“Thinspiration” Can Be Dangerous and Unhealthy

For those of you familiar with the blogging world, specifically my female readers, you may recognize the trending terms “fitspo” and “thinspo.” Such blogs fitting under these categories are comprised of different photograph collages of thin celebrities, fitness encouragements, healthy foods, diet plans and more along those lines. As someone who is health conscious and interested in fitness, I have browsed these websites myself – oblivious to what is now the clear difference between the two. “Fitspo” blogs are a positive form of encouragement to reach weight goals in a healthy manner while “thinspo” is not only negative, but also dangerous to the easily influenced and low self-esteemed.

“Fitspo” stands for fitness inspiration while “thinspo” is short for thin inspiration.  “Fitspo” is trending as a movement focusing primarily on a female audience who wish to lose weight in a healthy manner by dieting and exercising. “Thinspo,” however, is a campaign against being heavy and encouraging starvation strategies and anorexia. These accounts post pictures of young women who are not only thin but skinny enough to where bones are clearly visible through the skin. Recently looking over the Tumblr Thinspo dashboard, I had come across posts that read: “I feel a lot better when I don’t eat,” “I just ate a brownie, if I gain a pound this week I will go into a depression,” “your stomach isn’t grumbling, it’s applauding,” etc. At a glance, it all seemed the same to me: girls who wanted to be thinner. But taking a closer look I realized that these girls have a mental disorder; they have a hunger to be thin and are encouraging one another to reach that goal in whatever desperate attempts they need to get there.

As a woman, I know the pressures constantly thrown at us to be thin. It is everywhere we turn – television, tabloids and magazine racks. And we would like to think that celebrities are excused from these issues with the help of dieticians and personal trainers, however, that is not the case. Kim Kardashian has lately been picked on for her pregnancy weight gain, obviously not taking into consideration that in order for the baby to come out healthy, women gain weight during pregnancy. Why is it that society has become so body obsessed?

Not all women are meant to be a size two and that is something society needs to accept. Wanting to be thin is not a crime – but wanting to do it by hurting oneself is.  One of the posts I came across that specifically jogged my nerves was one that read, “I have the potential to be pretty.” I believe that the terms “pretty,” “attractive” and “sexy” come with many definitions. But “pretty” does not mean bone thin. “Attractive” is NOT starving oneself and “sexy” is not finding new ways to purge after a meal. I do not know who first said that being beautiful meant looking this way or that way, but I do know that I am surrounded by women of all shapes, sizes, skin colors, heights and backgrounds, and each and every one of them are beautiful. I encourage anyone who is striving to lose weight to do it the healthy way by realizing their self-worth and that starving is not the way to go. I sympathize with those suffering from anorexia and bulimia – but a clarification needs to be made. Anorexia and Bulimia are not diet plans, they are mental illnesses and it disgusts me that websites such as the “thinspo” blogs exist encouraging women to use these disorders as weight loss programs. Beauty is a mindset, not a disease. Diseases cannot be used to achieve beauty.