It’s March. It’s hard not to realize that bikini season is just around the corner. Being internet-reliant, I decided to do some searches of ways to get bikini-ready for a summer at the Sandbanks. Not unsurprisingly, I came across www.prettythin.com , a site that boasts daily “Thinspiration” and anorexia support. I was instantly appalled.
Within the blogosphere are numerous ana/mia blogs, that is, pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia blogs. While the occurrence of these blogs alone are worrisome, what is moreso is the inclusion and reliance upon ‘thinspiration’. Thinspiration can include images and mantras that inspire one to be thin, and they are abundant. While I will not claim to be immune to wishing I had a certain celebrity’s body, I pride myself on being ‘thinspired’ by women with more womanly shapes, such as Scarlett Johanssen. The role models displayed on these blogs are the likes of MaryKate & Ashley Olsen, Nicole Ritchie (in her pre-baby days), & Lindsay Lohan. The introduction to one such website reads, “Welcome! my website was initially created for those in need of thinspiration! however, now it has built up a support network full of people in the same situation as you and me! when i was younger, i was always told of how anorexia was a “mental illness” and that it was a hideous one at that! Now that i have it, i dont see it as a mental illness…”
The featured pic of the week?:
While I am all for supporting others in similar situations, I am of the ‘constructive’ persuasion rather than the ‘destructive’ one. Instead of helping each other to get well, anorexic and bulimic individuals rely on these images and the egging on of one another to encourage themselves to get thinner. Celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Ritchie are being celebrated for their bones, rather than berated and encouraged to eat more and get healthier. With the prevalence of not only these images on the web but also their overt use as ‘thinspiration’, it is not difficult to instantly feel obese. Viewing an image of an 80-pound, 20+year old woman is detrimental to women of all ages, as, like Barbie, they seem to exemplify what the ideal woman is in today’s society. Rather than seeing comments which frown upon such thinness, commenters extoll the virtues of seeing an extra rib, knobbier knees, a prominent clavicle. Bones are not beautiful, muscle and a shape other than ‘straight’ are. It is hard to see these images and not want to save both the girls in them and the ones viewing them from a lifetime of body image issues.
Where are the reciprocal blogs offering photos such as the one below of Mia Tyler? This woman is clearly happy, confident, and a normal, healthy size. Let’s get positive and make this our inspiration, rather than bones.