The below is the content that appeared on PrettyThin while it was active.
What is PrettyThin
PrettyThin is the worlds largest and most active eating disorder community. Now, what does that mean to be an eating disorder community?
Sure, PrettyThin has the tools – blog, forum, image gallery, memberships, commenting…..that makes it a community, but it doesn’t differentiate it from any other community. What makes PrettyThin unique is that it is an eating disorder community.
An eating disorder is not a seasonal diet. And eating disorder is not a fad, and it is not something you catch. An eating disorder comes in many shapes, many sizes, and many forms. And people of all ages and genders experience this unhealthy relationship with food, eating, and their bodies.
There are many sites and communities out there that discuss eating disorders. These sites range from the traditional pro-ana site to national (and international) eating disorder associations. And there are a lot of shades from one extreme to the other, from the glorification of disordered eating to hardcore recovery and awareness.
There never was, or at least none survive, a site and community that welcomes everyone and anyone with an eating disorder. PrettyThin has been called the “live and let live among eating disorder websites.” It has also been referred to as the community that gives eating disorders a voice. And if you read the testimonials, you will see that it mean a lot of different things to different people. But they have one thing in common. They all have an eating disorder.
What PrettyThin has done – by being for people with eating disorders and by people with eating disorders – is create greater discussions around eating disorders. It has lowered the barrier to accessing others who understand what it means to have an ED. People who have experienced it, who have stories of their own, and have something to offer the greater discussion around this tremendous issue. Those experiences and stories are not wrong. They are a greater scope and awareness of the many perspectives of eating disorders.
What PrettyThin will always be is a place that welcomes ANYONE with an eating disorder or a relationship to those with an ED. PrettyThin does not tell you who to be, how to be, what to say, what to do. You have choices; you have to make those choices. What PrettyThin offers is awareness – that there are many sides to eating disorders and your relationship to them. What you do with that is up to you.
…don’t you know you’re killing people?
The conversations are taking place. People are actively looking for the content that others find objectionable. There are those seeking many of the harmful aspect of eating disorders, and seeking traditional pro-ana sites. So when people ask “don’t you think it’s wrong to run a website like this?” My answer is “it would be wrong not to run a website like this.”
The conversations are taking place. PrettyThin tries to become part of the conversation, and in so doing has become a model for other sites. NEDA recently
I try not to answer this question. I don’t think people should take too much time trying to qualify themselves. I do what I do, and let you be the judge. If you want to know if I am qualified, or if it’s appropriate, ask me the questions and I will answer them here.
Who am I?
I like to think of PrettyThin as a modern day pro-ana site taking an entirely different approach toward communication around eating disorders. It is not pro-anorexic. If you are still having that discussion then you’re having a battle around a question that was answered long ago. That’s not the discussion of today.
PrettyThin is the pro-ana site of today because it is the worlds largest pro-anorectic website. The largest website and forum in support of those individuals with eating disorders.
So if it’s not a traditional pro-ana site, then what’s up with thinspiration? Take a look to better understand what thinspo is all about and why you find it on PrettyThin.
……and what does he have to gain?
I, James, run this site simply because it happened. Nothing special. No drive or initiative. I had an unrealistic notion that I would somehow cure the world of eating disorders if I got to know the people who have them. I realized that it was a sophomoric goal. I didn’t know what I was talking about, and didn’t even know what lay ahead of me. As I maintained PrettyThin, I started to realize that there was much more to eating disorders than anorexia alone (yes, I was that naive), and that my responsibility was something greater.
I happen to run PT because I know how. Not from a psychological perspective, but from a technical one.
PrettyThin has the most active eating disorder forum in the world. The National Eating Disorder Association started on just a few months ago.
PrettyThin has an eating disorder awareness page on Facebook. By the end of 2012 I wouldn’t be surprised if more people follow PT on facebook than do other government funded organizations.
PrettyThin has more links (natural links, not paid links) in the places where people looking for eating disorder content are exploring. No, not just the academics, but those looking for pro-ana and thinspo too. How do you help someone if you’re always asking them to come to you on your terms? We let you do t on your terms.
There are tons of pictures of models and “skinny girls” in fashion magazines, as well as tons of content that glamorizes thin. PrettyThin throws out those same images and associates “eating disorders” with them. Why? Because people need to hear it. Because those people need PT like anyone else does.
But PT doesn’t stop there. There is a recover community in the works as well.
So why me? Because on a technical (and possibly financial) level, no one else did what needed to be done. To have a place that welcomes all those with eating disorders.