The pro bulimia movement, which is often known as pro mia or just mia, is part of a movement that claims bulimia is a lifestyle choice and not a mental illness. Pro bulimia proponents seek to promote acceptance of bulimia and they often offer encouragement to bulimics. These pro bulimia or pro mia individuals deny the horrifying physical consequences of the disease and its ability to kill, if left untreated.
Who Would Want To Be Pro Mia?
The movement likely stems from our human nature to form social groups. We all want to feel accepted and part of the norm of a group of people. This might result in social cliques, like in high school, clubs, interest groups or support groups. While many of these groups have a positive impact on their members, the pro bulimia movement mostly skews reality so that members feel better about not seeking recovery from bulimia.
Unbeknownst to many parents, the movement has grown in popularity in recent years due to the unrealistic images of women found in Western society. These images suggest that being thin is beautiful and desirable, while being fat is not. Our culture and media are telling women to be thin and pro mia advocates take this message to mean that bulimia can be a normal lifestyle choice and this will lead to becoming desirable.
Pro Bulimia Individuals Misguided
Pro bulimia groups often join with pro anorexia (or pro anna, or simply referred to as Anna) groups. While some pro bulimia organizations claim to support bulimics both through the eating disorder and recovery, many simply want others to accept bulimia as a lifestyle choice. These groups often want doctors and others to respect their decision to be bulimic.
Those who are pro mia feel that the eating disorder is a positive part of their identity and an accomplishment of self-control.
Pro bulimia groups also tend to:1
- Share pro mia tips and techniques on crash dieting
- Help each other find socially-acceptable ways to decline food
- Compete with each other in weight loss or fasting
- Commiserate with each other after binge eating
- Give pro bulimia tips on how to vomit, use enemas and laxatives
- Give pro mia tips on hiding weight loss
- Post their weight, body measurements , details of their dietary regime and pictures of themselves to gain pro mia acceptance
- Be hostile towards the non-eating disordered community
Pro bulimia and pro anorexia web sites are on the rise with a 470% increase found from 2006 to 2007. A similar increase was found in 2008. Pro mia blogs continue to be created and their traffic is increasing.