The #Thinspo Controversy Continues on Social Media.. Who's at Fault?
Chances are if you are under 25, a model, a celebrity, a TV broadcast journalist or someone who makes his or her living before a camera, you understand and embrace the power, beauty and grace prized in a slender, uber thin appearance. Your sleek, beautiful body offers confidence and sex appeal. But what you have to do to achieve and maintain the uber skinny image that dominates visual media land is problematic. Certainly you curtail your food intake, you workout routinely and throw up if you have to eat. Just joking. Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia) and drug use (including prescription drugs) flourish in celebrity land even amongst men; and not even their agents know for sure how they are staying THAT trim once they are beyond the age of 45-55.
If you're a non-celebrity and a young woman concerned about your physical appearance, you may turn to a community of like-minded females who inspire you and spur you on to lose that extra 20 pounds or continue with that extraordinarily rigorous exercise plan. And why not seek their help? There's a mega reward at the end of the rainbow of grueling effort and continual hunger pangs. You look fabulous. You fit in. You look rich. It is then when you turn to your friends who have inspired your efforts with their #thinspo pictures and you post your own. And you make sure to post photos that are enviable and will make guys drool all over themselves with as much flesh showing as is decent. And where may we find you my beauty? Any social media site which allows the hashtag #Thin spo, #thinspo or #thinspiration.The only problem is that the eating disordered populate these #thinspo sites and use them as their visual mantra of legitimacy, though in many instances, their postings are cries for help on the downhill slide of self-harm.
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With the exception of two sites which have supposedly instituted bans to discourage self-destructive behaviors, Pinterest and Tumblr, young women use Facebook, Flickr, Twitter to post their pro-anorexic, ana (for anorexic) pictures. They usually post themselves neck down, but sometimes post an entire body shot, and they post celebrities or models in bikinis or flesh showing outfits. As a continued inspiration toward what can happen if "one lets themselves go," they post pictures of women neck down whose bodies are boiling over with rolls of fat accompanied with snarky commentary. And they post photos of delicious looking highly caloric foods. One Pinterest section has 3 photos of a beautifully decorated cake which probably would be more appropriate on a food or recipe page. But the reminder is if you eat it, fat will come.