The Chive is the internet's home for all things "awesome" and "mind-blowing," a sort of Total Frat Move/BuzzFeed mashup focusing on gifs, girls in bikinis and whatever other #viral #content they can scrape off the floor of the web and (barely) repackage into an article. And that, apparently, is how they came to use a photo of a woman in the depths of anorexia for a post about "amazing" weight loss "transformations."
Four days ago, Anne Marie Sengillo, who sometimes uses the Reddit name IanSomerhaldersBitch, posted a photo album on a subreddit called R/ProgressPics. ProgressPics is usually used by people who want to show off their photos of weight loss or ab gain, but Sengillo wanted show her recovery from an eating disorder. She's been in recovery for a year, after seven years of struggle and nearly $50,000 in medical debt.
The album's purpose is clearly identified in the title of the post, and the photos are interspersed with thoughtful text about how other major stressors in her life aggravated her eating disorder.
But The Chive's Mac Faulkner, one of the site's senior writers and editors, seems to have been really inspired by Sengillo's tale of dipping down to 90 pounds through anguished crash dieting in college. He used a photo of her at her sickest next to a photo of her pre-eating disorder for a post called "These weight loss transformations are amazing."
Here's a screenshot of Sengillo's photos in the post, which appear to have been removed this morning. (The headline still reads "28 photos" even though there are now 27.)
Sengillo contacted Jezebel this morning and gave us permission to use her real name. She calls the Chive's post "sickening."
"I posted my photos to give hope to others who may have body image issues," she writes in an email. "But The Chive is using my anorexic photo as thinspiration. My transformation from 150lbs to 70 and then 90lbs is NOT something I want anyone to see and think 'Wow! I want to look like her!'" In the second photo, she adds, " I was very sick. I exercised for 4-5 hours a day and ate less than 800 calories."
We contacted Faulkner for comment (via Twitter, since he lists no other contact information) and will update if we hear back.
Screenshots via The Chive