Yesterday, I received this e-mail from Alisha* (*not her real name):
This maybe kinda off subject..........
I think your website is a great way to show people the consequences of eating disorders. I have to tell the truth, I found this site on accident. I belong to a lot of pro ana communities on livejournal.
I know eating disorders are a disease and not a lifestyle. I don't promote them, but I do think being thin is great. I am kinda proud of my eating disorder. I hope to change that one day. I was looking for "thinspiration", and I saw a video on youtube about Isabelle Caro, so I decided to search for articles about her. One of the results I got was your website.
My name is Alisha and I am 18 years old. I'm a black girl who has EDNOS. I have done it all (starve, binge and purge, diet pills, you name it.) I have been seeing a psychiatrist for about 3 years. I'm 5'3 91.8 pounds. I was 88 pounds last week but because of Thanksgiving I have gained a couple of pounds. I would like to weigh about 85 pounds, but I know that's not healthy.
I became very angry when a girl made a comment about my desire to be thin. She said "black girls are supposed to be voluptuous". I got angry because I think race and size should never be in the same sentence. I think that people should know that anyone can suffer from an eating disorder.
I have never seen an article about a black girl with an eating disorder. So, maybe it is ok for people to think all black girls are or should be voluptuous?
I feel alone sometimes because I don't know any black girls with an eating disorder. I would feel embarrassed for people to know I have one because of my race. I just want other girls of all races to know that anyone can have an eating disorder.
I would also like to say your website has opened my eyes. I knew eating disorders kill, but reading the stories about other people shows death is real.
One day maybe I will realize what I have done to myself and start to love myself. I have to be honest I don't know if I even want to. If I get better maybe I can become a counselor or a psychiatrist who helps boys and girls of all races with all types of mental health problems.
Thanks for listening,
Alisha, eating disorders do not discriminate. Anorexia and bulimia strike girls of every race and colour.
From the Psychiatric Times:
"More recent evidence suggests that the pre-valence of anorexia nervosa among African-Americans is higher than previously thought and is rising. A survey of readers of a popular African-American fashion magazine (see picture chart above) found levels of abnormal eating attitudes and body dissatisfaction that were at least as high as a similar survey of Caucasian women, with a significant negative correlation between body dissatisfaction and a strong black identity (Pumariega et al., 1994). It has been hypothesized that thinness is gaining more value within the African-American culture, just as it has in the Caucasian culture (Hsu, 1987).
Other American ethnic groups also may have higher levels of eating disorders than previously recognized (Pate et al., 1992). A recent study of early adolescent girls found that Hispanic and Asian-American girls showed greater body dissatisfaction than white girls (Robinson et al., 1996). Furthermore, another recent study has reported levels of disordered eating attitudes among rural Appalachian adolescents that are comparable to urban rates (Miller et al., in press). Cultural beliefs that may have protected ethnic groups against eating disorders may be eroding as adolescents acculturate to mainstream American culture (Pumariega, 1986)."
(Link: Psychiatric Times)
Alisha, please check out video on laurenasia's * video on Youtube:
"Now I'm a Grad student at UMD working on 2 Masters Degrees, the overused Masters in Business Admin and then the wonderfully ridiculous Masters in Financial Managment and Info Systems. The Info systems I kinda like.
Professional model and tutor part time. I have 2 chihuahuas Prince and Duchess.
I wouldn't classify myself as sane. I'm a yogini-Hatha Vinyasa and power.
I've also suffered from clinical Anorexia Nervosa for 6 years. However my happiest time has been during recovery, which is what I'm working on now for the 2nd time around. I also have generalized anxiety disorder, but I finally grew some ovaries and started to upload vids.
If you want to chat, just need an ear to listen, or wanna be internet buddies!!! j/k, but no really... any of these links will lead to that:
Please get help before it's too late, Alisha. Eating disorders ARE deadly.