Silent Starvation.. a Report Investigating the Pro-Anorexia Movement O

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SEMESTER 2 2000/2001-07-29

Ba(hons) Film Studies Level 1


Mass starvation – the newest teenage trend?


Silent Starvation - the newest teenage trend?


This documentary primarily focuses on the existence of Eating Disorders amongst teenagers worldwide. Although this is not a new development, in recent years the increase in popularity and availability of the Internet has brought about a new 'culture' to which these troubled teenagers are subscribing - this 'culture' is that of the 'pro-anorexia' or 'pro-ana' movement. These clubs and groups are often given pet names, such as Ana or Anna (anorexia) and Billy or Mia (Bulimia), and supporters use e-groups and clubs to post messages of support to like minded friends who support and understand their eating habits.


In response to recent negative media attention about this growing 'society', I aim to produce a non-biased and factual account giving opinions from both sides of the argument. I aim to understand and perhaps validate the reasons why young teenagers feel compelled to visit and belong to these groups. This documentary will include statistics about the typical age and background of the members, and also interviews through which I hope to gain a better understanding of the motivations of these people. I will also investigate claims about these sites' 'recruitment' of new anorexics and potential positive aspects of their existence. I also aim to investigate recent claims by the media that these sites are detrimental to the health of young teenagers and that they are a danger to society and should be regulated or shut down.


I aim to investigate:

Existing media articles, which are:

a) Promoting the pro anorexia movement

b) Against the pro anorexia movement

Internet sites which are:

a) Promoting the pro anorexia movement

b) Against the pro-anorexia movement or are recovery based.

I will observe existing pro anorexia groups and gain an understanding of the concerns and motivations of members. I also aim to contact a wide range of members from different backgrounds and with their permission compare statistics of members to try and find common ground and establish a link between members which might explain their desire to belong to this group.

I will also contact the service providers which host these clubs and gain their opinion on the existence of these groups and find out whether they have any intention of perhaps removing or moderating sites and groups better.

I will also contact professional therapists who work with sufferers of eating disorders and gain their perspective on the existence and potential dangers of these sites.

I will also find out opinions of people who have recovered from these disorders, to see how they feel about the existence of these clubs.

I will use all of the above to establish my own opinion about these groups, but intend for this documentary, above all else to be based on facts rather than my own personal belief.



Originally thought to be the work of American teenagers[1] suffering from the diseases, thousands of teenagers worldwide are now flocking to the pro Anorexia websites and clubs that are now monopolising the Internet, to subscribe to the ‘lifestyle' that these sites promote. Recent media hype has described these clubs as being similar to ‘cults' with webmasters and supporters of the ‘lifestyle' aiming to recruit more young people, regardless of the risk of them...
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