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Surfing For Thinness: Pro-Ana Community Analysis

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“I believe in perfection and strive to attain it. I believe in salvation through trying just a bit harder than I did yesterday. I believe in calorie counters as the inspired word of god and memorize them accordingly. I believe in bathroom scales as an indicator of my daily successes and failures” (“Ana’s Creed”). This is just one example of the literature found on pro-anorexia, pro-ana, websites. This passage as well as many others bear an eerie resemblance to Christian religious texts. The Ana Creed, Thin Commandments, Pro-Ana Psalm and ritual of summoning are popular features in the pro-ana community that take wording from Christian prayers and teachings. Despite the prevalence of this aspect of the pro-ana community, little research has…show more content…
There is a great deal of discussions about why these groups are harmful, possible benefits of these groups and the members within these groups. These ideas are explored in the study: “Surfing for Thinness” in which researchers conducted a study focused primarily on the community members in pro-ana forums (Wilson et al. e1635). In Natalie Boero and C.J. Pascoe’s article, they discuss tensions within the community over status and hierarchy, especially looking at “wannarexics”. They talk about how the hatred of “wannarexics”, and fear of becoming one leads community members to engage in strict group rituals and practices to prove their authenticity and maintain their spot within the community (39). Very few articles discuss the possible benefits of these websites but a study done by Stephen Haas, Meghan Irr, Nancy Jennings and Lisa Wagner suggests that unique support for recovery can be found on some of these sites (44). Although the religious aspect of the pro-ana community was briefly mentioned in many articles, an in-depth analysis of the religion behind pro-ana is a topic that needs further…show more content…
In doing this, I hope to show the relationship between the pro-ana community and the protestant ethic and take the pro-ana community further and suggest that the existence and formation of the group provide an argument against secularization. Using Weber’s idea of the protestant ethic and his theory of religion and society, and focusing on, the certainty of salvation, inner-worldly asceticism, and religious virtuosi I will examine the pro-ana community by, suggesting a “pro-ana ethic” based on Weber’s ideas, and explaining the formation of the group. Using this pro-ana ethic, I will discuss how the pro-ana community shows a deviation from the thesis of
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