I get a fair number of angry emails about my ideal anorexia weight calculator, but the most amusing thing happened yesterday… my entire site was taken down for about an hour by a huge influx of angry people following links from twitter and tumblr. It looks like it all started on July 18th due to an email I hadn’t yet gotten to.
Since then my dinky little site, with its whopping 50 unique visits a month, has become the bane of many anorexic sufferer’s existence. I have now got multiple angry emails to read over and, quite honestly, mock. Which I fully intend to do (when I have some time). But I also want to spend some time explaining things and maybe giving you folks a perspective you might not have considered.
Look, children, here’s the deal: my website is my own stupid little creation. It’s small, and it doesn’t really interest much of anybody for the most part. My games were a hobby I wasn’t able to keep up. My articles are absurd and sometimes offensive and very rarely meaningful. I am basically your average geek with a family. I am about as fun at parties as a stalk of celery. I make a meager living working at a university. I am exceptionally unimportant outside of maybe ten people in the world. I am nobody to you. For my site to get under your skin means that through some really fucked up twist in the fabric of the universe, I’ve gained power I was never meant to have, and never tried to obtain.
More importantly, I have no love for anorexia, nor do I find anorexic women attractive (sorry to disappoint, ladies). That page is a joke and 100% fictional! Well, other than the bit about the U.S. having too many obese people – this is a fact I used to start the joke. You’ll find that lies work best when there are little truths thrown in. It gives the lie that delicious, authentic flavor the kids these days crave so much.
If you found my page and decided to take offense, that’s your hangup, not mine.
I have a son who could be classified as mentally retarded, and beats himself severely quite often. When I heard the song “Special Fred” by Stephen Lynch, I was deeply offended. How can anybody possibly derive humor from innocent children who have such turmoil they smash their heads into walls? But I didn’t go out and start some campaign to stop comedians from mocking things that are offensive to me – I instead turned off the TV and decided that I should avoid Lynch in the future. The fact is, if Stephen Lynch saw my boy beating himself bloody, he would be horrified, not amused… but it’s probably a fine joke when you’re removed from such a situation.
Offensive humor is very rarely based on reality, otherwise movies that make death into a joke, such as Pulp Fiction, would never exist.
Here’s the problem, though. When I get an email telling me, “I’m having this site taken down.”, and then a DOS attack is pulled off, you have accomplished nothing more than to encourage me. I got more traffic this past week than I usually see in a year, and I got to know that I pissed off some number of sheltered, whiny people. And worse still: you didn’t shut down a major website. Nobody cares if my site goes down. Hell, I didn’t even realize it was down until it had come back and I noticed my IRC bots had died.
Can’t wait to post some responses to these over-sensitive emails I got….
Quick note to those actually suffering from anorexia and currently in need of help: stay off the Internet. Most people are as bad as me or worse. They’ll mock you, they’ll insult you, they’ll say your affliction isn’t real, and so forth. If a site as insignificant as mine can cause you grief, you need to just get the hell outta dodge. There are far more important things in your life than what some dork on the web thinks is funny.
8 Replies to “Offended anorexics strike back!”
There were some minor problems with my brain when I wrote this:
you’re disgusting. when content from a website such as yours triggers dangerous behaviors in people with eating disorders, it ceases to be what you seem to think is dark humor and becomes legitimately harmful. I’d venture to say your stupid website creates more serious distress than lighthearted chuckling, and just because the content of said website is meant for your own entertainment, you need to take responsibility in the fact that your audience of teenagers with eating disorders is being hurt.
– a tumblr user I follow.
Does it sound like she’s amused? Or a young girl ready to starve herself because she suddenly felt DISGUSTING because a scientific-looking chart called her so? Take some fucking responsibility.
This is a debate I can never win, but your point is simply not valid. This kind of situation will happen regardless of my website. Yes, that girl is a very unfortunate person, but I guarantee you she needed help long before my site popped up, and she wasn’t going to be cured if not for my absurd little calculator.
As for it being scientific-looking… really? There’s a big ol’ “Nerdbucket.com” logo on the page, and a disclaimer suggesting the user demand an anorexic diet from his or her doctor, and not to “leave the doctor until he gets you some real help.”
Honestly I’m surprised my sexist assumption of a male doctor hasn’t gotten me any heat :-/
I’m just glad it’s a joke…lol I stumbled upon the site and put in my stuff…and I was like WTF?! I should be 90lbs?! Hah! Maybe on the moon :) people should use their common sense.
Yeah, I guess it’s offensive enough that even people who realize it’s a joke get angry. Glad you can take it in stride!
That chart is EXTREMELY triggering. Joking around about anorexics hurts, thinspo pictures are triggering, but this is much worse. When I see thinspo I think “I wan’t to look like them!” But I know I already am/was very skinny (5’7 and 80 lbs at lowest weight, right now 100 lbs). I know I probably am skinnnier than those girls in those pictures, but I just can’t see it… But there is nothing that I can’t see about my WEIGHT. I don’t care if a chart like that is to be taken serious or not. The only thing I can think of is to get to those 86 lbs that it says I should weigh. I am being FORCED to eat, to GAIN weight. But when I see something like this something just suddenly changes. The illness is taking it over again. I feel huge right now. I feel disgusting. With the measurements chart it said I had to GAIN 28 pounds, but I.just forget about that. I don’t care. The BMI calculator said I had to weigh 86 pounds and THAT is what counts. That is what the illness tells me, and I can’t help but beleiving it. I have to weigh 86 pounds again, I have to lose 14 pounds, I won’t eat till I get there…
And don’t you DARE saying it’s my own problem and I should stay off the internet. I have the right to use the internet. What else should I do? I’m not aloud to do any sports / activities because they burn calories. I’m not aloud to go to school etc. Internet is the only thing that I can still enjoy. Maybe I shouldn’t google for sites like this. But it’s part of the illness. It’s part of my anorexia. I can’t help it. And to be honest, I like it. I don’t want to recover anymore. I feel huge, I feel bloated, I feel FAT. And I will feel fatter and fatter if I keep gaining weight…
See what you’re doing? Do you see it now?? Don’t you EVER do something like this again. I’m not the only one. Yeah, I get it, it was just a joke, you didn’t mean for things to turn out this way, it’s not your responsibility.. YES IT IS! You are responsible for every little thing you post on the internet, for what they cause. The chart should be removed. It doesn’t even work by the way. The BMI calculator said I had to lose weight, the other one said I had to gain 28 lbs. Oh, and another thing: bulimics are mostly not underweight. So, nothing to be “jealous” of. Maybe you think the whole jealousy part is just stupid, but I do think like that. I am jealous of the skinnier girls in my recovery group (though they came straight from hospital).
OK, so just know what this causes. Don’t ever do something like this again. Forgiven and forgotten, blablabla. Just don’t. And take your responsibilty, don’t blame others for them being anorexic/bulimic/easily triggered by such things.
PS English isn’t my first language so my excuses if there are some things spelled wrong or whatever.
First, I think you got it backward – the BMI method should be the one telling you your ideal is 128 pounds.
Second, take some responsibility for yourself. If you have a disorder, it’s absolutely not my fault that you are using my ridiculous site instead of seeking proper treatment. I was once extremely depressed and insecure, but if I went on to do something stupid like commit suicide or kill people who think it’s funny to mock my physical flaws, that’s absolutely my decision and nobody else’s, and I’m the idiot. Maybe it’d be nice if people had more tact, but I have to just get over it and move on, not blame the rest of the world. It’s like alcoholics saying they don’t have any control over their drinking – they don’t have control because they keep fucking telling themselves over and over that they don’t have control.
Third, you’re correct, the calculator needs a fix. The BMI method is far more accurate now for some reason. I’ll deal with that and get back to you.
My point in paragraph 2 was lost in the rant – you have to tell yourself that you ARE in control, that you LIKE who you are regardless of weight, shit like that. You can’t keep telling yourself (or others) that the disease takes over and you can’t do anything. The more you repeat that, the worse off you’ll be no matter what I do with my shitty like site.