I’m not going to beat around the bush. I am a small person. I am naturally lightly underweight. No matter what I ate, my weight would never fluctuate much. Until recently. I’m not saying that I have weight issues, but rather, what used to be tight is not so much anymore. Even the thinnest of women can see this as they age. My body just doesn’t work as hard anymore, or it might be the fact that my job doesn’t require as much exercise as running to class on campus did. Now I am joining the ranks of women who have belly flab. Yes, I have belly flab. If you don’t believe me you can pop me a mail 😉
Now for the serious. Last week I discovered something, cruel, disgusting and scary. The Thinspo hashtag on Pinterest and Tumblr. I’ve become accustomed to following a fitspo hashtag. Basically, it’s ‘fit inspiration’ this hashtag was full of toned women, and healthy recipes along with exercises. Women and girls created blogs along this theme tracking their developments, routines and just supporting each other. It was great for me, all I really want to do is tone my body.
The Thinspo hashtag on the other hand, is women and girls posting openly about their need to be thin and their eating disorders. it is actually associated with the pro-ana hashtag, which is ‘pro anorexia’. My heart sank a little when I saw that. Eating disorders are incredibly dangerous and women need to speak to professionals, not the internet. The worst thing about this is that they are getting support from other girls when posting. A girl posted that she would go on a 2 day fast if she got more followers. People followed her, she posted about her fast, openly. There’s also a large number of images with disgusting mottos printed in cutesy text.
My heart sank more and more the further I got into it. Eating disorders are not something you should be comfortable sharing. The pictures basically provide the support and fuel these girls need to continue. Instead of helpful support and ways to help them deal with their issues healthily, the images glorify stick-thin women with bones everywhere. They post personal things, how big their thigh gap is, how bad they felt when they ‘pigged out’. I felt like I was reading someone’s journal, someone I could identify with, I could see how hard they were trying.
The next thing I thought about, is how has no one reported this? Well, it has caught quite a bit of attention. When you search certain thinspo and pro-ana terms, Pinterest gives you this warning. Why not remove the pictures altogether?? Our society is so conscious about portraying ‘real women’ in magazines and every time a thinner model makes an appearance it is shouted about till the cows come home, but this is not spoken about? Some of the images include references to cutting and this just makes eating disorders seem acceptable and it really is not.