I know that change is difficult. Many rely on constant things in their lives as a compass when all other things seem to be out of control. But sometimes change is good, especially if it's change that has been talked about for a long time, and change that most people have agreed is needed.
Tomorrow, the PrettyThin domain will expire. If I let it. Which I won't. But as I was renewing it I thought - this is the time to make that change. This is the time to move onto another platform.
But to do it, I'm going to need more than your agreement. I need your patience, and I need your help.
Patience...the first day, and definitely the first few hours, are going to seem like a complete fluster cuck. The site is going to seem like it's disappeared until I put up a a new homepage, and then the homepage will be all there is until I enable membership. I should be able to get all of that done very quickly, but while I'm doing it, I need your patience. It is not going to be a completely smooth transition.
But while this is all going on, I am going to ask for your help.
Help in creating new profiles. Help in commenting on the new content. And help, once it starts coming together, to rebuild the forum and the blog.
Currently, there is a section on PT for your stories. This section will change a little. Stories will have to be submitted for approval before they make it onto the blog. This may actually increase the quality of the posts because people will be forced to take the time and write, knowing it's not going to lead to instant publishing. But we are not going to be censoring or restricting what people write. That will not change.
What the new site will allow us to do is have different contributors. People can have individual columns if they want to commit to it, and people can see a better history of your posts and contributions on your profile.
All in all, this might take us a week. And thankfully there are other distractions like the Olympics to possibly make this transition a little smoother than it might otherwise be.
I really think it's time. Today possibly.
It appears that the Dr Oz Show on the topic of anorexia has aired again. I received a couple facebook messages this morning; one stating that the community is a bunch of "wannas," meaning that the members only "wish" they had anorexia; another stating they wish they could bash my head in with a computer; another saying I should find Jesus...
For those who are new to this experience, here is the original homepage that was displayed the first time the Dr. Oz show on anorexia was aired.
The only regret that I have about this whole thing is simply this: that when I was introduced by Dr. Oz as "the person teaching women how to become anorexic," that I had replied - Dr. Oz, I am disappointed in you. You do not teach people how to become anorexic. I'm not a doctor, and I'm not a therapist. If you are, then you should know better than that.
Unfortunately, rather than doing some good for the issue of anorexia, the show (and the doctor - whom I do respect for his work as a doctor aside from his TV medical drama) has sensationalized the problem, and detracted from the real issues.
PrettyThin is NOT a dieting site. Do NOT become a member hoping to learn how to lose weight. You will not see diet ads on this site. For diet tips and methods of losing weight, see this show from Dr. Oz? It's about Crash Diets. Just about every show that is now produced by Dr Oz is about losing weight. The new standard in weight loss and the greatest push to become "thin" comes from this show.
Not all emails were negative, however. Here is one that speaks to why this site exists:
"I just heard of this site on the Dr. Oz show and saw you there, trying to defend yourself for running this site. I've looked at what you have to offer and I think it's great. I wish I had known about it through my decades of struggle and near death. My loneliness and being alone with myself trying to figure out if I truly was too thin or not, was horribly difficult. Had I been aware of this site I believe I would have become aware much faster despite my therapy, that I and I alone had to change my mind set.
It was a photo of myself with others at a camp that shocked me. I was so thin. No, it still took another six years but gradually I turned things in my life around. Another decade has passed and I am holding my own weight, aware of my "triggers" to spiral down, and I realize now despite fears of becoming fat, I know I have an eating disorder and will have it "sitting beside me" for the rest of my life; waiting to "walk in" if I allow it. What stops me is remembering that camp photo!!!
I looked so boney and gaunt. My worst realization was I thought I was beautiful and as a camp counselor for kids then, it just seems impossible that I wasn't aware how ill I truly was.
Keep up your website as talking to others , communicating in any way, is 100% better than sitting at home alone!
That is depressing and meeting with a therapist once a week was hopeless. He never understood and there were things I was to afraid to say. Things I've read here on your site. Compulsions I had, ideas of what being thin meant to me, and most of all: acceptance and knowing I wasn't alone with this disease.
Ultimately, we chose our life's path: family, websites, friends, or none.
But regardless of our illness, there should be a place that can be supportive in sharing what Society understands so little of.
Thank you for reading this and many thanks for being brave enough to host a web site many feel should not be there. Unfortunately, they too do not fully understand. "
That's it for now. This drama, too, will pass.
Stay beautiful just as you are,
The following discussion will be triggering. I feel this is an important discussion to be had which is why I'm choosing to discuss it on the homepage.
The topic is of suicide.
We've had a lot of scares recently. Some are unresolved.
Many members have posted and acted as best they could, and for that, I want to say thank you. However, I want to say this - the posts can be triggering to the community. It is no one's fault how someone chooses to act, but for our own care and respect of one another, it is something important to consider.
So what can we do about members who are suicidal?
First, I'd like you to read this thread the mods have created. Click here. Please, explore the links and read them carefully. If you feel you can respond well, you certainly may; it sometimes helps to talk with someone who understands their pain because they've experienced it themselves.
The challenge lies in how to handle them and what to do when it impacts the community. The internet is a large series of tubes (sorry, couldn't resist ) that allows us all to be fairly anonymous. That's what attracts many of us to the site in the first place; the anonymity. The freedom to be who we are with no association to our faces and names. No mask, but still sort of hiding. So how do we help a suicidal member when we have no information about them?
The mods debate this constantly. It's unfair to hurt the community by posting suicidal threats and then leaving us hanging. However, if we were to restrict or put qualifiers on "allowable suicidal posts," the freedom for emotional expression and the chance to really help a person is in jeopardy. Banning the posts would take away an outlet for these feelings; as our lovely mod Run said:
"Sometimes you just need someone to tell you it is a stupid idea and for them to talk to you. That said, there does need to be a compromise. You can't make a post like that and just not log on for God knows how long and leave everyone worried because that is when it becomes unfair to the community."
Another mod also brought up a good point. Lovelybones said -
"I'm willing to be triggered if people keep reaching out for help...asking for help is so hard, especially if you're suicidal and just want to do it."
So, where's the line? Is it possible to compromise on this touchy subject? We don't want to take away the last outlet some may have, but it isn't fair to the community and it emotionally hurts us all. Putting qualifiers on "acceptable suicide posts" isn't realistic. When you're in that level of pain, you aren't going to care about the rules.
June 8, 2012
If you've been on PrettyThin lately, or at all over the past year, you know that there are a ton of issues. Errors of all sorts. And promises of all sorts, from me....that PrettyThin would move to a more secure platform. I do have excuses, but they are not excusable. So, in two weeks, I'm going to stop promising and get this done. We WILL make the move.
For now I simply want to apologize. I am getting more emails than ever and know you are frustrated. I am off gallivanting in Europe right now, and have to say that we Americans are spoiled when it comes to connectivity. I was literally walking the streets with laptop in hand looking for wi-fi to steal last night. For the move, I need 24 hours of undisturbed access - sitting on an apartment step in the middle of the night creeped some Romans out, especially when they talked to me and I looked up dumbfounded. So, two weeks.
Stay beautiful, just as you are,
May 9, 2012
I haven't written in a while. At least not on the site. But a lot has been going on and I feel like sharing. The previous homepage has been moved, as is the custom. And things have relatively gone back to normal.
I continue to get all kinds of emails:
- how can I lose weight fast, I need to lose 10lbs by the weekend because my friends are going to the beach and I'm fat
- thank you for the community. I didn't know that others were going through what I was going through; I don't feel so alone any more.
- you should go to hell and die. These girls are beautiful the way they are, how could you tell them they have to be skinny to look beautiful
- how do I create an account. How do I delete my account.
I suppose that means PrettyThin is still doing something right, and members are still writing testimonials as to what PrettyThin means to them. It's still the discussion - the angry, the thankful, the confused, the curious - it is the balance that is needed now. And it remains to be the place it intends to be - a place for people with eating disorders to talk about whatever they feel like talking about; without judgement, and without expectations; with support and with understanding that only you can provide one another without the price-tag of $1000/day.
Here are the updates:
I have added another link to the Eating Disorder Studies and Projects page. I encourage people to participate if they feel they have something to say. The site makes $25 every time a study is posted there, which is about twice a month. I think the people who are running these studies have the best intentions, and very often they are members of the community like yourselves.
I also felt like writing something about the Vogue Health Initiative that's been all over the news lately. I think it's interesting, in context of "the battle against pro-ana and thinspiration," as well as discussions around eating disorders all together these days. It's noteworthy that the discussion on eating disorders is once again all about thinspo. It seems like the same sh$%, just a different decade, and I've been a part of it long enough to call it out, so I am.
An update about the move - I expect to be online and making this move around this time next week. I just want to make sure I have an entire 2 days to dedicate to the move and try to solve whatever problems that might come up during it. If you're not sure what the move is, here is the discussion in the forums.
As for me, I'm still just lurking in the backdrop, trying to stay out of the way. I've been spending a lot of time reading lately, and trying not to get certified in anything if I can help it. Enough people out there certified and not knowing what they're doing - why add one more to the mix.
Stay Beautiful just as you are,