From: Wyatt Duval <email@example.com>
Subject: Thinspirational Communications
Date: Sept. 22, 20** 5:15:04 PM EDT
To: Diversified Solutions Staff
To: All DSI Employees
From: Wyatt Duvall, Director of Guerrilla Marketing
Once again, I am pleased to announce the launch of a successful Disinformation Campaign and applaud the efforts of our hard-working staff.
Thanks are in order to Megan Trudeau, Scott Tomlinson, and Tori Yamaguchi of Team Teen Trauma. As many of you are aware, Team Teen Trauma has been hard at work creating a new internet hoax and urban legend. With much sincerity and perhaps a little bit of restraint, what they have accomplished is truly a masterwork that will be thinspiration for you all. It really is impossible for me to stop from praising this project.
While we have been successful as of late targeting the 35-55 year old demographic, with a portion of the 18-25 and 25-35 year-old new-mother demographic, Meagan, Scott, and Tori have given us a foothold in a market that has long alluded us — the 12-14-, 15-18-year-old markets. While past attempts to create a boy band failed to capture this market, this time we have undoubtedly succeeded. (R.I.P. Chance Cage. You were a loyal member of the Diversified Solutions team. You have finally escaped the nightmare of life, although few would have expected you to find your freedom by falling into a vat of Astroglide.)
On Dec. 26, 20**, Team Teen Trauma released the first wave of the Pro-Anorexia/Pro-Bulimia websites. The success of this first wave has been truly phenomenal. In fact, the Pro-Ana movement — without the benefit of either the second or third waves of Operation Binge, Purge, and Purchase — has become a something of a phenomenon, spawning hundreds of copycat sites and newsgroups. With that said, what lessons can we learn from Team Teen Trauma’s success?
- Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket: Team Teen Trauma launched the Pro-Ana Movement, not through the creation of one single site, but through the launch of several sites. While all the sites use similar content, each site presents the content in a unique manner. The benefits of this are threefold: 1. Reusing such content saves valuable time and creative energy on the part of the Disinformation Specialist. 2. Because the content is presented in various ways and in different capacities and frequencies on the individual sites, the Disinformation Specialist is better able to create a sense that a movement is taking place, thereby giving the “host” an additional incentive to join the movement. 3. The fact that similar, if not identical content is presented, creates the sense of uniformity, that by joining the Pro-Ana movement, an aspiring teen anorexic or bulimic feels as if they are joining a tempered and disciplined unit; they are part of something greater than their individual selves, and it is the easier for them to follow the examples of a unified group — although such unification is perceived not actual — than an individual person. Some of the content on these sites are: 1. Diet tips 2. Disclaimers 3. Lyrics to popular songs and passages from popular Young Adult novels in which a supernaturally blessed heroine has to decide which werewolf to take to the prom. 4. Images 5.) Journals. For an example of the similar nature of these sites see:
- A Broken Link is Sometimes Better Than a Live Link: While a web site is general criticized for listing broken links, i.e. links that go to pages that no longer exist or perhaps to pages that are under construction, Team Teen Trauma theorized that, if used properly, broken links and pages are under construction can magnify the size of a movement without increasing the workload of Disinformation Specialists. A broken link makes a non-existent site existent. This is a timesaving and cost-effective technique for increasing the impact of your Disinformation Campaign. See the Pro-Ana links on these pages:
- Be Creative. Be Shocking. Be Thinspirational: Team Teen Trauma also theorized that anorexic teens would be attracted and inspired by graphic images of anorexics and bulimics at their most grotesque and shocking. Once again, the gamble paid off. (Note: Congratulations are also in order for the creation of the term, “thinspiration.” Megan tells me it was Tori that came up with the term, but Tori, in her characteristic modesty, refuses to take credit for it and instead says that it was all a group effort. Tori is an example of the type of team player we need around here. We all can learn something from her.)
- The Way to a Teenage Girl’s Heart is Through a Diary: Several of these sites have online journal entries, some of which number in the hundreds. Not only does this further create a sense of reality but the sheer emotional nature of these entries also serves as a type of emotional quicksand that sucks in the young girl reading it. Although she may never have aspired to be an anorexic in the past, perhaps after reading the struggles of another, and desiring to test herself, to somehow make her life meaningful through suffering, the child will now begin the process of self-starvation (Once again, journal entries can be reused time and time again and from site to site with only simple alterations of phrases and words). For examples of journals see: