French law, Part Deux

Okay, this one deserved its own post.

I found an article about the French law on my newsfeed from (Lord have mercy!) the Calorie Counting Lab. It was titled, even more ironically, "Dying to be thin on the internet." Aside from the fact that dieting is inherently risky--and the eating disorders that can result can be lethal--that the Calorie Counting lab would have an article about the dangers of anorexia quite absurd. Even more absurd was this comment at the end of the article:

We love all our CalorieLab users, and these young women bloggers are among our most faithful fans. But we worry about them. Occasionally, among the thinspiration photos of Mary-Kate and Ashley and other models who pro-ana women aspire to look like, a blogger will put up photos of herself; predictably, she will look just fine, obviously not needing to lose any weight. We hope things work out for all these young women, and we wish them good health and hope they remain CalorieLab fans for many years to come.

I'm sorry- if you cared about people with eating disorders, you would encourage them to flee your website in droves.

One of the comments at the bottom tried to defend the pro-anorexia sites.

I strongly think you guys should leave the pro-ana sites alone. It’s a place for people to just go hang out and meet other people who face the same problems everyday. And not only do they talk about anorexia and bulimia, they also help you with other things like sex, self mutilation, anxiety and stuff like that, so it’s not all about ED.

Yes, and I'm sure they talk about things besides cocaine in a crack den, too, but honey: it's still a crack den.

Yet the irony is that this Calorie Lab site, from what I can gather just by looking at the names of some of the links, really isn't all that different. Fine, it's not an apple a day and I feel great! but it's not always that far off.

Which is the hidden danger in this law: addressing pro-anorexia without addressing our dieting culture would be doing everyone a grave disservice.

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Mary said...

I think that last sentence says it all. I'm so scared for the current generation of kids and the messages they are getting about weight and dieting.

Fiona Marcella said...

The dieting culture IS pro-anorexia. As far as I can see what sites run by the diet industry and even by health organisations are almost identical in message to the pro-ana sites. At least the girls who run the pro-ana sites have the very real excuse of being seriously ill. What excuse do the calorie counter people have?

Unknown said...

I'm with dg - the last line does say it all.

e. said...

I think people have begun associating the word 'diet' with 'eating disorder' as in, "I need/want to lose weight. Therefore I will 'get' an eating disorder."

Our whole culture endorses it and, not only that, we've sort of forced it on the world.

Sometimes I feel as though there's no escape from food, weight, calorie worries.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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