Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Losing Weight and Gaining Followers: A Study of 'A Response to Weight Critics'


Anorexia nervosa: A psychiatric disorder characterized by an unrealistic fear of weight gain, self-starvation, and conspicuous distortion of body image. The individual is obsessed with becoming increasingly thinner and limits food intake to the point where health is compromised. The disorder may be fatal. The name comes from two Latin words that mean "nervous inability to eat". Source

Pro-ana: Pro-ana refers to the promotion of the eating disorder anorexia nervosa as a lifestyle choice. Source

Thinspiration: 1. Photographs or other material intended to provide inspiration for anorexia nervosa as a lifestyle choice. Source 2. (a portmanteau of thin and inspiration) is a term that refers to a role model used by people (often individuals with eating disorders) to inspire them to lose weight. The term (shortened as "thinspo") is most common in the pro-ana community. Typically the thinspiration is a very thin female, usually a well known actress or a model, particularly one who successfully lost weight, or is known or rumored to have (or have had) an eating disorder. Source

Trigger: A substance, object, or agent that initiates or stimulates an action. See also: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predisposed to developing the disease, or that causes a certain symptom to occur in a person who has a disease. Source


By now, I'm sure most of you are aware that Lauren finally decided to speak publicly about her eating disorder. The post can be found on her blog, but for those who do not wish to contribute to Lauren's page views, I have pasted the entirety of that blog post within this entry. 


Please proceed with caution. This post contains triggering subjects and very graphic images. If you are easily triggered, I encourage you not to read the rest of the post.


I have put the rest of this (admittedly long) post under a jump break so that those who happen upon this blog for other information are not visually assaulted with what could easily be considered triggering and upsetting material. 



A series of events led up to Lauren posting "A Response to Weight Critics" on March 14th. Just one day earlier, she posted this rather alarming tweet seemingly out of nowhere:


Just moments later, she posted this tweet about her new wig.


This is the photo she posted.


Does something about this photo seem "off" to you?

If so, you are far from being the only one who feels this way. This photo caused an outrage on Tumblr, and many people claimed that they were triggered by it (see "Trigger" definition). To put it into more common terms, when the word "trigger" is used in this way, it means that this picture "flipped a switch" in many peoples' minds that made them want to and/or actually commit acts of:

  • starvation ("fasting")
  • binging and/or purging
  • over-exercising
  • self-harm
  • weighing, measuring, or other obsessive ED-related behavior
  • a feeling of not being "thin enough" or "good enough"
  • relapse into disordered behavior(s)

In pro-ana communities, this type of reaction is often distorted and glossed over as feeling "thinspired", or inspired to lose weight. It is important to note the difference here: a trigger is in no way healthy or constructive. Triggers can be terrifying for those to whom this happens. Triggers can cause major anxiety (sometimes turning into even worse panic attacks), depression, symptoms of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress disorder) and even suicidal thoughts, along with other disastrous outcomes not covered here. Many people do not know how to deal with triggers in a healthy way and unfortunately resort to the destructive behaviors in the points above. This is especially prominent among young people who may have a serious eating and/or anxiety disorder and/or depression, have not entered therapy for their issues, or are young and impressionable. However, this does not exclude adults from experiencing the horror of what it means to be triggered.

Think of it this way. A trigger is literally that--a mechanism which stimulates an action. Like the trigger of a gun. Someone might be coping well with their psychological issues, remaining stable, calm and happy... until the trigger unexpectedly strikes, and Pandora's box is opened, bringing about harm and destruction to the blindsided sufferer.

Even a fan blog of Lauren's, who usually defends her at every turn, had some dissent to share:


Many found this photo to be triggering because Lauren is contorting her body to appear as small and thin as she can possibly make it. She is hunching her shoulders to make her frame appear smaller. Her feet and knees are turned inward to make her legs appear thinner, bonier, and the gap between her thighs wider. And she is leaning forward, with her head up, and elongating her neck to make her torso look smaller and her collarbones stand out. And she did this all under the guise of "showing off (my) new wig"... something that could have easily been done without her being in her underwear, with her body in full view, being contorted in the specific way she is contorting it.

It seems that Lauren does know the normal method of showing off a wig, as evidenced by this photo from her Flickr:


See? Nothing wrong with that. Nothing about this photo screams "thinspo" to me, and I highly doubt that this photo would spark an outrage. If someone chose to tag it as thinspo, then I could see her point in claiming to not be responsible for what others choose to use her pictures for (see her blog post further down). But I seriously fail to sympathize when she makes this argument after posting photos like the one with the bob wig, which is exactly what she did. The way she is posed in that picture is something that she IS responsible for and CAN control, but instead chooses to specifically pose in ways well known to the pro-ana/mia community as being qualifying thinspo material.

Shortly after she posted the photo in question, she followed up with this. From her Facebook: 


This truly shows how seriously she takes others' claims that she triggers them--which is to say, she doesn't. Despite what she says, it's obvious that she frankly is not bothered by others taking the bait she uploads and using her deliberately posed photos as thinspo. It's an ego boost for her, after all.

To give an idea of how a photo like the wig one above affects others, here are just a few examples of the posts that immediately began popping up under her Tumblr tag after she posted it.







This brings us to her blog post, which was posted the very next day. I have copied and pasted the entire post below from when it was originally written and bolded the parts that are questionable and/or require further examination. Be warned: the following text contains many triggers. Read on...

A Response to Weight Critics
This is the first and only time I am going to be writing a blog post in response to the way in which certain individuals have been approaching me recently regarding my weight. I will also be writing about my experience with anorexia for the first and last time, as I feel it is important that people truly know both my opinion and personal perspective after my experiences as someone who has been overweight, underweight, and in recovery. I feel it is also necessary to make a note that the following material could be triggering to anyone still struggling with an eating disorder, so if you feel this is something that may affect you, I implore you not to read further. 
When I was 17 years old, I did not know what a calorie was. I was unaware of the implications of diets, carbohydrates, the different types of fats in foods, etc. I was completely ignorant to what eating disorders were, or the world in which so many girls lived where they concerned themselves with their weight, diet and exercise on a daily basis. I was simply a normal girl, albeit overweight at the time, who enjoyed food and never even thought about what I was putting in my mouth or how it would affect my body. Blissfully ignorant, chubby and happy. 
In the summer of 2007 I attended Reading Festival with friends. I was 5’6″ at the time, weighing around 160lbs. It was an incredibly hot weekend, typical of Britain’s finest summer weather, and the fields were full of young girls in bikini tops waltzing through tents, all different shapes and sizes. This was the first time I had ever become conscious about my weight, and I wondered whether I would look inadequate next to the sea of slender bodies and toned figures if I were to wear a bikini top myself. In the end, I decided against it, threw on a baggy shirt and continued about my day, not really considering the implications of that moment of heightened self awareness or the affect it would have on me in the near future. After returning home, a flood of photographs were uploaded to Facebook from our weekend at the festival, and I was excited to see what my friends had captured from our adventures, which is when I came across the image that turned my world upside down and completely changed my life for the worse.
 
Sat on my bed with my laptop confront of me, faced with the image that I could only see as a monstrosity, I burst into tears. I cried until my face was swollen, until I was salivating, until I couldn’t cry anymore, at which point I would lay down and rest for a few hours, only to wake up and repeat the process. 48 hours passed, and still I would cry and speak to no one, occasionally staring at my reflection and kneading at the flesh on my face and body with my fingers, distraught by what I saw and confused by who I was. Eventually I sent messages to all my friends on Facebook, asking them to untag me from the images or remove them completely, and I went into hiding. 
Over the next year I cut my intake dramatically, sometimes going 2-3 days without food, and it felt empowering to finally be taking control of something that I blamed myself for not being in control of for so long. By 2008 I reached a healthy weight of 120lbs through unhealthy methods and disordered eating habits, which I strictly kept secret from my friends, family and partner. Everyone would tell me how wonderful my figure looked, yet I still felt inadequate and was confused by the compliments. 
Realising how isolated I felt and still being in the beginning stages of an eating disorder, I decided to start an anonymous blog as a place to vent about my feelings, write about my experiences and seek some kind of self-validation. I would write about my future goals, how much weight I wanted to lose and how upset I was that I wasn’t small enough. I gained a small following of girls struggling with similar issues, and I connected with them. To read their diaries and experiences made me feel less alone, and sometimes, as if it was okay and ‘normal’ to be doing what I was doing to myself. I would see them post images of themselves to enable them to look back and see their progress, so eventually I decided to also keep an image diary, and I would occasionally upload photographs of my body anonymously where I would critisise myself and analyse what I didn’t like about my figure. I spent so much time hiding my body away in baggy clothing in the ‘real world’, that to be able to reveal myself in this way anonymously felt comforting. 
By early 2009 I discovered that I had grown and was now 5’7, by which point my weight had also dropped to 107lbs and I would go through periods of 4-5 days without eating on a regular basis. I would spend all my time obsessively feeling my body and photographing myself at different angles in a desperate attempt to capture an image of myself that I didn’t despise, and whenever I managed to achieve this, (which was rare) it would be uploaded to my personal, anonymous journal. I was still unaware that I could be suffering from an eating disorder until I came across an article about it online later that year, and I was surprised by the similarities between my personal behavioral tendencies and that of a diagnosed sufferer. 
Winter of 2009 approached, by which point my BMI had dropped to around 16, and I was now able to consume nothing besides water and diet carbonated drinks for 7-8 day periods. I became physically weak and uninterested in going outside or pursuing hobbies. Social situations were nerve-wracking and I would leave the house as little as possible due to the fact I was worried there would be food at the places I was invited to. I would begin collapsing on a regular basis and dreaded getting out of bed. My weight continued to drop and I continued to refuse to eat, until eventually my partner had to take me to the emergency room due to a period of irregular breathing where I struggled to stay conscious and was generally physically unwell. 
I began to come to terms with the concept that I might have a problem, and eventually (with the encouragement and support of my partner) confessed to my doctor what I had been going through for the past 2-3 years. I was told that my BMI was now 15.4, I was malnourished, and that I was developing a serious case of atrophy, but that I was to go away and eat a minimum of 1,500 calories a day. Heartbroken, humiliated and feeling unworthy of help, I returned home, closed the curtains, crawled into bed and refused to eat for a period of 13 days. Eventually my partner, not knowing what else to do, called my father and told him everything. I was encouraged to return to my doctor, where they decided to put me on a waiting list for professional treatment, but I was told this could take anywhere between 5 and 9 months. 
Being as weak as I was and and not having any outside help available, it was decided that I was to go and stay at my fathers house under his care, where I would try and take control of my spiraling health with support from my family, but I was surprised by how I felt when food was placed confront of me and I tried to eat again for the first time in what felt like a millennium. I can only describe it as the same feeling you would get if you were standing on the side of a road preparing to throw yourself confront of a bus. The idea of eating a spoonful of food to me felt like the equivalent of someone asking you to kill yourself when you’re not ready to die. Anxiety plagued me, and I just wasn’t ready to recover. 
Despite now living at my fathers, my weight still managed to drop further, and by the time I received my first invitation to speak with a specialist psychiatrist, my BMI was 14.3 and I was encouraged to accept inpatient treatment as I was simply too afraid to eat more than a few teaspoons of condiments a day to keep me standing, and they were concerned about the deterioration of my physical health. My feet went yellow, heart palpitations became frequent, my hair began falling out in mass, I would collapse daily and laguno began growing over my back and arms. Summer of 2010 was a blur of unfamiliar faces, hospital walls and tension between myself and my family. Eventually I began eating solid food again and went through an agonising period of refeeding syndrome, which only brought me to the irrational conclusion that food was bad and my body just didn’t want me to eat because of the affects it was having on me. 
By late summer I was vaguely physically stable and had enough courage to go for a meal for the first time, in public, and after being encouraged by my psychiatrist and the girls in my group therapy sessions not to hide myself away, I went out wearing a strap top and shorts on a hot summers day, instead of baggy jeans and a jumper. Men would shout crude comments at me in the street, “You’d be a painful fuck, I’d snap you in half, eat something” whilst girls would just look at me strangely and stare.
This is the first time since I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa that I actually felt small instead of big, and it didn’t feel good. I felt embarrassed and ashamed, but somehow this translated into a new determination to recover and pursue health. 
2011 was a better year and the beginning of my first major steps to recovery. I slowly began to gain weight and was able to attend restaurant meals with my father and family, battling the anxiety and distorted perception of reality that I once submitted to freely. I no longer accepted the inability to live and inevitability of death as my fate, but rather fought it, and embraced my determination to enjoy life. 
I am now at a point in my life and my recovery where I am able to eat and enjoy it. I am able to look at my reflection in the mirror and not only accept how I look, but embrace how I look. I am able to model and feel beautiful in my photographs instead of ugly, and accept my flaws when I notice them instead of over-analysing them and turning them into something hideous. No matter what anyone says about me or my appearance, I know in my heart that beauty is subjective, and that as a woman, no matter what my shape, size or struggles, I am beautiful. 
On a regular basis I am blamed for being an advocate of thinspiration and pro-anorexia simply because I am comfortable enough to reveal my body to the public despite still being underweight, because I am comfortable with people seeing me in my underwear, because I am happy to share photographs of myself when I have a moment in which I truly feel attractive. The images which I posted of my body to my anonymous journals when I was at the pit of my anorexia were never intended to be found, and unfortunately they were discovered and leaked by other people with malice, not by myself. (Which at the time was absolutely mortifying, but thankfully I have come to terms with it.) The images of myself posted on thinspiration websites are posted by other people without my permission or knowledge, not by myself. 
If, when I was at the stage in my disorder where I was still triggered by images of other girls, I took it upon myself to message each and every one of them and ask them to not reveal themselves, to not bear too much flesh in photographs or even in public because it is triggering to me personally, it would be absolutely ludicrous. It would be completely wrong of me to actually expect every female who happens to be underweight, struggling with an eating disorder or recovering from an eating disorder to hide themselves and cater to my disorder and my distorted perception of both myself and reality. I will not hide my body away from the world and refrain from taking advantage of my right as a woman to bear my flesh ‘just incase’ it triggers someone, and I would never expect all the girls who ever triggered me to do the same. (I would never blame anyone for triggering me – it is the fault of my illness and my psychological state alone, no one elses.) 
If people weren’t posting pictures of me as thinspiration, they would be posting pictures of someone else. There will always be women who are underweight on this earth, whether it be natural or not, and none of them should be expected to hide themselves away. Whether 300lbs or 60lbs, healthy or struggling with an eating disorder, we all have the right to wear what we like and show as much skin as we like, not just as women, but as human beings. 
I have come too far to allow negative comments, lies or accussations to affect me. I have come too far to allow anyone to make me feel ashamed. I allowed anorexia to control what I thought of myself, what I wore and how I felt for far too long. I allowed it to dictate what I could and couldn’t do for far too long. I will not allow anyone else to do the same.
Disclaimer: I will not be reading or responding to any critiques or conflicting opinions. My stance is as it stands.

Here are some points I'd like to make about her blog post.

  • The title "A Response to Weight Critics" is misleading. The backlash originally began when she posted the first photo of herself in the bob wig and was clearly posing her body to be triggering to others and used as thinspo. It has little to do with her actual weight. There are a thousand more sensible ways to show off a wig (and she knows it--see the white wig photo at beginning of post) and that is what she is choosing to ignore in favor of claiming to be persecuted JUST for being thin. In doing this, she is passively reinforcing the message "I am thin" as well as "I am a victim". A victim of her ED, and a victim of the "haters". But, most importantly, thin. The trouble starts with the very first sentence she wrote: "This is the first and only time I am going to be writing a blog post in response to the way in which certain individuals have been approaching me recently regarding my weight." As explained above, the issue is not actually her WEIGHT. Although anyone can see that she is ill and very underweight for her height and frame, her weight is not what people have gotten upset over. It's the way she poses in her photos.
  • Throughout the entire post, she's playing the numbers game. She states her specific weights at certain times, from highest to lowest,  also stating her BMI at each time. This is prohibited when in recovery from an eating disorder, and as someone who has been inside a treatment facility, Lauren knows this. In recovery, you do not share numbers or stats. They are triggering and hinder one's own recovery as well as the recovery of others. Even worse than that, she goes so far as to state how few calories she consumed within specific time periods. She is basically giving tips on how to lose weight the way she did by speaking about her disorder in the most triggering way possible and telling everyone exactly how she lost the weight.
  • No one is telling her to hide her body away from the world. She states: "I will not hide my body away from the world and refrain from taking advantage of my right as a woman to bear my flesh ‘just incase’ it triggers someone." People are saying that it's the way she knowingly poses that is problematic and that she, if she really does care about her followers and is as against thinspo as she claims, shouldn't do that. People just want her to be more conscientious of how she presents herself in her pictures. No one is telling her to NOT take pictures of herself. It really isn't an unreasonable request. Even if Lauren was naturally underweight, the issue is how she chooses to present herself to her audience. Not every photo of a thin woman is thinspo. Not every photo of a flesh-bearing thin woman is thinspo, even. But the ones in which their thinness is purposely emphasized and the focal point of the picture are the essence of what is considered thinspo. Lauren takes it a step further and states: "There will always be underweight women on this earth, whether it be natural or not, and none of them should be expected to hide themselves away." Basically, if one reads between the lines, she is essentially saying that 1) she herself is underweight; once again, needlessly reminding us all of her weight and frailty, and 2) her weight alone is the reason others find her pictures triggering. She is missing--or purposely evading, as I suspect--the crux of the issue. This also shows how deep she still is in her disorder... she believes others are persecuting her purely because of her weight. It really seems like she is saying that her being thin is what makes her a "victim" to "critics". I also cannot help but be reminded of the phrase "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."
  • The photos from her old anorexia journals are not the photos that people primarily take issue with. Yes, they are definitely thinspo fodder, but a cursory look over Lauren's Tumblr tag shows that the majority of her photos that are presently tagged as thinspo are the ones she posts on her public blog and Twitter. In fact, her old private thinspo pictures rarely make appearances within her tag. The ones which appear are pictures like the one in question with the bob wig, which was posted by her recently and publiclyHere is another example found within her Tumblr tag. As you can see, that is not a photo from one of her old journals. There are many more examples out there. The fact that Lauren continues to pose in ways that are known to be triggering is the issue, not her old anorexia journal photos.
  • "If people weren't posting pictures of me as thinspiration, they would be posting pictures of someone else" is a cop-out. Plain and simple. She is making excuses and shifting the blame off of herself in saying this. And it also isn't the point. Once again, she is deflecting in order to detract from the actual issue at hand... a technique she often uses.
  • "The images of myself posted on thinspiration websites are posted by other people without my permission or knowledge, and not by myself" is frankly irrelevant and another attempt to shift the blame. Only she has the power to change how she influences others. It truly doesn't matter that SHE (as far as we know) didn't personally upload her pictures onto various websites and tag them as thinspo. Moreover, she does recognize that she has the ability to influence others:


        BUT, would she acknowledge her influence in this anonymous message?
        Or how about this one?
        I highly doubt it, even though this is exactly how the majority of her followers see her.
        • Having been in recovery does not necessarily mean that one is recovered. Lauren is NOT RECOVERED from her eating disorder. It is an incredibly dangerous romanticization of anorexia to believe that she, in her current state, is recovered or is seriously attempting to recover on her own while remaining underweight. Until she enters treatment again and gains the weight her body needs, know that her claims that she is "recovering" are 100% bullshit. A person suffering from an eating disorder cannot treat themselves. They need the assistance of doctors, psychologists, and intensive group therapy to effectively begin the road to recovery. Anorexia is a very serious illness that requires outside help. The belief that Lauren perpetuates--that she is "recovering" while remaining an underweight recluse who is addicted to validation for her carefully posed and edited appearance via the internet--is ridiculous, unrealistic, and incredibly harmful to those who are suffering, including herself.
        • Notice how she does not apologize once for upsetting anyone. If she were someone who truly cared about the girls who look up to her, she would apologize for causing them harm. Because she IS causing a great deal of harm. This has been evidenced throughout this post. Just have a look through her Tumblr tag and take note of the posts written by so many girls, saying that they wished they had her body, that they wished they looked like her. That she's "perfect". That she's their "ultimate thinspo". That life would be okay if only they could resemble her. She is actively contributing to the erosion of already fragile peoples' sense of self-worth. Of course, it is not ALL her fault--there unfortunately will always be those select few who will tag a picture of a skinny person as thinspo even if they are in a normal, relaxed position, fully clothed. But that is definitely the exception, not the rule. She could choose to make this a lot easier for everyone and on herself if she stopped publicly posting such questionable pictures while trying to convince us all that she's done nothing wrong and is being demonized JUST for being thin.
        • The last two paragraphs are incredibly defiant. Throughout the post, after sharing her story of how she became anorexic (in the most triggering, unhealthy way possible), her tone suddenly changes at the end. She insists that no one will tell her what to do or how to feel about her body, which is a gut reaction, because that isn't actually what's happening. Instead, she twists the accusation that her photos are triggering by claiming that anorexia controlled her once, now she surely won't let you do the same. Even though it's not about anyone trying to control her... it's a large number of people trying to convey to someone that what they're doing is wrong and that they are hurting others. It's really pretty simple. And of course she doesn't want to even read "conflicting opinions" on the matter because they might prove that her post is riddled with eating disorder tips, numbers, triggers and is really nothing more than a long-winded plea for sympathy, finished off with a defiant "I'll do what I want, no matter what!"

          After reading her blog post and examining the problems in what she wrote, it's evident that she is merely trying to excuse herself from the blame of posting blatant thinspo and has posted her story--numbers, methods and all--to get those who question her intentions off her back. It seems rather clear she has no intention of stopping or even apologizing for upsetting her own followers.



          Anonymous messages like these are not merely the result of her being thin.
          Since Lauren also believes that she is being persecuted for how she posed in her old anorexia journal photos, let me show you a few examples of how the way she poses in her photos now really is no different. Her anonymous anorexic journal photos are on the left, public photos as Felice Fawn are on the right.

             

             

             

             

          There really is no difference. And yet, she fails to understand how her current photos are triggering to others. She has simply figured out how to inject thinspo into her regular photos as a way to maintain her pro-ana audience and the validation she receives as being an icon for thinspiration.

          In other instances, Lauren has taken a decidedly subtler approach and posted photos like the following, which inevitably ended up on thinspo blogs:


          She is intentionally holding her legs apart so that she has an artificial thigh gap. Even if one is incredibly thin, thighs just don't anatomically behave that way when one is laying on their side. It really couldn't be a more blatant attempt at being thinspo, even more obvious than the leaning-forward-to-create-a-thigh-gap thinspo trick, the oldest one in the book (see next picture). But, according to her, it's somehow not her fault that her photos get tagged as such.

          Now, this picture was posted by Lauren after she wrote "A Response to Weight Critics": 


          It's the same exact method--posing to emphasize thinness. All you see are her limbs and heavily retouched, almost unrecognizable face. Not only that, but it looks like she Photoshop-enhanced herself to appear thinner. And her claim that she is used as thinspo because she is often scantily-clad in her photos flies out the window because as you can see here, she is clothed... but because of the way she is posing, it is thinspo. This is the point that she seems to be missing--or ignoring.

          Here is a picture of Lauren that was taken while she was underweight; and yet, it is not thinspo:


          There is nothing wrong with this at all. No one is telling her she cannot post pictures like this. No one. She is clearly sick here, but unlike the photos above, it is not a glamorization of her illness.

          It doesn't end with her pictures. Lauren has been known to trigger others with her videos, too. Here is a still from a video she uploaded in which she drunkenly danced around, but the latter half of the video was just her staring at the screen, bent over so that her thigh gap and emaciated arms were clearly visible and the focal point:


          I mean... that still is basically an eating-disordered caricature of Felice Fawn. Nothing but carefully angled face and limbs, which she felt necessary to include. And worse still, just a few days ago, she opted not to go to a StyleNoir party (where she could have networked with photographers and models in the industry she so desperately wants to break into) and filmed this "for her website" instead: 


          There doesn't seem to be any real point to this video other than showing off her bones and being as blatant about posing in the thinspo manner as possible. 


          The above .gif made from the video is currently the backdrop of her 'About' page on her website. Lauren claimed that this is an "artistic" video. Now, I am an artist myself. I understand that things can be interpreted in different ways. But this is not art. I can say that definitively. It is nothing more than a cry for attention in the form of a seemingly directionless vanity project, which was constructed in decidedly poor taste (although perfectly timed with the publishing of this post).

          It ends with this:


          So basically, we have a gratuitous video of Lauren contorting her body in well-known thinspo poses, followed by a middle finger. There is little else to be drawn from this besides Lauren's obvious desire for everyone to see her squirming and jutting out her bones while sucking in her stomach, looking exhausted, forlorn, and ill. As for the middle finger... well, take from that what you will. But I personally find it really simplistic, puerile, and vulgar. Not that there is anything wrong with vulgarity when used judiciously... but in this case, it attempts to act as a filler for what this video lacks in substance.


          It has also been pretty widely suspected that Lauren uses AfterEffects to edit her videos. It's not necessarily a bad thing to use that program, of course... but the reason this is noteworthy can be seen in the following gifs from her "casting video", in which she claims she wore no makeup and didn't edit herself. But it's evident that she indeed edits her proportions to look thinner.

          Watch her arms...

          She uses Aftereffects to edit herself to look thinner in videos, which she claims aren't edited at all. Look carefully at the way the pixels around her arms move. Many thanks to feed-your-sins for pointing this out.

          This is Lauren's response to an anonymous ask she received on May 14th:


          In answering this, she just explained what being triggered means while conveniently sidestepping the real issue, which is that many people have expressed that her photos trigger them into disordered thinking and/or behaviors. Just because one person can claim that they were not personally triggered by her pictures does not mean all of those who ARE triggered by her pictures suddenly cease to exist. One person's opinion does not negate the experiences of others.

          To provide another example of how Lauren triggers others, here is a post she recently made on her Tumblr that does not involve pictures OR videos:


          Cup-a-Soup is a common choice for those suffering from an eating disorder. The fact that she added "No regrets" after stating she ordered a high number of powdered soup packets makes it sound like Cup-a-Soup was all she intended to consume for quite some time. Combine that knowledge with this recent Tweet showing how Lauren has expressed to view herself after consuming such minimal, inadequate nourishment...


          ...and we end up with something like this anonymous confession on Tumblr.


          The anon went on to explain their confession.


          Lauren proceeded to actually make fun of this person (as well as anyone else who has been triggered by her) by being snarky and posting messages from other anons and users saying hurtful, petty things regarding being triggered. Posting such messages on one's personal blog is a passive way of saying that one approves of/supports such sentiments. In posting these, she promotes these distorted viewpoints because it shifts the blame off of her. The following screencaps are all from her Tumblr.








          The anon's response to Lauren's behavior:


          Does this sound like Lauren cares about how she affects others? Does this sound like someone who truly does not want to be seen as a destructive influence? Does this even sound like someone who is serious about recovering?

          Just moments after the soup debacle unfolded on her Tumblr, she answered a few anonymous asks which directly questioned her intentions:


          Well, no one is actually telling her to wear a burqa, not eat in public, not model, or not blog. Lauren is projecting her own issues with control in repeating these seemingly recited lines. I cannot help but be reminded of a small child throwing a tantrum after being told "no". And yes, of course a trigger is a part of the disorder itself... which is why I am not making the claim that Lauren is the cause of eating disorders in others. She is triggering them--reawakening destructive impulses that exist within a suffering person. Key difference. She is hurting those who are already hurting. Kicking them while they're down to service her own insecurities and narcissism.


          "Ever since I discontinued my private relapse and recovery journals, I have certainly not intentionally posed in a way to make myself appear more slender than I actually am, (if that is even possible with posing alone)"

          OK, so we know that that's bullshit because she has demonstrated that she knows it's possible with posing alone. That's the entire purpose of this entry; see the last picture posted above, the 1st picture with the bob wig, the gallery I posted of old thinspo photos in comparison to her current pictures, or, seriously, any of the pictures under scrutiny in this post.

          Most of the rest of her response is hypothetical droning. This is typical of Lauren, hiding behind a wall of hypothetical, manipulative text. I will dissect this below. 

          "We are simply girls with small frames who want to live our lives and be treated equally to anyone else, regardless of weight, shape, diet or lifestyle." 

          Here she is not only painting herself as someone with a small frame (something that is evident not to be true in any of her videos or un-Photoshopped pictures) and therefore naturally thin, but as someone who is merely partaking in a chic "diet or lifestyle" and not as having an illness. That's the only way this part makes sense... otherwise, I'm not sure why she is grandstanding for the population of thin girls as a whole here, as though she belongs among the healthy and naturally slender. This also minimizes her own illness and shows that her thinking is still disordered. 

          In regard to her long-winded hypothetical claim that if she were overweight and taking the same type of pictures: this type of response is is what is known as the Straw Man fallacy

          "The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern: 

          Person A has position X. 
          Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
          Person B attacks position Y.
          Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed. 

          This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself." Source

          The Straw Man fallacy is an argumentative tactic that Lauren reverts to often. Bringing up the idea of larger women posing similarly does not prove that her pictures are not triggering. But in her mind, saying so validates her claim that she is being unfairly called out because she is underweight and nothing more. This is a fallacy in itself. 

          The following comment was posted in the comments section of "A Response to Weight Critics" on her blog. Lauren deleted it almost immediately, which is interesting:


          What was so wrong with this comment that Lauren had to delete it mere minutes after it was posted? This person really could not have been kinder in honestly telling her what the issue is. And she deleted it. She deleted a comment imploring her to think of the young girls and women who follow her because she does not care about them, and leaving this comment up would reveal this cold, hard fact.

          Here are more reactions to "A Response to Weight Critics", courtesy of Livejournal.






          But who is it dangerous to? 
          Her audience, which is mostly comprised of young women.


          The majority of her audience consists of young, college-educated women who typically visit her website from home. (Teenagers are not reflected on the demographics from Alexa.com, but we can assume from Lauren's Tumblr activity and many who 'like' or reblog her posts that a good chunk of her audience are indeed teenagers.) A visit to Google shows exactly what these young women are seeking when they search the name "Felice Fawn". The bolded text that appears in the drop-down of the search window underneath after typing her name (but before hitting 'search') shows the most common accompanying text when one is searching the name "Felice Fawn". Feel free to go to Google and see for yourself:


          This is the search window drop-down result that pops up when one searches "Felice Fawn" in Google Images:


          Whether Lauren likes it or not, these are the terms that most often accompany her name when she is searched on the internet, mostly by young women, as the above demographics show. This is what she's known for. It doesn't matter if she denies it because her influence in the pro-ana world has already been established. But she chooses to fan the flames by posing in ways that specifically trigger others suffering from an ED, and even those who aren't specifically suffering with an ED, but from self-esteem issues. This proves that she truly has no regard for the welfare of others--and as someone who routinely doles out advice to her fans, she should know that she has the power to make a difference and yet she chooses to hurt and invalidate others, especially those who look up to her.

          "Basically, when you’re in a position where your audience looks to you as an idol for some reason or another (in this case, it is overwhelmingly for weight issues) then it is within your power and whether you want it or not, your responsibility, to act reasonably as to not bring about harm or detriment to other people. Whether you believe yourself to be what the people proclaim or not, you still understand that you have some form of impact on these people. The impact is not always positive, but the goal should always be to reduce negative impacts on your audience. This includes thinspo pictures, or anything that would warrant detrimental behaviour." Source
          Lauren does not care about her followers. If she did, she would have issued an apology for hurting them instead of the trigger-happy, self-aggrandizing text she posted. Because this is clearly not about the "haters" taking issue with her old private journal photos. Her own fans are suffering because of the dangerous ideal Lauren pushes--that one can be as thin as she is currently and somehow still be recovering. THIS IS FALSE.

          Below is a screencap of a Tumblr post I encountered which encapsulates what Lauren's "fans" really value her for:


          In the very same message, this person goes from saying that Lauren has "the most perfect body EVER" (which is the result of anorexia) to "It's hard enough recovering from an eating disorder." This is exactly how Lauren's implicit promotion of this idea--that one suffering from an eating disorder can still be thin AND recovered--is so harmful. It's telling enough that some people still overlook the fact that she scammed her own fans in favor of her appearance, but really, that doesn't even compare to the inherent paradox of this message. Her body is "perfect" due to her anorexia... and indeed, it is hard enough to recover from anorexia. But especially when you have hundreds of people telling you on a regular basis how beautiful you are for it.

          To fans of Felice Fawn: When you compliment Lauren for how she looks presently, you are complimenting her eating disorder. Your compliments about her body are a direct validation of her illness. The only reason she is thin now is because she is still sick. By complimenting her physical appearance, especially her body, you are basically giving her all the reason she needs to keep starving. Do you see how the cycle perpetuates itself? Do you see how praising her for her body is actually harmful to her? It might not seem that way, because she is, after all, one who thirsts for compliments... but giving her what her illness is making her crave even more is detrimental to her health as well. 

          Many of Lauren's "fans" do not see how defending her is not as simple as one woman standing up for her right to express herself. To clarify the following misconceptions commonly used by fans of Lauren in this matter... 


          ...I would like to direct you to this post by n00bgoth which factually (and eloquently) refutes the distorted, fallacious opinion above. To briefly summarize the points made, these are the 3 most common fallacies that fans of Lauren revert to when defending her:

          • Fallacy 1: That  anorexia/bulimia are diseases that only occur in people who are genetically predisposed to them;
          • Fallacy 2: That eating disorders do not appear in a normal, healthy person after seeing triggering pictures;
          • Fallacy 3: That those victims who blame their triggers (or "entire eating disorders", as feliceinfatuation put it) on others are blind and deluded.

          Fallacy 1
          Eating disorders are not always genetically predestined. Eating disorders are developed. In many cases, there is no genetic correlation. Please see this link for an excellent source of information on genetics, biology and eating disorders.

          Fallacy 2

          "Feliceinfatuation makes the argument that eating disorders do not just “appear” and only affect people who are predisposed to it. This is a fallacy in and of itself because if this argument is true, then an individual may succumb to anorexia if her mother has had it, or if any other family member has had it. It’s not something an individual is “predisposed” to because the cause of the illness is more external than internal. I.E. it’s developed, not inherent.

          "Also, with the wording, "an eating disorder does not just appear to a healthy person” is a fallacy as well. Many people who are at a healthy weight may develop some form of esteem or eating disorder. I was at a healthy weight when I developed mine. There were models, celebrities, lawyers, doctors, teachers, you name it, all at healthy weights yet may have developed an eating disorder."

          Fallacy 3
          The victim is never to blame. Ever. Period. Please refer to n00bgoth's post on why this way of thinking is so problematic. Because the following text is too important not to repost:

          "Saying that an individual is “blind and deluded” because they have succumb to a mental illness because an individual perpetuates positive things about it, glamorizing it almost, and takes purposeful triggering photos is ludicrous. It’s on par with people who have suffered PTSD because they have gone through horrible things at the fault of another, saying that they shouldn’t “blame it on the person because that makes them blind and deluded.”

          "Many people credit Felice to giving them a disorder because her photos are triggering and they may become the starting point. Like I said, them saying or I saying that one person is at fault is a bit uneven but that’s why we, and the people who suffered, be sure to say that Felice isn’t the only cause, but she is part of it.

          "And it’s because Felice has created this life that you can suffer from an eating disorder, become famous, loved, and appreciated because of it. You will gain fame, popularity, and you will be loved and adored. Even if you say you’re in recovery, that does not exclude you from slipping back into it or having the temptations. I think she expresses and shows this by taking such triggering photos."

          In a way, it's easy to understand why Lauren clings to her need to take pictures that are thinspo. It is, after all, almost certainly THE reason Lauren has gotten as much internet attention as she has. Not only is it a way for her to justify staying sick and therefore continue to lose weight, but it obviously gets her a lot of attention, even though the end result is extremely negative. And it's made even easier for her because she just so happens to retouch her photos. It's a perfect storm of one girl's desire for fame, perceived "perfection", and continuing to receive justification to stay sick and stay popular. It's a very unfortunate and ugly truth: her eating disorder is the reason she's known, and those who idolize her value her purely for her posed and heavily Photoshopped appearance--the dressed-up and glamorized result of an eating disorder.

          To substantiate this, have a look at this candid, un-Photoshopped photo of Lauren, taken just a few months ago at her engagement party:


          That is indeed Felice Fawn. This photo was posted by the photographer on his Tumblr. You'll notice it has been almost entirely unreblogged (ONE note!), despite being tagged with "Felice Fawn". In this unretouched photo, Lauren looks far different from the visage we have all become so used to seeing. She looks quite unlike the frail, waifish figure she appears to be in her photos (more evidence that she Photoshops herself to look thinner), broadly-framed, and, really, like a regular girl. Her facial features look different, too--lips and eyes smaller, nose a bit bulbous. Like a normal person. This is the real Felice Fawn in this photograph, and the fact that it has been all but totally unreblogged really speaks to what others admire and reblog her for: thinspo, and the unrealistic, meticulously retouched, caricaturized version of herself that she presents to the world via her edited photos.


          Photo by Lauren on the left, photo taken by someone else just a day later on the right. Notice the difference in the jawline, nose, eyebrows, and overall face shape.

          Edited picture (posted by Lauren) with unedited picture (not taken by Lauren) 
          superimposed to show difference in profile. The shadows by the end of her nose 
          in the photo she posted mysteriously disappear.

          Sharpened images of a photo Lauren posted showing that she edits just about everything about her features. See pixellation along her jawline and chin, lines around her eye, light rectangular selection around her upper lip, selection around her lower lip, and straight line down her nose.
          Source

          Photo posted by Lauren.

          Same photo enlarged and sharpened to show specific areas of heavy editing. The entire face has been smoothed and manipulated almost beyond recognition. The jawline has been pushed in to appear angular. In the circle by her shoulder, you can see that it has been pushed in with Photoshop to look thinner. Finally, her waistline is not only anatomically impossible (especially when sitting the way she is... she looks like her back is broken) but it's very obvious that she used Photoshop to give herself an hourglass shape. Look at the pixels along the seam of her top in the right circle, where her waist starts to unnaturally curve inward. They are different from the ones surrounding. And in the circle by her waist on the left, notice how there is a cluster of blurry pixels right next to the sharp, almost straight line of her hip. She cloned in some "wall" where her hip would be and pushed in her waist.

          I'm not sure how much of this photo is even real, there is so much editing going on here. I have selected the most obvious areas. Her neck has been Photoshopped thinner, and you'll also notice an odd shadow I have selected that shouldn't be there, probably the burn tool. Her left arm has been totally pushed in to look thinner, as well as her shoulder pushed down. She is jutting out her collarbones, which would ordinarily make the shoulders stand out, but since they are Photoshopped, they are strangely sunken despite the collarbones being forced outward. Her thigh gap is all Photoshop--you can even see where she goofed up a bit on the leg of her jeans. That space between her arm and tank top has been heavily edited... it looks like she pushed in her inner arm to look thinner while playing with/elongating the shadows by her top to give the illusion of a larger space between her side and inner arm. And in the smaller circle up higher on her left (our right) shoulder, it's very obvious that she messed with the proportions of her arms. It's all wavy and blurred, with the shadow going straight down and then suddenly blurring inward. Also, I just noticed this while typing, but right above that same shoulder circle, you can actually SEE the slightly darker angle shape superimposed on her shoulder where she used a selection tool to Photoshop her arm. Look at the black strap on her shoulder. See it?

          In this slightly enlarged and sharpened photo from the same series, I have circled the areas explained above. In this picture, the editing of her arms is especially obvious. It's also more obvious that she pushed her shoulders down with Photoshop here... see the weird lighter spots above the black bra straps? In this photo, it is also more apparent that Lauren shops her jawline to look more angular. The line of her jaw and chin is different from the rest of her face--kind of blurred and ill-defined, like an artificial shadow. Her nasolabial folds are entirely gone, the bridge and width of her nose are thinner, and in both of these pictures, she has edited her lips (particularly her upper lip) to look bigger.



          If you are still in doubt as to whether Lauren really is against thinspo and being seen as a perpetuator of thinspo, I would like to present the following set of pictures. These pictures are all from her current "inspiration" archive, which can be found hereI have left the link addresses visible so you can see for yourself that these pictures are indeed currently up on Lauren's website and listed as inspiration.
          These are just a few examples... I must warn you that there are many more equally as blatant in her gallery.





          I really don't think it's possible for her to explain her way out of this, or claim that she truly is against thinspo. Deathly emaciated bodies being posted as personal inspiration = thinspo. It's as simple as that. There is no other definition.


          Thinspiration is what Felice Fawn values and embodies. The influence she has over her particular fanbase is toxic, and this has been documented. It's unmistakable in how she presents herself and creeping around the edges of much of what she writes. And it's the driving force in the majority of those who idolize her. She can say she is against thinspo/being used as such and is "anti-pro-ana" all she likes, but her defenses are merely to save face. She is a hypocrite. But, she is also still sick.

          If she is serious about being against thinspo and is actively recovering, it would make sense for her to remove any pictures from her inspiration archive that are clearly meant to be used as thinspo. It's actually pretty shocking that she would leave all of these pictures up while proclaiming herself to be against thinspiration, and especially after posting "A Response to Weight Critics". But, there they are.

          I think one thing that's so toxically intriguing about Lauren's internet presence is how she talks so openly about certain aspects of her ED. Other people who are either suffering or have suffered from an ED can relate to her struggle, and tend to empathize. Those who have not had the experience of an ED often sympathize with her story, often not quite seeing the litany of excuses she makes for the thinspo issue. Worse still, many see the posts about Lauren's unhealthy eating habits and carefully angled photos, and compare themselves to her. It's very easy to see how someone who may already be in a fragile state could see an image like the one posted at the beginning of this entry and be sent barreling over the edge. Lauren's noisy presence on social media websites like Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook etc. make her not only very accessible, but easily relatable, especially if you are a young woman with confidence issues of your own. Lauren makes her bizarre eating habits and by-the-minute, gut-reactionary posts no secret. For someone with an eating disorder, this steady flow of constantly updated, highly personal details can be addicting and could easily fuel an obsession to emulate certain behaviors. There exists the misconception that if one just does what she does, they too can be thin, popular, and "loved". But that is just that... a misconception. Those suffering from an eating disorder have not "succeeded" in anything except for edging even closer to death. They are not happy people. And those who gain popularity as a result of their thinspo photos are not "loved" in the true sense of the word--their popularity is entirely fickle and dependent upon the superficial, their sick physical appearance. Sadly, many of Lauren's followers are very young, impressionable, and/or eating-disordered themselves and do not yet have the understanding that this phenomenon is actually harmful to both themselves and to people like Lauren, or are in denial that it IS harmful to all parties involved. Being trapped within the depths of a full-blown eating disorder can make it extremely difficult (if not outright impossible) to see the forest for the trees, to see beyond the wounded self and understand that starving and purging are not the answer to happiness, no matter how romantic a person like Lauren may make it seem.

          This anonymous ask posted on the Freelice Tumblr expressed what exactly is problematic about Lauren well:


          And I found this analysis by n00bgoth to be especially well-articulated.


          Finally... what I found to be the most heartbreaking message of all. This was quoted on Livejournal and it seems the person who originally wrote it deleted their Tumblr post. This message is one of the saddest and most profound descriptions of what it's like to be influenced by Lauren that I have ever read.


          "Wow. Just wow, I’ve been following Felice for about a year now. I was so obsessed with her. I’ve just got sucked in my own sickness, following her - believing it could get better. Believe I could get rid of the sickness that has consumed me for six years. All the while, I’ve watched Felice’s every enchanting move - just to feel as pretty as her. I thought all the poise, and grace, and intelligence and caring was because she was happy. Because she had been successful at defeating her demons and broken free from her eating disorder chains - something I have wanted more than anything. To just be free and happy and to have so many people love me - which I thought was the embodiment and personification of Felice. It’s not until you’ve written this that I was snapped out of my crazed obsession with how thinner she is getting and what she is doing today. Hungry for just another picture of her. I feel so disgusted with myself. All Felice ever wanted was to flaunt how much Ana loves her, and how we could mimic that if we just got thinner and thinner. She was just basking in the glow of attention. Like she is some demonic queen. After reading this - ugh. My idol - Felice Fawn - has just been shattered. This entire time I’ve really just been the personification of anorexia - Felice Fawn."


          Closing thoughts:

          I think that if Lauren truly does not want to be seen as thinspo, then she really ought to be more careful about the message she sends with the pictures she chooses to post. It would be a move in the right direction if she stopped posting new photos that could easily be considered triggering. This is not an impossible demand, or nitpicky, or piously requesting that she can't show any skin in photographs. She is free to post pictures of herself all she wants... as I've said, this is not about her size. It's about something that she CAN help, which is the way she manipulates how her body appears in pictures. She does know how certain ways of posing emphasize thinness, and others do notice and are negatively affected by it. It's not because everyone's just jealous of her anorexia.

          If she continues to ignore all of the messages, Tumblr posts, analyses, etc. pointing out everything I've outlined above, doesn't modify her behavior and keeps posting pictures that trigger others, I think that not only would that be detrimental to those triggered, but to herself as well. It would be harmful to her own recovery and would pretty much guarantee that her already rapidly declining online popularity will forever be linked to thinspo and pro-ana. How difficult would it be for a person to recover from an eating disorder if they cannot escape something that is inextricably linked to them? I think that the sooner she opens her mind to others' viewpoints on her pictures, the better. Unfortunately, I do not anticipate this to happen anytime soon. I think she would need to be in inpatient recovery and probably off the internet for that to happen and for real personal growth and healthy self-actualization to take place.

          Lauren is still very sick. It seems like she relapsed quite some time ago and is entirely ruled by her disorder, seeking validation and justifying her behavior in ways that only make sense to those who have experienced the throes of this illness. I'm not a doctor, and I am most definitely not faulting her for being sick, but I really think she would greatly benefit from intensive treatment, and NOW. Long-term, and internet-free. The attention and vindication she receives from self-posting photos like the ones in this entry will only push her further away from any hope of recovery. I do not think she is serious about recovery and I think that she wrote "A Response to Weight Critics" purely in an attempt to arouse sympathy, get skeptics off her back, and to justify her sick behavior, which DOES trigger others. There is no debating as to whether it does or not. It does. It's a fact. She knows the photos she chooses to post are triggering, but it really appears that she just does not care that she is hurting others in doing so. Sadly, it seems that she is too addicted to the compliments and the attention at this point to even consider real recovery and relinquishing her thinspo crown. But actual recovery and time away from the internet would do her a world of good, and would be a real stepping stone to her becoming a better person with a more fulfilling, positive life.

          I hope that this entry has helped even one person to see through Lauren's lies and excuses. I put off writing anything about her illness for a very long time simply because it wasn't relevant to the purpose this blog... at least, not until recently. After seeing the outrage caused by her wig photo and subsequently reading 'A Response to Weight Critics', I felt I finally had enough cause to write about the thinspo issue in a way that is hopefully eye-opening. I know that this was a lot to take in all at once, and that this was probably difficult at times to read. I have an extremely high threshold for things that most would consider shocking or unsettling. But looking at picture after picture of Lauren's anorexic body and the Tumblr messages from girls who agonize over her pictures was just too much at times, and actually made me feel sick inside to see how one person's thoughtless, self-centered actions have brought about so much suffering.

          If you are someone who follows Lauren and have ever felt triggered by her words, pictures or videos, unfollow her. Don't seek out her pictures if they make you feel negatively about yourself. Honestly ask yourself what it really is you seek when perusing her blog, galleries, etc. If you feel badly about yourself after seeing pictures of her, know that she is a destructive influence and that no positivity can ever be gained by looking at her photos or wishing to be as thin as she is. And unfollow her. Don't visit her blog or various other sites. Wishing to be emaciated is a symptom of a much deeper, more complex issue that needs to be dealt with privately, with a trained therapist or within the safety of a rehabilitation center. Obsessing over that which embodies an unhealthy ideal--in this case, looking at pictures of Lauren that emphasize her anorexia--will only push you further into harmful, distorted thinking. The desire to be "thin enough" is a very slippery slope, because in an eating disorder, there truly is no such thing as "thin enough". Perfection is never really obtained; that why it's an ideal and not based in reality. In a cultural sense, aspiring to be "thin enough" is an idealization of a dangerous, oppressive, misogynistic standard of beauty. And if being "thin enough" truly was the answer to happiness, there would be no need for hospitals or therapists.

          As long as Lauren is not fully engaged in active recovery, I doubt she will ever admit that she has done anything to hurt anyone. And this is yet another symptom of her own illness--denial. In trying to seek validation for her appearance, she is plunging herself further into her own illness at the misplaced encouragement of others. It may seem like that's what she wants, but truthfully, no one deserves this. She is sick. She needs help, not encouragement for starving herself and photographing her body in a carefully positioned way that reawakens a visceral pain within others, who have their own issues to contend with. All I can do as a blogger is screencap, analyze, offer an educated perspective, and show evidence of her lies and wrongdoings so that those reading can (hopefully) make better-informed decisions. Ultimately, it is up to you alone to come to your own conclusions with the information I have presented. I just hope that this helps even one person's eyes to be opened, to not feel alone in having been triggered by Lauren, and to have a clearer understanding of her deceptive behavior in relation to her eating disorder and how her behavior continues to negatively affect others. I must reiterate: Lauren is not the cause of the pro-eating disordered mentality that is steadily becoming more of a pervasive malady on the internet. But she is eagerly fanning the flames of this cultural wildfire, and doesn't seem to care who it hurts... as long as someone tells her she's pretty.

          65 comments:

          1. I read this entire article and, while so well written including so many great grand points, I just wanted to touch on one of the smaller sillier points.

            There has not been a singular instance of mental disorder or physical disability in my family tree as far as I can trace it. I have been incredibly lucky in my genes. I never had eating disorder tendencies, in fact, (while I understood it) I could not fathom why or how someone could avoid food. Energy-giving, can be delicious, nourishing food! Then in my early twenties I went through an extremely painful period involving a broken engagement. This heartache had nothing to do with appearances- in fact my fiance seemed to be inclined towards women much bigger than myself! But something happened. The control aspect of this type of disorder engulfed me. I found myself an eating disorder that consumed my mind and body for years. I became so thin that I too would have mean spirited comments called out to me as I walked down the street.

            Now, I would call myself physical recovered but not mentally. Years later, I still am triggered and tormented and focus on caloric intake and physical appearance constantly. I feel elated when I am able to successfully skip meals. I see these thinspo pictures and my eyes immediately dart to those very spots I used to gauge my thinness on (chest, thigh gap, the shoulder area especially). Like I said, I could be considered physically recovered as my weight is now well within healthy range but mentally I am still a mess..

            Considering the time that has passed and the growth I have experienced as life goes on, I suspect this is something that will be with me for the rest of my life.

            This was not something I was predisposed to. I was not predisposed through genetics, nor through personality nor mentally inclined towards. Eating disorders can and will strike in anyone, especially in today's society when we are surrounded by images that "show us" our "worth". To hear someone say an eating disorder needs a certain criteria of person, I hear their self-important ego talking.

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            1. Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it. And it's not a small or silly point at all!

              It's true that mental illness is something that stays with a person for life. "Recovery" is really about reaching a stable place, managing the disorder, and being able to function outside of it. And we can be physically recovered while mentally in tatters, most definitely. I know it probably sounds trite, but it really does get better as time goes on and you continue to have integrity over your body and take care of yourself. It's a similar story with addiction. Relapse is always a possibility--for that reason, it is difficult to say whether or not someone is "truly recovered" from their addiction. I guess it's about reaching a state of recovery, really. Until the day we die, as long as we are actively trying to rise above our personal demons--whether they be an eating disorder, addiction, or mental illness--we are always recovering.

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          2. failice/Lauren is a disgusting human being really...

            ReplyDelete
          3. This whole article is hilarious and won't be taken seriously because you damn well know calling her 'Lauren' is HER trigger, so you're just advocating and endorsing everything you claim you're against. Oh the hypocrisy.

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            1. Well, Lauren's not concerned with how she triggers others, so why should anyone else worry about triggering her by calling her what her own family still calls her?

              Not saying at all that she deserves to be triggered; I just think that her claim that being called her real name triggers her is bullshit. Frankly, I think she only says that being called her real name is a trigger as a way to force everyone to call her "Felice". "Felice Fawn" started out as her "photography name". She only began insisting that everyone call her Felice Fawn when she started to get known on Deviantart and Tumblr. There has never been any evidence that she has actually, legally changed her name. And I will sympathize with her claim that she is triggered by her real name the day she shows a shred of real compassion about the countless times she has intentionally triggered so many others.

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          4. felicefawncultmemberJune 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM

            Thank you for this post. It was very well-articulate and unbiased.

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            1. Thank you, felicefawncultmember. I appreciate it! Love your blog, by the way! (hail sat1n)

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          5. Hello, this is n00bgoth. I received an anonymous message earlier and had no idea what they were referring to but I'm guessing it was this post. I am very flattered that you referenced me in this lovely post. This was an absolute joy to read and I love the amount of evidence you had acquired to prove your point. Thank you so much for letting my words be part of this awesome post. Keep it spooky. <3

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            1. n00bgoth! I'm so so glad you commented and are flattered that I referenced you. I had to, your words are extremely valuable! I'm so glad you found the post enjoyable to read--I was a bit worried it was TOO long, but honestly, it's a very complex issue. I couldn't revise it to be any shorter than it already is... and I definitely tried. I feel like I could have written a book about this whole issue, really. I have even more evidence via messages, photos, etc., but I didn't want to clutter up the post too much. But, the sheer volume of additional evidence further drives home the point that Lauren truly does have a negative, toxic effect on others.

              Thanks so much for stopping by. I love your blog, it is one of my very favorites. Keep up the amazing work! <3

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          6. Thanks for this article. It says so much about Felice and her behaviour.

            I found out about Felice looking through the thinspo folders of a pro-ana forum (funny, right ;-) ) and after that moment started following her. It didn't effect me in any way because pictures don't trigger me (good for me). But her "A Response to Weight Critics" is bad, really bad. Like you have said, she should know what numbers can do and I find myself thinking about the days she went without food every now and then with the intention to try it. Numbers can trigger people with an eating disorder so much worse than any picture and she knows that but doesn't care...

            Felice should get help instead of telling what she eats and how much she loves food now, this isn't true and the fact that she poses in specific ways (if you but your butt in the background and your head in the mirror, your legs will look unbelievable skinny) and photoshops herself the way she would like to look underline the fact that she still isn't anywhere near recovered or loving herself.

            After all I'm glade that blogs like yours exist and it helped me many times because I know that she is photoshopped like hell and there is nothing in her look or behaviour I need to aspire to be.

            Hopefully many girls with an eating disorder will read this article
            <3

            (Sorry, if I made some mistakes, I'm not a native English speaker :-) )

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            1. For not being a native English speaker, I'd say your English is pretty damn good!

              Thank you for taking the time to leave this great comment. Comments like yours are exactly why I do what I do on this blog. I'm so, so glad to hear that my blog as well as others that expose Lauren for who she really is have helped you. I just wish that Lauren's defenders would understand that we are NOT espousing her for having an eating disorder, nor are we simply "hating" out of "jealousy". Lauren does need help, most definitely. But it's hard to help someone who doesn't seem to want help for themselves...

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          7. Just to add, if you go on her new website (felicefawn.com) there is a video which is what can only be described as 'thinspo'. Especially if you go to the 'info' section and the background gif is simply her leaning over and sucking in whilst showing off her ribs.

            I am very unsure as to what her apparent logic is but whatever she says, shes not in recovery.

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            1. I saw that video. I'M FUCKING PSYCHIC! But seriously, that video could not have been more appropriately timed with my posting of this article. It firmly reinforces every point I've made. And yeah, she is most definitely not in recovery. If anything, the video seemed like a vanity project to showcase how deep in her illness she is. Almost like a celebration of her eating disorder, to be honest.

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          8. I'd also like to add that the most recent picture in her tumblr gallery, in which she has drawn on fake freckles, is reminiscent of Isabelle Caro, the French model who died less than two years ago from anorexia. She often "accentuated" the freckles around her eyes with makeup because, as she stated, "if someone is looking at my eyes, they’re not looking at the rest of me." As if it's not awful enough that she poses in "thinspo" poses and makes fun of the people she triggers, she is also seemingly alluding to Caro, whose story is absolutely heartbreaking and terrifying.

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            1. The painted-on freckles definitely reminded me of Isabelle Caro, too. Her story really is heartbreaking. For those who would like to read about her insight into her illness, this is an excellent link. (Warning, may be triggering!)

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          9. I have never been anorexic, but I have been up and down with my weight for years, since I was a teen and I have learned to love myself. I may have parts of my body, mainly my thighs and my stomach that I am not happy with, but seeing these photo's of Felice makes me glad that I am the way that I am. I am a size 10 - 12 in clothes, I eat as healthy as I can and I exercise whenever, but I would not change my size for the world. I am actually scared of being as thin as Felice is, that is just not healthy. My best friend is a size 12 - 14, she's had a baby and she's the same as me, we don't give a flying fuck that we're not skinny or thin, because we're happy in our bodies. Anyone who can even think that Felice's body is beautiful is insane, and I really pity those who look up to her. We were made as we are for a reason and we should love ourselves, not strive to be a sack of bones.

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            1. I could not agree with you more. I am so glad to hear that you have found inner peace and have learned to love yourself. That's so important. The road to happiness really does begin with self-love.

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          10. Thank you so much for writing this! You explained everything perfectly! I don't have an eating disorder, but sometimes I feel I like I'm just about to develop one. I only know Felice Fawn because her pictures regularly get posted in the thinspo tag on Tumblr. I used to like her and find her "thinspiring", but thanks to all the blogs exposing her I don't want to be like her anymore, or imitate her in any way.

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            1. Thank you! And I am SO happy to hear that! That's so great, seriously!

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          11. This is a wonderful article... I am so confused about Felice Fawn right now - half of me wants to defend her, because I think that everyone should be able to wear what they want and pose how they want without getting criticized for it, but the other half of me feels kind of scared. I had an eating disorder, and recently I've started to feel like I'm 'recovered' (which was silly, looking back) but now I'm at my highest weight ever and I'm feeling very insecure. I thought I was determined to lose weight the healthy way this time, until I found Felice Fawn and began to feel so horribly triggered... I don't want to blame her, because if I was comfortable with my body, I would love to show it off. I think the only difference is that Felice TRIES to make herself look thinner (when she's already so skinny), whereas I want to feel good abuot myself even when I'm not leaning over and jutting out my collarbones.

            Thank you for this blog, I'm going to try to convince myself that this woman isn't worth obsessing over...

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          12. Beautifully written. Thank you. <3

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            1. Thank you for reading, I appreciate it! <3

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          13. "In a cultural sense, aspiring to be "thin enough" is an idealization of a dangerous, oppressive, misogynistic standard of beauty."
            thank you so much for writing this. i have been struggling with an eating disorder for some months now, and seeing wonderful people like you write these perfect articles, it just made me feel a lot better. even though i am disgusted at this egomaniac, the way you write makes it easy to bear. thank you very much.

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            1. I cannot describe how glad it makes me to hear that my words have helped to ease this painful burden you've been shouldering. This is exactly why I wrote this article. I sincerely want to lessen the pain for you and anyone else who feels this way. You deserve that much. Thank you so much for commenting. I would hug you if I could.

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          14. Thank you for writing this.. I was getting sucked into her crazy ana mindset before I read this.

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            1. Thank you for reading! That mindset is not worth getting sucked into, seriously. But it's truly SO easy to get sucked in, even if you don't already have an ED. It's such a pernicious thing, really, which is why it's so important to be aware of the "subtleties" before the undertow pulls you down.

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          15. As a recovered anorexic of 7 years, I haven't participated in disordered behavior for years. But something about this girl just gets to me. I'm 22 now and honestly believed I was beyond this shit. She is a trigger to me and I find her pictures causing me to return to old habits. It's not her fault of course, she is still ill and her disorder is causing her to seek approval from wherever she can to keep it alive. However, she should certainly be less ignorant about the profound effect she has on those sensitive to such behaviors. I think she will regret many of her actions when she is older and wiser. I also hope she can get the help she needs.

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            1. I am so happy that you are in recovery! You are right on with everything you said. Thanks for taking the time to leave this great comment.

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          16. This is kind of old (Nov 2011) but relevant:

            http://jezebel.com/5858786/ad-banned-for-featuring-model-with-highly-visible-ribs

            Isn't this the company she modelled for recently?

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          17. also look at this photoshop
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/felicelilithfawn/6425707865/in/photostream

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          18. I'm honestly disgusted by this article. Not with Felice Fawn (who I've just heard of today) but with you. You know what you're doing?

            You are BODY POLICING. What she does with her body, how she photographs herself is HER BUSINESS. Basically this whole article read as: "Felice Fawn triggers people and she should bend over backwards to please what I think is wrong. We're not asking her to stop taking pictures, but we're asking her to stop posing the way she wants to. She should pose in a way that doesn't trigger other people because it's her responsibility to take care of them."

            Utter bullshit.

            So WHAT she photoshops her pictures? So WHAT she angles herself to look thinner. She said it herself, she takes pictures when she feels attractive and if to her being attractive means highlighting her thigh gap, well so be it. You should PITY the poor girl that she has to do that to feel better about herself. Not make an entire blog about it.

            You KNOW this girl doesn't have a high self-esteem, you know she wants attention because it makes her feel a little better - and honestly there is nothing wrong with that. If people are triggered by her THEY SHOULD REMOVE HER FROM SIGHT. And there are ways to do that on Tumblr (or any social network) so there is no excuse. She can't mother millions of teenagers with body dysmorphia and anorexia and bulimia. She's one of them too.

            You want to help the poor triggered girls of Tumblr? Put your time into making a blog about self-love and self-appreciation instead of a hate blog that tries to police a young girl's body.

            She shouldn't have to "pose in a different way" for anyone.
            Ridiculous.

            You should be ashamed of yourself.
            - Joy
            http://queenofthewest.tumblr.com

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            1. Nope, I'm not ashamed and I never will be. I'm glad I finally got around to writing this study and the amount of comments, emails, etc. that I have received in response have been overwhelmingly grateful and supportive. There are some erroneous statements in your comment, though:

              "So WHAT she photoshops her pictures? So WHAT she angles herself to look thinner. She said it herself, she takes pictures when she feels attractive and if to her being attractive means highlighting her thigh gap, well so be it. You should PITY the poor girl that she has to do that to feel better about herself. Not make an entire blog about it."

              So what. Really, that's your defense? "So what"? Let me ask you this: What's so wrong with questioning her motives and exploring the issue? The only way any of us can reach understanding of something is by examining and questioning it. That is the root to gaining knowledge and wisdom... we cannot acquire an understanding of something if we do not fully examine it. Your statement--"so what"--suggests that we should just leave well enough alone, as she is ill and that's all that needs to be said. I don't quite understand why some people think the mere fact of simply DISCUSSING this issue is a bad thing in itself. I think in most cases, it strikes a nerve, or maybe makes someone look at themselves in a way they are not yet comfortable with while being in the throes of an ED. Aside from your comment, I've gotten a few hateful comments about this post... and all 2 of them came from pro-ana blogs. I think that says it all. Her being ill is not this untouchable, fragile subject that needs to be whispered about and pushed under the rug for fear of "offending" anyone. No one would ever progress beyond their illness or gain any kind of awareness about this cultural malady if no one talked about it.

              Secondly, this is not a hate blog. Everything I post has proof to substantiate it. A hate blog is not comprised of facts--a hate blog is pure opinion. Get that straight.

              "You KNOW this girl doesn't have a high self-esteem, you know she wants attention because it makes her feel a little better - and honestly there is nothing wrong with that."

              Actually, there is something wrong with that. She is seeking attention at the detriment of others. You say that I should pity her because she's ill, but then you turn around and say that there's nothing wrong with the way she takes her pictures? Don't you think she takes such pictures BECAUSE she is ill? Not once have I faulted her for having an illness... but I do fault her for being aware of the effect she has on others and continuing to post pictures and videos and qualify as thinspo. Yes, she is sick, but I think she is also aware of how she hurts others and just doesn't care, because it makes her feel good about herself. She enjoys feeling superior to others. THAT is the issue. If she really felt contrite about how much she has upset her own followers, she wouldn't have written what is essentially a how-to of losing weight the way she did, and she certainly wouldn't have posted a video like the one currently on her website.

              Not once did I make the claim that she is responsible for "mothering" teenagers with BDD/anorexia/bulimia/EDNOS. But when you are in a position like she is where you have a very young following of people who idolize her, she DOES have some responsibility to conduct herself in a way that is not harmful to those people. She wanted Tumblr infamy, and she got it--like it or not, with that comes some degree of responsibility.

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            2. Finally, in regard to your accusation that I am body-policing.
              "Body policing- any behavior which attempts to correct or control a person's actions regarding their own physical body, frequently with regards to gender expression or size."

              That's the key word: control. No one is trying to control Lauren. This study is merely an attempt to shed light on a very complex issue, which Lauren IS a part of. And I actually did state that if one is triggered by Lauren, that they should unfollow her blog and not look at pictures of her. Perhaps you missed that part while angrily typing out your comment. Thing is, though, even if someone does all they can to not see pictures of her, they can still pop up unexpectedly, especially since she has some Tumblr popularity and her pictures get reblogged often. It makes it harder to avoid. With that said, it's true that triggers are everywhere. The key is to learn how to deal with them in a healthy, productive way. However, MANY people have come forward and said the same thing--that her pictures in particular trigger them and make them feel like less of a person. Instead of saying "so what" and just letting sleeping dogs lie, I thought it was more important that this issue gets examined and discussed about in a clear, unbiased manner.

              Of course she doesn't HAVE to "pose in a different way for anyone". But honestly, I think it would not only be good for all if she didn't post pictures that glamorize her illness, but good for her own self-worth and possible recovery. There is no way anyone can effectively recover from an ED if they are getting validation for being skinny and unrealistically Photoshopped to look like something they're not. So really, in your blind defense of Lauren, you are actually justifying her illness, which is worse than anything I have ever written about her.

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          19. Jackdanielsandfilm.tumblr. has been renamed to ryanconduit.tumblr.com, the name of the photographer.

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          20. I've been following Felice for quite some time and this blog has really illuminated a lot of the things I was able to subtly pick up on. Thank you for taking the time to articulate what a lot of us have been thinking from the beginning.

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            1. Thank you, I really appreciate that!

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          21. I don't understand how people can say she is beautiful looking like that, in the first place.
            There's no SHAPES. It's bones almost poppin out if the skin. There's nothing beautiful about looking that boney. It doesn't look healthy at all, it's looking ill. And no one wanna look ill...unless they ARE mentally ill.
            That's my personal conclusion.
            That gap between the legs...must feel quite horrible for a sexual partner. And also, it looks very weird with a square gap like that. The whole hip area looks square. Very strange. Legs should NOT be that skinny, they do need to fill their function and for that they need more flesh, anyone must understand this...unless they WANT to be bound to a wheelchair, that is.
            Felice Fawn always says that if people get triggered by her, then they need to stop comming to her blog immediately...but what about herself? Obviously she has "thinspiration" (silly word, by the way!) all around her, and she says herself she's still in recovery, so why don't she take her OWN advice if she really wanna become healthy? That is, stop being so obsessive about looks and weight! Stop looking at pictures on internet, in magazines etc. What's the problem???
            I think she's too obsessed with apperance. Vanity got to her, simply. A bad habit she just can't kick, therefore she's still skinny and posting those triggering stupid posing pictures.
            It's quite obvious she is not 100% mentally well either. Schizophrenia might indeed be something else she suffers from, who knows. She did mention she suffers from a few other mental disorders.
            Anyway, I think if everyone just stopped going on her blogs and giving her the attention all the time, she might cool down with her obsessive behavior about this and that.
            Or she should have restrictions and only limited access to internet, as internet seems to trigger HER to open new blogs obsessively, posting pictures of herself posing like an amateur and so on.
            I don't even know why I was checkin her blogs before, it's just waste of time anyway and I gain nothing at all from it, so I will defenitely not support her blogs or give her any of that attention in any way.
            I was never a "fan" or a "follower" of her, and I never even thought she was beautiful. I guess most people follow her cause they like her looks, but I checked her blogs every now and then to see what all the "hype" was about.
            Never understood it. Still don't.
            And this whole satanic/occult/morbid/macabre/death/dark/gloom/black lipstick/inverted crosses/demonic/collar and leash/black lingerine etc etc-phase she's going through is so tiredsome by now and the whole subject is just worn out aswell.
            Nothing is cool about that. Not even original or interesting.
            So no, I've had enough of my share of Felice Fawn for the rest of my days.
            That's my opinion on her and this whole thing.

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            1. Okay, no, body shamer can gtfo.
              "I don't understand how people can say she is beautiful looking like that, in the first place.
              There's no SHAPES. It's bones almost poppin out if the skin. There's nothing beautiful about looking that boney."
              Just stop right now. Look at how you're talking. Did you read this whole article? Are you educated at all on eating disorders? I am so sick of women tearing each other apart over their bodies. Making fun of someone for being thin is just as bad as making fun of someone for being fat. It hurts either way. So many people are hypocrites about that.

              "That gap between the legs...must feel quite horrible for a sexual partner."
              My boyfriend has never complained. Thigh gaps come from bone structure. Some women have wide-set hips and that's where a thigh gap comes from. I have one, not because I'm emaciated or anything, just because of my shape. Either way, your comment was very rude in my opinion.

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          22. All girls and boys out there looking up to the abnormally skinny people in the fashion industry should know this fact: The greater amount of models or skinny people in general are NOT NATURALLY skinny. I know for a fact in the fashion industry the models live on this insane diet of cocaine and often even heroin, diet pills of different kinds and also laxatives, and a teeny tiny bit of actual food. The rest is just pure starvation, and/or obsessive unhealthy exercise. How they can keep up their looks isn't much of a mystery. I'm speaking about trying to cover it all so it's not so apparent that they're not well. They have access to all the make up in the world, fancy clothes, stylists, hairdressers...they just cover it all up in a rather glamorous way, so it all looks good to the masses. But when they remove all the make up and the whole facade, not much remains, but a very visible fact that they're on a very unhealthy and abnormal diet which can even cause their life. All that for vanity, fame and money? Is it worth it?! Anyone with a sane psyche will know the answer to that question.
            In the 80's and early 90's, topmodels were GIVEN cocaine by their model agents in order to stay slim, and also as a "convinient" way to be able to keep the rather dangerous speed of the industry. There's go-see's all day long, shoots here, shoots there, travel all over the world, the tempo is quite insane. And after all that there's parties and after-parties...and so to keep up with it all many models fell victims for drugs aswell. Now, drugs combined with an unhealthy relation to your body and diet will of course have catastrophical consequences in the end. You'll be burning both ends of the candle, so to speak.
            So anyone looking up to this whole fashion industry and the models and all that crazy world should really sit down and consider these facts before they glamorize it. It's a dirty business, run by alot of dirty people. Models get used, set up, sometimes raped, and of course then, the drugs that's always around and the pressure to stay slim and all that...it's not so glamorous as it looks like on the outside.

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          23. Felice is still anorexic.
            Maybe she is recovering, but it seems to me that she likes being that skinny (in a not-so-healthy way).
            So the point is: she is aware of her body, she knows that she triggers other.
            Why keep taking pics of herself like she did in her anonymous journal?
            The truth is (IMHO of course) that she LIKES being used as thinspo.
            She is proud of being so skinny, because a girl ashamed of her body rarely takes that kind of pictures of herself.

            She is TOTALLY free of posting her photos everywhere she likes, but she CAN'T be so hypocrite: she is and she will be forever the ultimate thinspiration.

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          24. Please, please, write an article about her imaginary modelling career, which basically consists in being photographed by friends and doing shoots for free. She said she got scouted by her agency thanks to her Internet popularity, but that's bullshit. We all know she got there through connections.

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          25. I just wanted to say thank you, I recently discovered my friend was a fan of Felice Fawn so I immediately forwarded her to this blog - and immediately she realised the con she had fallen for!
            I would be interested to hear your take on her unprofessionalism (being exposed by Style Noir) or further mistreatment of animals ("rescuing" a wild hedgehog) or her new friendships with underage girls (and illegally supplying them with alcohol)

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          26. Felice will never truly recover the way she's going. If she wants to recover (which I don't think she does) she'll have to get off the internet for a while... This internet-infamy is keeping her from recovery.

            ED = skinny = thinspo = girls thriving to be like her... Which feels good for her.
            Recovery = weight gain = no thinspo = no girls thriving to be like her (although if she DID gain weight and begin recovery, I'm sure she'd get a shitload of support/praise from her followers).

            To be honest I think her online personality has gone too far and until she totally divorces herself from the web, she will be sick.

            It's just sad that once she's older, and no one cares or even knows who she is... She'll still be sick and might think that because she's irrelevant now, her body is all she's worth - nothing matters, as long as she's still thin, everything will be okay...

            That's just my 2 cents.

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            1. I completely and totally agree with you, anon. Well said.

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          27. Thank you for posting this. Thank you. As a gal that has never truly recovered from her ED, thank you. I hope others will take the time to read all of this. I cannot thank you enough.

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          28. i feel sick reading this. its made me realise that felice could so easily be my trigger. after she said - "Blissfully ignorant, chubby and happy.
            In the summer of 2007 I attended Reading Festival with friends. I was 5’6″ at the time, weighing around 160lbs." - i felt so disgusting in myself and found myself thinking back to my old patterns (i used to be bulimic.)
            160lbs is chubby? i'm now 180. how on earth does she think thats going to make people feel by basically calling them fat?
            and always spouting the bullshit how she believes everyone of every size is beautiful. this girl needs to be taken away, if shes able to trigger me, a positive, happy and healthy woman, imagine what shes doing to the 13 yr old fans who want to copy her every move...

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          29. Ha blimey, now I realised she was a dick but blimey she is one slippery sucker. A while back I added her on facebook as I couldn't quite believe how skinny she looked. Her facebook ramblings were a source of amusement, it was evident she was glamourising her quite evident illness, it was also evident how much she placed herself on a pedestal. Just before xmas or new years she posted she was going to take food and gifts to the homeless in Cambridge. I stated that I wouldn't do such a thing, I have my reasons. This then ensued into an attack at me for being a bad person, which was to only highlight how 'kind and generous' she was. It was laughable. Not long after she 'unfriended' me. What a shame. She had alot of 'fans' on there, ready to attack anyone who differed in view, questioned her or said anything that wasn't to her liking. Now indeed she has issues, blimey a hell of alot of issues. But that doesn't give her the excuse to fuck with people whether it be encouraging others to not eat or swindling people for money. As for mental illness, she is more likely a sociopath than a multiple personality disorder type. So look up what a sociopath is and then decide whether you then have any empathy for this 'being'.

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          30. I've been crying while finishing reading this article. I've dealed with anorexia for 10 years and I used to think Felice was doing nothing wrong at all. I admit that I used to see her pictures everyday and hate myself more and more after, but I always thought it was my fault, and I often felt guilty about it, for using a normal recovery girl as inspiration, but I now realise that she was conscious of what she was doing, and even if it wasn't her entire fault, it wasn't only me. I'm scared of her now. I always tried to convice myself there was nothing wrong with what I was doing, but I was getting deeper and deeper into this illness. For so long I was convinced I was trying to recover, but now I realise that maybe I was getting worse and worse and maybe those comment about my weight and how sickly thin I was getting were true but I didn't believe them because I was comparing myself to someone unreal. I don't know what to do now. I'm really scared.

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          31. This article has shocked me through the pictures and logical truth. For so long I wished to emulate Felice, to achieve those thigh gaps and such like. And then so see how edited those photos were, it's a relief, and a stark look how unwell she is. And a damning reflection of myself to ever have believed in her.

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          32. This is a good post, very eye opening. I personally began reading this with the thought of "how can anyone but Felice/Lauren know her reasons behind what she does" but all of this has shown evidence of knowingly doing things that may trigger others. It's not a reason to hate her, and I'm glad you didn't post anything hateful towards her. The best posts are complete facts and totally unbiased. Again, brilliant post.

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          33. I keep thinking again & again about this post. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thorough article.

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          34. I have started recovery from anorexia abut 5 months ago. And Felice has always been a person I sort of 'admired'.

            At the start of recovery I was so sure about doing the right thing, how I'll be happy and comfortable with my body. Now, after I've gained some weight I feel sicker than I was at my lowest weight.I seem to constantly measure the size of my thighs. I keep on looking in the mirror to make sure the thigh gap is still there. It matters to me so much to stay thin and yet be 'recovered'. Just like
            Felice.

            I created this image in my head - it is okay to recover, I can still be thin. I told myself "Look at Felice, she's supposed to be recovered and look how thin she is!". I am just starting to realize that I've been looking up to the wrong person all along. Staying this thin isn't an option when recovering. I know why she takes those intentionally thin-looking photos of herself - she's just as sick as I am. The more the time passes by, the more she feels the need for her bones to be seen. Making her thigh gap look larger is one thing - a perfect example of how disordered her thoughts are. Those things do not make me 'hate her'.

            I pity her.

            The difference between me and her is that I am seeking help because I know I am sick. Of course I want to stay underweight, but it's not an option.

            Felice doesn't seem to be 'brave' enough to seek recovery. Recovery takes a lot of sacrificing and fighting. She is only so obsessed about her look because of this disorder - she is trying to create a false image about how she is eating with 'no regrets' and is having candy and all but it's a lie. Clearly people around her see that she's still very sick? Why does nobody force her into treatment? To me it seems like the only answer could be that nobody honestly loves her and cares.

            I really do feel sorry for Felice Fawn. She is nothing without her skinny-ness. It is why she's got 'fans'. If she really is that confident and happy and enough body positive (since she's walking around in underweare all day) I'd like to see her gain weight - obviously she'd be just as confident if it wasn't only about her skeletal figure, right? Things she says about how 'everyone is beautiful' are bullshit. NO ONE CAN LOVE OTHERS IF HE DOESN'T LOVE HIMSELF FIRST.

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          35. I just read this on her tumblr:
            ''I need to somehow find my way to my mum’s house, but I’m dazed and the room is spinning and I can barely think or see through tears and every move I make brings sickness. It feels as if the world around me is made of paint and someone just threw a glass of water over it and it’s melting around me as I turn in circles desperately trying to find a direction to walk in, but there’s nowhere to go.''
            One has to ask, how exactly could she find the concentration to write such a blog entry if she was dazed and the room was spinning?

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          36. Can I be credited for the "sharpened image" picture? My tumblr moved to kannibullshitv3.tumblr.com

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          37. Brilliant post. You are very articulate and write extremely well. I am not anorexic but stumbled across this post and read through everything. Good on you for taking the time and effort to compile this post. Very eye opening.

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          38. I've just spent the last hour reading this. I came across a photo of "Felice Fawn" that someone had reblogged on my dashboard. I instantly felt horrible about myself. (I am over weight) It wasn't until that picture led me back to her blog (and here) that I realized she was actually an underweight barely recovering anorexic. I felt bad about myself because I didn't have the body of a recovering anorexic. Thank you for sharing your perspective. Lauren really is sick. And i believe that her Tumblr and ultimately her whole image is just a continuation of her private anorexia diaries and thinspiration thinly veiled as a recovery blog. She eats up the fact that people idolize her body. because it feeds her eating disorder. Thank you for saving me before i got blinded by the caricature that is Felice Fawn.

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          39. This post saved me from myself and took me back to reality. Thank you so much, you have no idea what you've done for me <3

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          40. This may be an old article, but I can totally understand everything that you have written. I do not blame Felice at all for my anorexia that has possessed me for the past 2 years, but I used to aspire to be like her a lot. I became engulfed in Tumblr, and it powered my illness. The internet is a dangerous place for anyone, especially teenagers. I wish I had never discovered Felice on Tumblr. Maybe I would have still got unwell even if I had never used Tumblr, but I can't rewind time to find out. I wish everyone on blogging sites would realise how much they are affecting the younger generations with these images. In the 3 admissions I have had to hospital, I have met over 40 11-18 year olds who struggle from eating disorders, and I know that they are serious - and a lot of them flick through magazines and see images like these of Felice that inspire them to lose weight. I wonder if maybe she finds comfort in making other people ill - maybe deep down she thinks that everyone should be as small as her. I don't know, I've never sent her a message, but this gross editing of images is horrible. It is providing an unrealistic body for young women to envy. I really hate to see people struggle around me with food, and I'm now a day patient at a hospital instead of an inpatient, so I have made progress - but I have seen people be in the same hospital for over a year trying to come to terms with healthy lifestyles, something that Felice claims to have but evidently this is false. I really dislike her now, and I'm glad to say that, because it means that she cannot influence me anymore with her unhealthy figure. I will not sink to her level.

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          41. Today was the first time I've ever heard of this skinny girl. Some friend liked her on Facebook and I was shocked.The first thought I had was: "Omg she's soo skinny wtf" this world is just too sad. Everyone seems to admire her for posting "unhealthy pictures of herself" and she is pushing other girls to be "like her". Still don't really understand "WHY" she is told to be beautiful... I really don't think so but it's my point of view I guess...She's even a Satanist (if I'm right) haha, oh well for me she's just a scary, sick women and her "fallowers" aren't better, sadly.
            Thank you for your post! I didn't read the whole thing but most of it! And I think that you're 100% right!

            Have a nice day

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          42. this was a very articulate, well-written article and i appreciate the work you obviously have put into it. i have never followed felicefawn, i didn't even know she existed until today, but i think you've definitely swayed my opinion on the issue. i hope she gets better.
            thanks!

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          43. Dangit... I never saw any of her body pictures, but I fell in love with her face... truly breaks my heart. Thank you for this article.

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          Feel free to say what you want, but know that white-knighting WILL be ridiculed and that I will delete your comments if you behave like a jackass.