Thinspiration: is it the right message? - The Ionian : Features

Thinspiration: is it the right message?

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Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 5:46 pm

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” This saying is emblazoned on the back of many girls’ minds.

It is part of a new trend that is becoming more prominent: ‘thinspiration.’

Due to increased social media outlets, there have been an overwhelming number of people attempting to aspire to thinness through ‘thinspiration.’ It involves pictures and sayings to inspire women to reach to their goal weight or, more commonly, to be as thin as possible.

There are many different blogs, Tumblrs and Pinterest boards dedicated to this lifestyle with pictures of models and celebrities with ‘perfect’ bodies, workout and eating tips, and workout playlists.

This may appear harmless on the surface, but some of these blogs and websites take the meaning of healthy living out of context.

One blog has a list of reasons ‘not to get fat’ with pictures of very overweight women in bikinis, and citing motivations for thinness such as, “Don’t get fat because airlines will charge you extra money.”

Another blog has the motto “Get Skinny or Die Trying.” These blogs dedicated to providing inspiration for thinness have eliminated all routes through healthy living, and look towards a desperate and negative road to achieving the “perfect body.”

Yet in this movement, perfect is defined as emaciated- the pictures on these blogs feature girls so rail thin, their bones are visible. This is thought of as the ideal.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy; in a country where more than one-third of adults are obese, being healthy should be everyone’s goal- not thinness.

To some people, ‘thinspiration’ is not always a negative lifestyle. Some blogs put a positive spin on this term and take pride in losing weight the healthy way. This is often called ‘fitspiration.’

“I think that thinspiration is motivational when you’re in the correct mindset,” said junior Alana Keeley.

Even though ‘thinspo’ can have a positive definition, there are two terms that will never be good: those are “ProAna”/pro-anorexia and “ProMia”/pro-bulimia.

ProAna and ProMia are advocating anorexia and bulimia as a means to thinness.

The people who follow these lifestyles think having an eating disorder is okay and useful—often encouraging girls to develop one in order to get to their goal weight.

The posts on these sites feature the ProAna girls explaining how they didn’t eat at all that day, and then searching through support from fellow ProAna followers in their quest for thinness through starvation.

Many of the ProAna women describe how they get themselves down to negative calories by only eating minimum amounts of food and then burning up to 1000 calories by profusely working out.

“Pro Ana Lifestyle,” a blog, has a banner that says: “Anorexia is not a disease, it’s a lifestyle.”

With one in 200 women suffering from anorexia and three in 100 suffering from bulimia, eating disorders are a still a significant disease.

ProAna and ProMia are issues not a lot of people are aware of; if you don’t frequent sites like Tumblr or Blogger, you are probably not in the know about the huge eating disorder epidemic that is happening around the world.

There is so much pressure on young women to be skinny that it is taking a toll on a lot of women’s mental states, therefore developing a theory that the only way to live as a “skinny girl” is to have anorexia or bulimia.

Eating disorders should never be the answer, and if you or a friend is suffering from one, know that there are better ways to live and there is always someone willing to help you. For help, go to nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-help-today.

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