve said many times before, but i think is very important, is it seems that EDs are caused by calorie restriction of some kind (usually dieting, but also illnesses, depression, etc) in those with a psychological and/or biological disposition.
    Therefore to prevent EDs, dieting needs to be prevented in all those who do not need to diet (those who are not clinically overweight). So working on girls self-esteem to make them happy with their bodies as they are (with the exception of those who are not a healthy weight) will increase happiness, and decrease Eds and similar problems.

  26. Vanessa says:

    nats- thanks for reconsidering the way you spoke to me, apology accepted. as for the rest of what you said, well, most of it is too complicated and off topic for me to fully respond to here, but i’ll just say that things in my personal life are complicated, i don’t enjoy having an ed and i don’t consider myself in control of it, but i’m not looking to recover right now. when i do want to try recovery again i know where to go and it certainly isn’t mamaV.

    also i dont think my having an ed means that i can’t form opinions for myself, including forming considered opinions about proana (i’m neither an alarmist like mamaV nor completely in favor of proana) and critical opinions of mamaV and this blog.

    i must say that one thing i do really like is that differing viewpoints are accepted and given a fair hearing here. that type of atmosphere isn’t all that common and has been a lovely surprise for someone as opinionated as myself.

  27. Christy says:

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to say that, mamaV, I’ll be happy to donate as soon as I can, and that in no way do I see your request for donations as some sort of self-serving ploy. My observations of your b(v)logs tell me you are a sincere, empathetic person who truly wants to help ed sufferers.
    On another note, I find it rather offensive to be clumped into a group referred to as (not sure if this is verbatim) “thirteen year old morons.” And the offensiveness of this statment addresses more than I care to touch on in this forum, partly because of how ridiculous it is.

  28. Christy says:

    to clarify…

    my mention of ‘ridiculous’ referred to the assumption (and perphaps implied accusation) that unfair profits are being collected. of course, each is entitled to one’s own views.

    i do agree very much that the presentation and acception of different views is necessary to progressive thinking and problem-solving.

  29. Nats says:


    Yes this is defo the place to be for making opinions and voicing them.
    Shall we go and continue this on the open forum so then we are not kindof going off of the topic on this page?? You dont have to obviously carry this convo on but i am happy to talk to you if you wish to continue x

  30. Stephanie Q says:

    I’m so proud of you! Like I said before, I can’t wait to see where your blogging takes you this time next year. ..I sent over a donation. Doing what I can cause I’m practically living on food stamps to get my venture launched… But I really believe in what you’re doing. Keep it up!

  31. JMC says:

    There are free support groups available that readers can access (without sending you or anyone else donation). People can search the NEDA site for them.

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