Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

From Thinspo to Fitspiration: How Social Media Could Be Affecting Your Body Image

32 Comments

Girl refusing to eat
Photo Credit

From controversially thin models to the photo retouching used frequently in print ads, the fashion industry is not exactly known for promoting a positive body image for women. In turn, this has led to many efforts, like the Seventeen Body Peace Treaty, to combat these negative messages. This advocacy for body acceptance among women is fantastic and, needless to say, it’s about time!

However, is the fashion industry the only culprit for promoting unachievable body perfection? With social media platforms like Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allowing users to share images and ideas at a whim, it’s possible that everyday users like you and me could be causing the most harm to our own body image.

Below, I will touch on some of the growing concerns about different social media platforms, and the effects they could be having on your body image:

Tumblr

Girl measuring waist
Photo Credit

On Tumblr, users can find images by searching for tags (keywords that describe the image), which makes finding specific types of photos easy. However, some argue that this tagging system could be detrimental to young girls’ body images. Healthy is the New Skinny explains,

“By searching terms like ‘thinspo’ (short for ‘thinspiration’ or thin inspiration) or ‘proana/promia’ (short for pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia) girls can be overwhelmed with images of too thin models, fasting and purging updates, and promotion of a negative body image.”

Some bloggers use Tumblr exclusively to promote extreme thinness and to motivate themselves and others to achieve unhealthy weights. It is not uncommon to find a Tumblr blog with entries promoting anorexia, bulimia, and other harmful body disorders.

These blogs are often diary-like, thus giving readers very personal insights into the life of a girl struggling to be slim. The Huffington Post interviewed some of the girls that operate Tumblr “thinspo” blogs and here is what one of the girls, Anonia, had to say, about the photos she blogs:

“They look so confident and we can see their bones through their skin. It’s the most beautiful thing ever. I also like tips about food or how to ignore hunger.”

Strong advocates of Tumblr often praise the site for providing teens with a safe online community to cope with their real-life problems. However, there has been growing concern about Tumblr blogs that promote a negative body image and eating disorders.

In fact, last year Tumblr announced that it would no longer allow users to post content that promotes self-harm and that the site would show public service announcements when users searched for potentially harmful tags such as “pro-ana.” It seems as though this would be the perfect solution to this harmful behavior, however, a quick search on Tumblr proves that these blogs are still around and thriving.

Pinterest

Pinterest fitspiration example
Photo Credit

Relatively new to the social media game, Pinterest is the most recent social media platform that has been subject to controversy regarding users promoting an unhealthy body image. While Pinterest also has a problem with users pinning thinspiration, it has recently become controversial for a new phenomenon: fitspiration.

Fitspiration (fitness+ inspiration) are images of women engaged in a fitness activity and are usually accompanied by a motivational saying. The purpose of these images is to motivate the poster to pursue a healthier lifestyle or inspire them to work out in order to achieve a more fit body. So, what’s the big deal?

Well, some argue that fitspiration is just thinspiration with the facade of a healthy lifestyle thrown in. Fox News Magazine explains that the main problem with these images is that they still tell women there is only one kind of body that should be valued, which can be dangerous. Additionally, these images can also fuel an obsession with one’s body, which can lead to the same type of problems facing the promoters of pro-ana and thinspo images.

On the other hand, some argue that not all fitspiration promotes a negative body image. Everyday Feminism explains that there are different types of fitspiration and good fitspiration can motivate women to pursue a healthy lifestyle and actually achieve body peace.

Facebook

Browsing facebook
Photo Credit

Facebook is different from Tumblr and Pinterest because its controversy stems from users comparing their bodies to others and thus developing feelings of inadequacy. As explained by Forbes, a study surveying 600 Facebook users showed that over half admitted that while browsing photos on Facebook they compared themselves to others and felt self-conscious about their own bodiesAn article by CNN even questions whether or not Facebook has become an “encyclopedia of beauty.”

The problematic aspect of Facebook is that, in general, the photos making people feel insecure are of people they know. This is a stark difference from the edited ads of fashion magazines, the professional fitness women of Pinterest, and the Tumblr pictures of women you have never met. Because of this, it’s possible that Facebook fosters a sense of competition among women and friends, and can have the same negative effects as Tumblr and Pinterest on a woman’s body image.

Your Thoughts?

This is a controversial issue that can only be solved by encouraging open dialogue among women. And, what better place than here at College Fashion? I encourage you to click the links in the post and read more information on this growing problem. In the meantime, here is some food for thought:

  • Even if all the harmful blogs could be eliminated from Tumblr, would that really change the mindset of the girls promoting this behavior? What’s stopping them from moving to the next social media platform with more lenient content rules?
  • Is Pinterest “fitspiration” a spin off of the more harmful “thinspo” trend, or does it simply motivate women to pursue a healthy lifestyle?
  • Do you think Facebook fosters a sense of competition by allowing people to stalk photos and constantly compare their looks against others? Do Facebook users encourage this behavior?
  • Can anything be done about these problems and should anything even be done at all?  If so, what?

We want to know your thoughts on this issue! Leave your opinions in the comment section and let’s start a conversation about this growing controversy.

Posted on on July 27, 2013 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , , , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

32 Responses to “From Thinspo to Fitspiration: How Social Media Could Be Affecting Your Body Image”

  1. 1
    July 27th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    They should also include your old yearbooks. As a girl who’s been curvy since she was 8, i’ve had 9 years of looking at yearbooks and thinking how different the others looked from me. Sometimes the most innocent things can be dangerous. I know a girl who almost died from anorexia. She got it from her old yearbooks.

  2. 2
    July 27th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I have experienced the fitspo on pinterest and it really did motivate and encourage me to live a healthier lifestyle. In most cases they even promote taking “cheat days” where you don’t watch what you eat at all. Other blogs talk about specific body types and the best fitness plans for them so i dont believe it promote just one type of “perfect” body. Personally, I did not become overly obsessed with working out/eating healthy. I actually fell off the wagon quite a few times as is the case with many other women ive talked to. I believe fitspo just encourages you to be a better you and to get back up every time you fall down.

  3. 3
    July 27th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I think that we could say that anything could cause women to compare their looks to others. I think that walking down the street and spotting someone who has a nice body could cause you to feel self conscious. Women just need more self empowerment and need sources or inspiration to feel proud of what they have.
    By trying to eliminate blogs or anything that someone might find offensive or promote unhealthy behavior would limit people’s freedom of speech. I think that the thin-spo blogs and other things are awful and I think that women need to be able to say they don’t want to see that and that they are proud of their bodies.
    Fitspiration is simply a way to motivate ourselves to become more healthy and get into better shape. Our doctors can tell us we need to get healthy, but we can’t strive for it ourselves?

  4. 4
    July 27th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I’ve definitely seen fitspo gear off into the unhealthy. If you google-image the word, you’ll see a bit of it. Notice the odd emphasis on skinny, pretty women posing half-naked, often sexualized. It’s another unrealistic, unattainable body. I have friends who are down on themselves because, after working out and dieting, they still don’t look like that. So obviously they need to lose another 15 lbs. Then their lives will be better!

    Sums it up: http://www.liberonetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Fitness-is-about-health.jpg

  5. 5
    July 27th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    http://www.liberonetwork.com/why-fitspiration-has-nothing-to-do-with-fitness

    “I’m concerned that people are now using mainly unachievable and unsustainable aesthetics as their motivation for exercising. What happens if they never reach their desired body shape/size? Do they give up exercise, thinking they’ve failed? What about the other mental, physical and emotional benefits of exercise that are healthy and realistic goals for each and every person? It’s much more realistic and helpful to set fitness goals that actually relate to fitness.”

  6. 6
    July 27th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    As a recovered anorexia-patient I find these phenomena very conserning. It is easy for girls and boys who are suffering from eating disorders or other kinds of self image problems to find tips about how to supress hunger, hide problems for their parents and even how to vomit or which diet/lax pills to use. They form a community because they feel the need to be understood but they pressure eachother to lose weight, exercise in away that is unhealthy. I believe these sites need to be monitored and deleted by facebook, pinterest, tumblr and other companys. I have friends on facebook who post these fitspo and even after years of being stabile and healthy these pictures and quotes are very triggering, I can imagine young girls and boys becoming even more insecure if they see their friend sharing these photos.

  7. 7
    July 27th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I’m sorry but there is an entire area of Tumblr devoted to health and fitness. These blogs condemn “thinspo” and “pro-ED” blogs and focus on eating healthy and working out (always in moderation too). It’s extremely motivating and I’ve learned so much about nutrition and fitness, which helped me lose 45 lbs since January the healthy way (I went from 177 to 130, I also suffered from bulimia for 4 years prior to ever going on tumblr, and the support from the tumblr community has aided me immensely in my recovery) I NEVER starve myself, I actually eat like 6-7 times a day, but I focus on eating REAL food instead of junk. And yes I’ve seen plenty of blogs promoting eating disorders, but those blogs are just a small piece to a much larger puzzle. For the first time in my life I can honestly say I love my body, and trust me it is still far from perfect, but the body-positive messages that many blogs promote has certainly helped with that.

  8. 8
    July 27th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I think it is a little unfair to put the blame for this on social media sites. It seems to be a problem with society – encouraged by Hollywood and the fashion industry – that is reflected by these sites. These sites may be making us aware of the problems that exist, but I don’t think they are the root cause.

  9. 9
    July 27th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Thinspiration honestly scares me, as does shaming (fat shaming, thin shaming, slut shaming….if you find the need to try to regulate other women or even men’s bodies, then there is something very, very wrong with the situation at hand).

    Fitspiration, on the other hand…if your objective is to look thinner/sexier/drop a size, I’m not a fan personally but it’s your choice (and a good one, if you are concerned about health or just like to work-out!). As a practitioner of stage combat (and let me tell you, what a hell of a work out it is!), I personally have a pinterest page devoted to strong women capable of fighting and they are my inspiration.

  10. 10
    July 27th, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I am scared and angry when I see thinspo.
    In some ways the Internet is marvelous for people with poor mental health. It connects us is ways that would be impossible otherwise. It’s a reminder that you are not alone in whatever struggle you’re facing. I’m part of an ED recovery support group on FB and that community is uplifting and inspiring and beautiful. But when people use it to share ED “tips and tricks,” et cetera, I’m appalled. I think it’s morally reprehensible and anyone who is producing material like that must be conscience-less. It’s like you are drowning, so you decide to grab someone’s leg and pull her under with you.

  11. 11
    July 27th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Tumblr is actually a very safe and supportive place and a majority of blogs promote loving yourself and your body no matter what shape or size you are. The thinspo and pro-ed blogs are a very small part of Tumblr. It’s not fair to condemn all of Tumblr, a community of bloggers from all over the world, for messages a small portion of blogs portray

  12. 12
    July 27th, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve been running a fitspo blog for the past three years and it’s more to motivate myself to keep working out and staying healthy, but other people who want to be healthy follow me as well. It’s mostly motivational quotes, exercises, and nutritional information on there. I can honestly say that my blog does not idolize a certain body type because it really does differ between people. I’ve always been pretty active (I have the blog because I still need my motivation!) and I’m still curvy. I’ve got thighs, belly fat, all that, and I really don’t care. I wouldn’t want it any other way. What I care about is my health. Yes I’ve seen thinspos all over tumblr as well as “fitblrs” with pictures of impossibly fit women, but not all of them are like that!

  13. 13
    July 27th, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    This is actually pretty harmful for guys as well, as it has been metioned, society, Hollywood and the media publicize ‘buffed’ or ‘toned’ bodies as the best or most accepted, and it’s pretty harsh for them as well.

    I would really like to know of these health promotig tumblr blogs you mentioned, if you could share them it would be very appreciated. :)

  14. 14
    July 27th, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I think as women of any age everyday in eveery kind of plataform we are told wht is lady like and perfect, we re told that if u are not this you are nothing. But how do we change it? I personally think it starts with ur family and yourself. Having a positive outlook on life and putting yourself out there and being confident whicever way you look will win in the long run. The problem is tht not everyone will use fitspo for healthy inspiration, too much of a good thing is bad. So exersice, love your body, and wncourage your friwnds and family wih positive comments only that can begin to have an impact. As social media is concern one chooses what to see, so look at things that make you happy not makes you feel worst. Lastly its a good thing to remember that before ypu can love anyone else you have to learn to love yourself and we can encourage one another to embrace our uniqueness :)

  15. 15
    July 27th, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I have seen some pictures at Pinterest about “motivation to exercise” but I thought of it as funny. However, Thinspo, is aggressive and rude. How posibly can someone suggest that starving to death on purpose is beautiful? I don’t think that the dissaperance of these kind of posts and blogs will occur completely, at least. So, we should have in first place a positive body image of ourselves, and we also should know that an anorexic is not and will never be a synonym of beautiful.

  16. 16
    July 27th, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Thinspiration makes me so angry. It’s crazy how much that kind of stuff can affect someone. As a recovered anorexic, I know how harmful thinspiration websites and pictures can be. Those “helpful” tips and fat shaming quotes really influenced my eating disorder. I’m so glad that people are trying to make these types of posts less common.

  17. 17
    July 27th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Wow! I’m so happy to see the open dialogue we have going on this topic!

    First, the reason I included the fitspiration in this post was actually because of how grey it can be! When I first joined Pinterest and started seeing the fitspiration posts, I thought they were great because it was the first time I had seen health being promote on a social media site. And for the most part, I still think they’re great! It’s so inspiring to see women promoting a strong and healthy lifestyle, and I agree that they can be a really great motivator to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle!

    However, recently I have been seeing a dark side to fitspiration as Katy mentioned. Some of the fitspiration focuses on hypersexualizing women and shaming them into working out, and that’s really not okay. After writing this article and doing some research, I’ve come to the conclusion that there really are different types of fitspiration. It seems to me that the best ones are those that motivate you to be the best,healthiest you possible and don’t make you feel bad so bad about yourself that you feel guilted into working out or eating less.

    Lauren – I agree! I wasn’t trying to put the blame on social media platforms because after all they’re just platforms. Like I mentioned in the article, it’s the users like you and me that put the content there!

    Jusine – The goal of the article was to point out how social media could be affecting body image, so I focused on the part of tumblr that is often critisized for promoting a negative body image. That being said, I agree with you, I even mentioned in the article the praise Tumblr gets for giving people a supportive community! It really can be a great place!

    That being said, the pro eating disorder blog may be a small facet of tumblr, but they’re not the only part of tumblr attracting criticism. I would love to know what you all think about the concept of “Tumblr Girls.” Do you think “tumblr girls” also contribute to the promotion of negative body image on tumblr or is it only the pro-ana/pro-mia blogs?

  18. 18
    July 27th, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Ugh. There was literally just an article in Seventeen about Tumblr thinspo blogs.

    As a “tumblr-girl”, I have to say that the idea that all the girls on Tumblr look at these blogs or “contribute to the promotion of negative body image on tumblr” is actually offensive. thinspo blogs are pretty easy to ignore if you aren’t looking for them. And the fact that this one area of Tumblr is attracting a lot of attention doesn’t mean that the other parts of it are harmful. Considering there are now about 1 million users, Tumblr is known for getting into fights and contributing material that may be questionable. But it is DEFINITELY just these thinspo/proana/promia blogs that are contributing to this behavior.

    Are thinspo blogs easy to find? Yes. And should they be monitored? I am on the fence. On one hand, the whole point of Tumblr is the freedom to blog about whatever you want, and be able to FIND blogs of a certain type. On the other, it is a very self-destructive topic. I can’t say for certain what should happen, but I know that Tumblr as a whole is taking a lot of blame for these blogs that a ton of users don’t even visit, and it’s really annoying.

  19. 19
    July 27th, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Like many have pointed out, Tumblr has its good side and its bad side when it comes to body image. Many blogs promote fitness, being comfortable in your body, fat acceptance, etc. And many blogs promote anorexia or bulimia. But there’s also a pretty bad side of all of this – body shaming. I am a 5’10, naturally thin (125 pound) woman, and I frequently come across posts shaming thin girls with comments like “Meat is for men, bones are for dogs,” or the complete elimination of the troubles facing thin women because they have “thin privilege”, which is systemically enforced instances of thin bodies being more desired over obese bodies. On the flip side, obese women are also shamed on Tumblr, with many derogatory and rude posts about their size.

    It’s fine to raise awareness about the harm that pro ana/mia blogs are causing, but we should also take note of the rampant body shaming of both thin and obese women that is spreading across Tumblr.

    Because it can get pretty freaking offensive on both ends.

  20. 20
    July 27th, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks for pointing out the fitspo thing. It really bothers me because so much of is thinly veiled thinspo. A lot of the pins are “do these exercises so your butt is flat” not “do these things because they will make you feel good”

  21. 21
    July 28th, 2013 at 12:29 am

    As a foreigner this cultural phenomenon is redicuouls. How can one ignore the most basic human function?

  22. 22
    July 28th, 2013 at 12:30 am

    *ridiculous

  23. 23
    July 28th, 2013 at 5:05 am

    The girl’s quote really scared me. It’s so awful how society can influence those young people into believing that they aren’t good enough.
    I never knew Tumblr had actual blogs promoting eating disorders. Also, I don’t know why anyone would want to look like one of those runway models. They always look so horribly skinny and pale, like a walking corpse. I find Beyonce, for instance, to look pretty good, because she’s curvy and proud of it, but she’s fit too.
    Regarding ‘fitspiration’ I’d say that the point is to look your best, even if you werent born with a perfect hourglass body. That’s not the only kind to be celebrated.
    Also, some girls think that guys will like them better if theyre skinny, but c’mon, I dont think any guy would want to date a walking skeleton.

  24. 24
    July 28th, 2013 at 5:51 am

    I do not believe that social media should be blamed for any of this. The blame falls entirely on the person with the eating disorder, and the problems lie within themselves. They are the ones who have decided that they are not ideal and that they must strive for an impossible ideal for there body. Eating disorders have been around much longer than social media of any type. It is time for people to take responsibility for themselves and their actions rather than blaming others.

  25. 25
    July 28th, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Thank you for this article
    I think CF has a very good prespective on what a fashion site should be about. Fashion, yes, but also so much more that has to come with it. It is more than wearing good looking outfits and doing impressive makeup tricks.

    Thank you for keeping fashionistas alert for all the problems that go hand in hand with fashion and encouraging them to use fashion as a tool to feel better, not worse :)

  26. 26
    July 28th, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Thinspo blogs are nothing new. Anyone remember Xanga? It’s not one of my prouder moments, but I used to run a pro-ana blog on Xanga. I’ve since gotten help, but even some of the Fitspo content on Tumblr can be triggering for many. I used to adore my Tumblr as a space to truly express myself and follow content I like. It’s becoming harder and harder to handle the content I am seeing there.

  27. 27
    July 28th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Being someone who suffered from bulimia for over a year, I know exactly what they mean by saying that proana and promia can be very detrimental to a young girl’s health. On the other hand, I also cut out pictures from magazines and wrote down my own personal tips and tricks and quotes in a diary.
    I think it may teach girls (and boys!) certain scary and awful tricks but in the end, the psychological disorder is there, whether they browse proana and promia or not. They will find a way. There will never be a world where there won’t be any ‘thinspiration’ because the fact of the matter is that there will ALWAYS be someone prettier and skinnier than you.

    The thing I really wanted to say though, is that fitspiration was what has helped me recover, not physically, but mentally. When you’ve been in such an obsessive state of mind about your body, you don’t suddenly stop being so obsessive. A lot of us never do, so the change to fitspiration is a much easier transition to make. Now I’m a healthy girl, I am somewhat overweight, but I am conquering my demons by being obsessed with being healthy.

    Which is the best I could ever have hoped for.

  28. 28
    July 29th, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I do personally agree that pro anorexia and pro bulimia blogs are a problem, and are evident. But I disagree partly that it is an issue that effects every person on social media, and that its sweeping the nation. Because personally, I don’t believe it effects many more people than the people who are looking for it purposely.

    In my experiences on tumblr, I have NEVER viewed posts as an attempt to hurt others, and bring others to harm. I believe that posts on tumblr are cries to be heard and understood, and even for help. I went through a time that I struggled with suicidal tendencies, and tumblr was my way to speak out to people that i felt couldnt judge me like people I knew in real life.

    I recieved kind words, and support from strangers I have never met or spoken to. They gave me hope, and brought me to the truth that I needed help- and that that was okay and normal!. I don’t think that ALL “thinspo” blogs are started/ran to promote an unhealthy lifestyle. The owner’s of the blogs might not know that it is hurting them and others.

    I don’t feel that we should make these people villains of the internet. Because we HAVE to remember that these diseases start in the BRAIN. They are MENTAL DISEASES, and they can cloud judgement very heavily.

    The bottom line is, do NOT treat these people as criminals. Because they need help. Don’t make them feel BAD, help them to see what is GOOD. Because sometimes all people need is a helping hand, not a judgmental mind.

  29. 29
    July 30th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    After reading this and the comments I was looking for the tag proana at tumblr. I agree that it’s easy to ignore this stuff and I believe in the freedom of speech, but comments like on a blog I found where people call a girl with 5’5 and 122lbs a fat disgusting cow who should finally be strong enough to stop eating, since her tighs are so awful etc etc. I was totally shocked and there were many more of this kind.
    At least i would like to have a button to flag stuff like this. Or gifs and pics of girls that already have a body as shocking as those from WWII KZ victims with “fat and disgusting” in big letters on them. It’s like telling people to kill themselfes.
    (I have nearly the same height an weight as this girl but my whole family has a very slim body type that wont allow me to get muscles :(, if you are a mucular type it’s hard to imagine keeping that weight and feeling good, since muscles are heavy.)

    Fitspo, as long as it’s considering resting times for the body to recover and similar stuff to ensure health is a good thing. People have school, uni, jobs where they sit around all day. There is a risk of getting “addicted”, but there also is the chance to get a better feeling for the needs of you body and it’s balance.

  30. 30
    August 1st, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, I would like to say that while pro-ana/mia blogs on Tumblr etc can indeed be triggering to other eating-disordered people, it’s a way to express ourselves and feel at home with other members of the ED community. True, it’s not very healthy, but I think we should have freedom of expression about how we feel. Deleting our blogs will not make us healthy again; our blogs are a way for us to feel less alone. If your aim is for us to recover, you shouldn’t cut us off from everything that is a source of comfort. We never aim to “drag people down with us”. We run blogs for our own benefit.

    Also, while some anorexics etc are derogatory and cruel to healthy/overweight people, not everyone is – imagine if all the people WITH EDs condemned everyone WITHOUT, just because SOME people without EDs were derogatory and cruel to US, calling us skeletons, fanatics, morally reprehensible… oh wait, people do call us that.

    Plus, what do you think we could ever do about the Facebook issue you brought up? Not allow people with nice bodies to post pictures of themselves? Next you’ll say we aren’t allowed to look at anyone prettier than us in real life. That’s just not feasible.

  31. 31
    August 1st, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Ive been a long time reader of CF, and in all that time I have never been more upset to read an article/comments.
    I’m currently expierencing an ED (anorexia), and I do follow some pro Ana blogs on tumblr. They are helpful to me as someone who already suffers from a mental illness to get support and understanding.
    What the majority of people just spouting their mouths off fail to understand is that you can’t just “catch” a mental illness. It’s genetic. You’re either going to have an ED or youre not.
    Reading these comments as someone who has an eating disorder was incredibly upsetting, insulting, and triggering. Pro Ana blogs are one of the few places I can go to b understood. So thank you everyone for villyfying them without actually doing any research to try and understand.

  32. 32
    August 20th, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    A and Ella, as someone with an eating disorder and mental issues herself, I am confused on how you insist an eating disorder is genetic. I have never seen a shred or even the suggestion of evidence that in the case of anorexia and bulimia it is genetic.

    While mental illness can be genetic, in this case it tends to be more often the case of peer pressure, societal demands and puberty changing our minds and bodies. Thanks to those factors, it is indeed “catching” from friends to family while the media promotes the ‘benefits’ of being thin (attractive and healthy!) vs. the shame of being fat, leaving often no middle ground or safe alternative.

    You are saying that these pro ana blogs are helpful, the only place where you are understood and supportive. That we, the commentators of this post are villifying those who suffer from eating disorders and mental illness without knowledge or understanding.
    - Speaking as someone with both, I must add that my personal fear is that these blogs may be supportive but they are supporting a truly dangerous and unsafe lifestyle that requires help and support to recover from. Instead of telling you the facts, they would tell you what you want to hear. By telling you that and not the health concerns that follow, they are not only putting you at greater risk but offering a seemingly good idea to the general public and more people will develop eating disorders.

    HOWEVER – I believe in the freedom of speech above my own personal beliefs and (perhaps grudgingly) agree that tumblr users are allowed to create pro-eating disorder tumblrs if they want. If anything should be done, there should be a health revolution supported by the media regarding body image and what is YOUR healthy body (because my healthy body is not what your body requires to be healthy – for example, fitspiration can be just as harmful as any eating disorder!). Education and awareness is the real answer here, not shutting down blogs of personal expression.

    So, thank you CollegeFashion, for writing this blog and bringing the issue to attention – and then allowing readers to comment on it.

Leave a Reply

Line

* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!

Line




* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.