The Many Shapes and Forms of "Thinspo"

While many Pinterst and Rumblr trends come and go others seem to be contagious on the web like the plague.  And while most of us carry and update these sites, like our digital wish list we maintain on our smart phones and ipads, one I have in mind comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s called “thinspiration.”

So what does thinspiration mean exactly? Well, exactly how it sounds.  Combine the words “thin” and “inspiration” and there you have it - “thinspiration.”

An image to inspire health, conscious eating, fitness and ultimately “thiness.”  Any girl (or guy for that matter) who may want to shed those last 5 lbs has no doubt come upon such images wondering if there’s magic that lies beyond the link. Thinspirations seems to come in two different forms. The first is often the image of this doe-eyed, duck face  17 year old girl, dressed down to her underwear, looking at the reflection in a full length mirror, of her exposed mid-drift, as if to say to all viewers “look how hot I am!.” This is an extreme form of “thinspiration.” Though the web caters to such cases of glorified obsessions, providing a way to obessess over and cheer each other on in such dysfunctional ways, as of late Pinterest and Tumblr seems to have made way for a new kind of Thinspo, as the cool kids would call it, a more acceptable approach to inspire.

Now this “Thinspo” is what some would consider a more well-rounded, fitness and overall physical health pursuits. It may often look like the All-American, athletic yet groomed feminine hottie we all want to be. The kind of girl we girls assume the guys love. The kind of girl most girls hate. She’s typically in a deep lunge, covered in sweat, her face radiant and smiling as if someone just informed her she’s been nominated for an Academy Award. The image may even say “ Sweat is your fat crying.” You’ve seen it before. Maybe you’ve repinned it before and there’s no shame in that. Heck, if you know me, you I believe there is no shame in living a healthy lifestyle. But what exactly are we doing by collecting all this “thinspiration” - is it really inspiring us to live thinner and healthier or it’s just feel like we’re healthier? Thinspo may have all the best intentions but what is all this collecting of images, healthy or unhealthy, adding up to?


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