Sunday, August 13, 2006

“Cathy” Cartoons Implicated in Bulimic “Pro-ana” Rings of Teenage Girls: Parents and School Officials Shocked

A strange and disturbing epidemic has been sweeping the seemingly placid suburban lives of families with young teenage girls who, unbeknownst to their parents, have been indulging in an unusual form of substance abuse in their quest to lose more weight than any of their peers.

In earlier generations, girls would use emetic substances such as Syrup of Ipecac to facilitate the bulimic “binge and purge” behavior, by which girls could appear to be eating regularly to their parents while secretly inducing vomiting later to avoid gaining weight from the healthy meals provided at home.

But today’s parents never suspected that their young daughters’ sudden, and sometimes obsessive, interest in the comic strip “Cathy”, written and drawn by artist Cathy Guisewite, was actually not an interest in the cartoonist’s gentle humor, but a part of a dark and dangerous pursuit of what has become known as the “pro-ana”, or pro-anorexic, lifestyle of these disturbed youngsters.

“I never would have guessed” said Mrs. Mary Postelwaite-Winterbotham, whose two teenage daughters, Muffy and Buffy, were both hospitalized last week suffering from sever malnutrition and dangerously low concentration levels of blood saline.

“I mean, I understand how social pressures can lead a young girl to this sort of extreme dieting,” Mrs. Postelwaite-Winterbotham said, “and had I seen the normal signs; say, empty laxative boxes or bottles of Ipecac around, I might have become suspicious. After all, I used those things myself when I was 14. But this... I never would have guessed in a million years.”

What Mrs. Postelwaite-Winterbotham was referring to is the new and apparently wide-spread behavior of groups of teenage girls getting together, and reading numerous collections of “Cathy” cartoons until the accumulated stress of their stultifying and mind-numbing humorlessness causes them to begin vomiting uncontrollably, purging all food eaten within the past few hours and preventing them from gaining any weight as a result of taking in sustenance.

“Reading “Cathy” has always made me sick” Mrs. Postelwaite-Winterbotham added. “But I guess I never allowed myself to read more than one four-panel strip a day. I should have known that reading pages of it at a time would be enough to make one puke their guts out.”

School official are reporting that they are confiscating library-sized caches of “Cathy” cartoons from students, in an effort to stem the tide of this new and dangerous eating disorder. At Rudolph Valentino High School in the posh Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clitoris, school administrators have reported becoming severely ill just flipping through the pages of confiscated “Cathy” collections.

“I read only three pages of an illegal “Cathy” collection,” said Assistant Principal Hazel Dysworthy, “and I spent the next three days in violent gastric distress. This is a dangerous substance these kids are abusing.”

Muffy Postelwaite-Winterbotham, speaking from her sickbed at the private Pee Wee Herman Rehabilitation Clinic, summed it up this way:

“It started out as just an easy way to purge dinner. But soon we were reading “Cathy” day and night, and making ourselves so sick that we couldn’t even drink water. It sneaks up on you. First you throw up a few times from three or four “Cathy can’t make up her mind” strips, and the next thing you know, you’re going for the heavy stuff: Sunday color spreads that have you barfing before you even finish the first two panels.”

When asked what parents can do to prevent their children from experiencing what she has gone through, her answer was simple:

“Find every Cathy cartoon and book in the house,” she said dismally, “and burn them. Burn them all.”

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker