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?