Why Thinspiration Gets Under My Skin

Let’s talk about Thinspiration. And #fitspo #fitblr and other such nonsense.

9326646_largeHealth is incredibly important. It’s important to put emphasis on eating good food and exercising and generally enjoying the great things that life has to offer, because you – yes, you – deserve the absolute best and all the happiness in the world. And if you’re happy as you are, that’s great. If you want to exercise a little bit more and eat a tad healthier, that’s great too. But let’s get one thing straight: thinspiration/fitspo/fitblr is terrible motivation for this.

Why? Let us count the reasons:

  1. The girls you see in the photos are unrealistic.
  2. The girls you see in the photos all have similar body types. There is little diversity, if any at all.
  3. The girls you see in the before and after photos may not even be the same person, and on some occasions are not, giving women unrealistic expectations of themselves 

In addition, many of the pictures you see of the young women are hyper-sexualized and can be incredibly damaging to the body image of young girls. Yes, there are some photos that really are inspirational, of girls who are slowly but steadily making progress and working their asses off to change their lives and improve their health. I’m not talking about those women. Hats off to them for portraying realistic photos of their progress.

However, the other photos of women are not doing anyone any favors. There are the smatterings of before and after pictures that show a huge difference. But most of the Thinspiration photos I’m talking about are just a photo (or two that have been put together) that show unnaturally skinny girls in provocative poses, which perpetuates our sexualized culture.

This is not what we should be seeing. Specifically, this is not what younger girls should be seeing as ideal bodies. And because a majority of thinspiration and fitspiration pictures are the unrealistic ones, it leads us to believe that more and more women are achieving the ‘ideal’, which isn’t true. This is not the motivation we need to lead happy and healthy lives. We need to see real women making real progress.

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