Now more than ever people are obsessed with losing weight and living a healthier life. Every day millions of women are thinking of, working on and talking about weight. To add to the obsession, microblogging social media sites like Pinterest have become a home for women looking to create “thinspiration” boards that encourage eating disorders like anorexia in order to get thin.
Last month, Pinterest, promised to limit the number of photos labeled “thinspiration” posted on pinboards and accompanied by hashtags such as #thinspo or #perfect. The new terms of service prohibit posting content that “creates a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to yourself, to any other person, or to any animal, and went into effect April 6th. The National Eating Disorder Association is helping sites like Pinterest sharpen their thinspo senses so they can more effectively root out some of the better-disguised thinsperation pictures.
While most of the pictures posted on these sites are of and by thin white women, one can’t help but wonder if Black women are partaking in the Thinspo craze. In most minority cultures women with a little meat on their bones are normal and celebrated; we’re used to serious curves and have long defied the rail thin stereotype. However with obesity on the rise and a beauty culture that promotes the standard as a rail thin size zero, many black women are trying more and more to fit the status quo. The curves are no longer “thick” for some, just fat and they would rather look like the women on these thinspiration boards then like the women in their neighborhood. Of course there are no studies, yet, on how many Black women are apart of these boards, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the number was significant.
No one should be overweight, it’s unhealthy and life threatening, but no one should be so unhappy with their body that they resort to eating disorders and unhealthy body images. Thinspo boards, whether used by white, black or green women, are promoting images that can be deadly. Women need to learn how to get fit and healthy without hating their bodies because the first step to getting healthy is learning to love and embrace yourself as is. Media and Thinsp boards be damned.