"Thin is what we're supposed to be, not what we're supposed to talk about": a qualitative study of pro-eating disorder blogging communities

Date
2008-01-01
Authors
Weare, Andrea
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Lulu Rodriguez
Dennis Chamberlin
Leslie Bloom
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Altmetrics
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Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
Abstract

This study investigates how and why an "underground" group pro-eating disorder bloggers formed a covert community on the Internet to share their emotions, offer each other support, and indulge in discussions of taboo eating practices and body image. Questions were posed during in-depth interviews with 10 participants.;The results show overwhelming agreement that the thin models the participants see in the media inspired them to lose weight. Mother and daughter relationships, as well as sister and friend interactions, played a significant role in the development and continuation of disordered eating. Their blogs provide a safe haven where they feel welcome and can freely discuss concerns they know are considered unhealthy, taboo, and even "weird" by mainstream society. While many bloggers seek thinness at all costs, they do not wish their condition on others and do not encourage others to join this online realm.

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