“Christians believe in God, I believe in Ana”
In the early 2000’s Thinspiration became known as images of skinny women, usually celebrities or models, who were slim or skeletal with visibly protruding bones. Thinspiration was posted and shared on blogs and sites by forum members and social network platforms to motivate both themselves and others toward further weight loss. Many of these young women and girls suffered from eating disorders, specifically anorexia or bulimia. This community, also known as the Pro-Ana, promoted eating disorders as a “lifestyle choice”, personifying and venerating anorexia into Ana, and posting motivational tricks and rules called the Thin Commandments.
When I started researching the community around 2010 —as part of my long-term project On Eating Disorders; I decided to focus on the new risk factors: social networks and photography. Pro-Ana members had begun to take and post self-portraits with their digital cameras in order to inspire and display their success: the “Real Thinspiration”. They created an underground new visual language —obsessively consumed by wrestling with the scales’ day after day.
The Thinspiration series (2012) documents the origin of the Pro-Ana community’s relationship with photography and selfie culture, it is a visual essay on the disappearance of one’s own identity. The project became a personal and introspective journey across the nature of obsessive desire and the limits of self-destruction.
“Stop crying. Wait.
How many calories does that it burn?”
“When I am skinny, happiness will come”