How TikTok's Recovery Community is Rejecting Triggering Pro-Ana Content

February 2021

Hi X,

I hope you are doing ok! We haven’t worked together before, so hi, I’m a freelance writer based in London. You can look at more of my work here.

The pitch:

Following the news that TikTok is partnering with eating disorder recovery experts to direct users to support when they search #edrecovery and #proana, I have a pitch for I-D.

While we know that pro-ana content has found a home on TikTok, there is a rising number of UK teens using the platform to share their recovery journeys. These accounts share an unfiltered view into life as someone in ‘all in recovery’ (which means you are actively involved in a bulimia or anorexia treatment program), with videos such as ‘what I eat in a day’ and ‘fear food’ challenges. They also address myths around the illnesses and go live on the app to invite people to eat with them. This community is a balm for countless young people, like myself, who have previously been triggered by harmful content on the app.

The edrecovery hashtag, which has 1.6bn views, is crucial for young viewers facing harmful weight loss and starvation content. I wish I could have had this when I began my recovery.

For this piece, I would talk to the owners of accounts such as X, X, X and X about why they started the accounts and what the experience has been like. Equally, I could talk to people in eating disorder recovery to ask what seeing this content means to them.

Happy to talk through this further, and keen to hear your thoughts!

All the best,