20 October 2013
The Truth About Ana
She looks up from the marble counter, mistake. She’s frozen staring at a girl with dull green eyes and paunchy cheeks. Her chapped lips are cracked and painful, opening and gaping, a fish gasping for water. No mirrors. They show her things too true for eyes. Mirrors lie, for the numbers keep dropping but her body is still fat. She wants nothing but the lies to be true. Her name is Ana, she is determined, weak, and self-loathing. She stands alone, never needing anyone for support, never accepting the truth, never seeing what is real in the mirror. She only sees what her mind tells her is wrong. Ana is ruining many lives. She’s a disease sweeping across the world. Ana has become a fad or inspiration to many young men and women and she’s wreaking havoc on eight million plus American lives.
It can start with noticing her imperfections: how her stomach is not flat and how her thighs are touching. Sometimes she doesn’t even notice what’s happening before its too late. It starts with a harmless diet and turns into an obsession. A game of how many calories can she get away with not eating. How many hours of excessive workouts can she do before passing out? It can unfortunately be a genetic disorder such as bad acne or depression. What about those people who don’t have Ana whispering in their ear all day every day? What about the ones who choose to be this way and choose the anorexic lifestyle? The ones who are too tired of trying it the “hard way” by eating healthy foods and exercising, so they give up and try to stop eating. They follow blogs and Twitter feeds with “Thinsperational” posts from others who are living the same way, cheering each other on as they eat next to nothing. Giving each other tips on how to kill the urge to eat and how to trick others so no one suspects what they are doing. She’s okay; she fainted because she was overheated. She’s okay. She ate before she came. Denial. It can be a blissful escape from the real world that she’s living in but it’s really a demon hiding in the shadows. It’s stalking her every move. It knows how many calories she ate today and how she ate five too many of the five Skittles she had. That demon is Ana. She seemed so glamorous at first; the straight lines and the doll like face. So many people are sucked into her façade; naively walking into the cage she has set up for her victims. The Ana groupies only see the airbrushed pictures they don’t see what really happens when you fall under the oppression of anorexia. The girl with the disease perpetually in her mind has yellowing teeth from the vomit and stomach acid rotting them away. The hair is falling away and her nails are breaking and becoming tawny. Her bones become brittle and weak from Osteoporosis. Her organs are shutting down from the lack of nutrients she is denying her body. She might recover. She has a 30% chance. Ana is the code name given to the mental disorder Anorexia. She is a made up character for the disease, almost like a mental image that these groupies are using as the “perfect body” to aspire to. Anorexia has been around since 1694. But anorexia has gotten out of control. People need to understand that it is a psychological disorder not a lifestyle. Ana is a siren on a beach with a bewitching, deadly song from which one can’t easily escape.
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