- Posted September 24, 2013 by
Kelowna, British Columbia
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Instagram Girls That 'Starve' For Attention
After posting a picture of my lovely puggle, Peter, I hashtagged (#) the word "fat." Pete is a bit of a rotund boy. After the photo had loaded, I clicked the hashtag that allowed me to explore the universe of what other users had hashtagged as #fat. The images that arose were alarming, heartbreaking, and infuriating.
Post after post of young teenage girls announcing that their accounts were "private so that their parents can't find out," that they are anorexic, bulimic, ED-girls. Proud and sad at the same time. The first girl I found, I immediately wanted to track down her parents and alert them of this cry for help from their 14 year old daughter.
As I searched on through this one simple hashtag collection, I found astonishing numbers of girls, all of whom had admitted their hatred towards themselves, their need to starve and binge and purge. They all professed their anger towards their bodies; these pubescent, struggling teenage minds. They posted photos of their own thighs and exclaimed horror and disgust. They posted photos of smaller thighs and promised themselves they would one day be that thin. The photographs are disturbing and gut-wrenching.
"I want to be so thin that people stare.. I want people to say what happened to her.. I want to be so thin that a guy could hug me and there arms could wrap all the way around me.. I want to be as thin as paper.." One girl wrote.
Let's be realistic. Eating Disorders are not a new phenomenon. The issue at hand here is that teenagers are using social media platforms as a way to connect with other teenagers that they can get motivation from. These children are starving- literally starving- for attention from their parents. What I want to know is where are these parents? When your daughters are thin as rails, are you paying attention? When your daughters are not eating, are you paying attention?
Each of these girls has taken to creating secret accounts and make a point of noting that they are secret so that their friends or acquaintances will keep it that way. They would rather hide from their parents than seek their help. What is happening in our family systems that children are hiding away on Instagram and confessing their hatred towards their own bodies, expressing their depression and suicidal feelings to strangers, sharing their KiK accounts to converse with strangers.
Our children are missing something. They are missing parents that care; parents that pay attention.
This is a devastating underground prevalence of Instagram camaraderie between young girls with eating disorders. Let's do something about it. Nationally.