If you haven’t heard of the thinspo revolution that is sweeping online communities, allow me to update you. The thinspiration community – those who carry the idea of inspiring to be incredibly thin (but not necessarily healthy), has been all over the web recently posting images of insanely skinny women. This ordinarily wouldn’t be so disgruntling, but by promoting their vision of a post-fat world, they are also attacking anyone who is overweight. Hell, anyone who seems to where above a size 0.

Image hosting sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest have created campaigns to bar thinspiration content. Pinterest even updated its site to ban any content that “actively promotes or glorifies self-injury or self-harm.”

Yet sites such as Skinny Gossip, just one of the many “thinspiration” sites, boasts that being thin is beautiful and people should proudly show off their thinness. The problem lies in the fine print. Sites like these often straddle the line between promoting eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia as ways to go about achieving that size. One of the writers for the site, who goes under the title of “Skinny Girl,” expresses her view on being thin in a society that praises plus size or overweight women,

“I know it sounds weird in a world where we hear about “pressure to be thin,” but sometimes it feels like if you are thin – whether naturally or as a result of your daily choices – there is pressure not just to eat, but to overeat.” She writes. “And those of us who want to be thin – or need to be for our career – need ways to deal with that.”

She goes onto say that there is a double standard,

“I have had my own issues around food and eating, both personally and in my family, and obviously they have found their way into my writing here. I realize I haven’t always been great at knowing where the line is. But again there is a terrible double-standard: “big beautiful women” sites on which people exchange recipes for 4,000-calorie cheesecakes don’t seem to unnerve the social critics the same way we do. I’ll leave it to smarter people to figure out why.”

What do you think? Do images promoting being thin promote unhealthy behavior, or should one proudly post #thinspo pictures?

around the web


  1. No this is just PR for Tumblr and Pinterest, both of whom, regardless of their public stances, enjoy the traffic from said sites. C’mon now. We all now should know eating disorders are still seen as diseases peculiar to pretty young white women, which perhaps explains why years of “awareness raising” have led to a great deal of glamour and mystery surrounding this deadliest of mental illnesses and precious little understanding. After thousands of histrionic articles conveniently illustrated with pictures of half-naked models looking upset, the number of people with eating disorders is still rising, and we are no closer to solving one of the great mysteries of modern life – namely, why so many of our brightest and best young people are starving themselves slowly to death.

  2. Thinspiration blogs are the devil disguised as motivation

  3. I prefer Fitspo because it promotes healthly life choices as opposed to an exacty ideal size.

  4. I don’t think this is mainly a “pretty young white women” problem. There are black women that suffer from eating disorders as well. The Thinspo sites are …..horrifying? I read some of the comments and was so upset with the “fat” bashing. Rhianna fat? Hayden Panettiere fat?

    I understand the want to be thin or fit. I even understand the reason they have Thinspo and Fitspo boards but there’s a dangerous line that’s being crossed. Women are leading unhealthy lifestyles while they are striving for these (sometimes unattainable) results.

    Every BODY is not the same. People think if you just eat less and workout more automatically you will be thin. While I can lose weight and get a flat stomach, no exercise or diet in the world will get rid of these hips. According to some people though, I would be fat because I don’t fit in with any of the women in the Thinspo board. And it makes me sad that people think this way. This thinking is harmful and destructive.

  5. These sites are crazy and everyone should embrace their bodies, beautiful comes in more than one shape and size. I have always been very thin and people love to say “eat a sandwich” or ” you must have an eating disorder” it’s not okay to tell people regardless of their size all of your opinions about their body. There isn’t anything wrong with being thin but it certainly shouldn’t be a goal. All of our goals should be health.

  6. yes i to like fit spo over thin spo if your to delusional to think you can easily shed the pound’s to become thin you are deluded indeed

  7. Disordered eating and harmful health habits, extreme exercise, severe deprivation and denial….. the notion a person must control and manipulate their body at the expense of everything else are NOT merely the world of young girls (white? My gosh, its not racial nor culturally limited) this crap often begins befire age 9 and can continue well past 30, 40 years if age. It can begin any time, lay dormant in “recovery”, resurface later. Everyone would be stunned at the women over 40 who are “masters” at this. And knowing thinspo is twisted, is screwing up our daughters, makes it no less desired and pursued.

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