An underground online movement of chatrooms, sites, and social media channels supporting weight loss for those struggling with mental health-based "disordered eating".

Pro-Ana differs from normal "dieting" methods (calorie counting, exercise, etc.) by both its mental health aspect and its use of "extreme" techniques: linguistic affirmations, group fasting, severe caloric restrictions, mono diets, competitions, religious symbolism (creeds, commandments, personifications of the Ana Goddess), laxatives/purging, thin imagery (thinspo), fatspo, peer accountability, and peer meanspo.

In 1998, the term "Pro-Anorexia" strictly meant mental health support for those struggling with diagnosed Anorexia Nervosa, as opposed to advocacy of Anorexic-style behaviors.

By 2000, the term (shortened to "Pro-Ana") covered many aspects: Pro-Ana as a lifestyle choice (i.e. wannarexia), support for undiagnosed Anorexia (later to include Bulimia and EDNOS), other related/underlying mental health issues (anxiety disorders, sexual abuse trauma, self-harm, etc.), medical conditions, supporting those not seeking personal recovery, supporting those seeking recovery but unwelcomed by militant "anti-ana" recovery sites, and those viewing Pro-Ana in religious terms (e.g. Anorexia Mirabilis).

Pro-Ana was banned from most online spaces since a corporate mass censorship campaign by major Internet providers in July, 2001 ("Black Summer") and it remains censored by most platforms to this day.
Andy: Pro-Ana is for tween white girls drinking non-fat skinny lattes trying to be pretty and fit in skinny jeans! #firstworldproblems

Nancy: Iconic early Pro-Ana sites were actually STARTED by black girls! Guys like wrestlers and body builders have EDs too. You can't give someone a mental health issue. People from all over the world have EDs and find support in Pro-Ana.
Agnes: The PROBLEM is the media's systemic fat shaming and a $50 billion/yr diet culture. That's what makes y'all go "Pro-Ana"! Stop trying to lose 20 lbs before prom, and eat a hamburger!

Tasha: You can't "catch" an ED from TV. People with an ED have mental or physical health issues. Not everyone can pay $1000/day for inpatient in the $4 billion "treatment" industry.
Hilda: Y'all are just NAZIS. You hate queer folk by supporting your white patriarchal beauty standards.

Effie: Pro-Ana sites have been FAR more supportive of LGBTQ, trans, and gender-non conforming folks than society as a whole the past 20+ years. As for the Nazi-talk, yes you ARE a dumbass.
Martha: Anorexia is the #1 killer of ALL mental health issues! EVERYONE knows it! BAN Pro-Ana now! Uwu!

Ana: The CDC says Anorexia is NOT in the top 30 mental health death causes (@ 1,200 deaths over 20 years). Your fake statistic comes from cash cow private ED treatment mills. The CDC says CAFFEINE causes more deaths than Anorexia, dumbass. Tessorexia conditions ARE the #1 killer (e.g. 1.5 million DEAD from diabetes since 1999).
by Anathemata September 08, 2021
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There are, in fact, two separate pro-ana "movements" - both of which function mostly via the Internet. One movement (let's call it M1) attempts to glamourize and glorify a horrifying disease (this would be the group that gets the most publicity); the other (M2) acts as a support for those who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa but are not yet "ready" to recover.
If a person does not want to recover, no force on Earth can make him/her. Even if he/she is hospitalised and forced to gain weight, all he/she is going to do as soon as he/she is released is start over, anyway.
M1 websites/communities encourage disordered eating and reinforce unrealistic ideals of physical perfection, offering dangerous tips on how to lose weight faster. These are the groups that promote Anorexia as a "lifestyle choice".
The goal of M2 websites/communities is to support and protect genuine sufferers, while also pursuading those seeking to develop an eating disorder to find safer ways to lose weight or simply to learn to love themselves as they are. These sites/groups often show examples of "bad tips" (eg. using a Lifesavers mint tied to a piece of dental floss to self-induce vomiting, which is incredibly dangerous) and usually list ways to actually minimize the damage caused by long-term disordered eating and binge/purge behaviour (eg. swilling/gargling bi-carb in water after purging to neutralize acid in the mouth, taking multivitamin and mineral suppliments, etc.). M2 sites/groups discourage laxative, diuretic and diet pill abuse, often giving graphic warnings of the long-term effects of these, while M1 sites/groups often encourage such dangerous habits.

In short, some pro-ana sites/communities are having a positive effect on the growing epidemic of eating disorders, keeping many chronic sufferers from committing suicide or succumbing to complications of their illnesses; however, many, which encourage disordered eating and behavioural patterns, are fuelling this epidemic, destroying young lives and dividing families.

PRO-ANA is NOT just ONE movement.
ACTUAL M1 pro-ana welcome message: "The Goddess Ana offers us perfection and asks only for our complete devotion and dedication in return. Serve her and she will grant you thinness."

ACTUAL M2 pro-ana welcome message: "Anorexia Nervosa is a deadly disease. Once you have it - assuming you don't die a long, painful death from malnutrition - you will never, ever be truly well again. You will spend the rest of your life feeling empty, lost, alone and inadequate. If you have come here looking to "get" anorexia, I recommend you do your research on what that actually means before you make up your mind. There is nothing beautiful or glamourous about Anorexia Nervosa."
by Deenia October 06, 2006
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A movement, largely internet-based, that portrays anorexia (and sometimes bulimia; other eating disorders, such as compulsive overeating, are not part of the pro-ana movement) as a lifestyle choice rather than a disease or disorder. Countless websites devoted to the concept have sprung up on the internet, and it has been the object of much (largely negative) media attention. The larger pro-ana sites tend to feature message boards, chat rooms, or other forums for communication. There is some distinction between sites: sites that are defensive of "ana" (this word is often associated with pro-ana individuals) as a positive lifestyle choice, those who advocate eating disorder acceptance rather than active promotion of such disorders (these may not portray themselves as pro-ana), and sites that support anorexia without offering support to individuals attempting to "develop" the disorder.
She was so fiercly defendant of her eating disorder that she started a pro-ana website to express her view of anorexia as a choice.

Though the site offers support to those suffering from eating disorders, it does not consider itself pro-ana.
by rieux November 27, 2003
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A type of website that promotes anorexia
A pro ana website is a website, that has pictures of anorexic girls, tips to anorexia and bulimia, etc.
by tallica child May 25, 2006
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A term for a person or website that considers recovery for eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia as a choice. Contrary to popular belief, these sites do not portray the diseases as lifestyles, and most consider themselves as having an illness that they do not wish to treat at the present moment.
She wears a red bracelet to show her support for the pro-ana movement.

She is vehemently opposed to her inpatient treatment because she still considers herself pro-ana.
by Lekvar June 22, 2005
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Someone who thinks anorexia is a lifestyle and gets help from a web community to achieve his/her goals. Used to describe the internet anorexia movement.
Person: Oh, anna looks so nice and skinny lately, what is her secret?

Friend: It's the new pro ana diet! Try to google it.
by FannyHanny October 24, 2006
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internet based, pro-ana sites are all over the net.
on many pro-ana sites you'll find models, and celebrities like nicole richie and keira knightley
by -just-a-girl- August 18, 2007
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