Have you hear of “thinspo” or “thinspiration?” It is a dangerous place on the internet where teenagers join together to “inspire” each other that skinnier is better and the skinnier you are the better you are. The teenage bloggers have created a network on Tumblr that is filled with pictures of super thin women, some of them are to the point of looking sickly and unhealthy. One of the most popular pictures is the image seen here of Kate Moss in a t-shirt that says “I beat obesity.”
There are some frightening pictures and words of “advice” from girls who strive to be bone thin at any cost. It is a place for girls to share stories about losing weight through any means: anorexia, laxatives, bulemia, starvation. The girls who write there have a “secret” friendship. They feel connected to each other. Here is what one blogger had to say about her Tumblr page:”I have a sort of obsession with hipbones and collarbones. I think they’re incredibly beautiful, so I love photos featuring those.”
The blogs commonly feature tips for staving off hunger and burning extra calories, like eating ice, chewing gum, and fidgeting. Another girl says that she has yet to come across a blog that takes its interest in weight-loss advice too far.
“I really don’t have anything against pro-ana blogs, I mean, they help you a lot. Even though it’s not good for society and other people, it can help you lose weight so fast that you won’t have time to get an eating disorder… And I’m not afraid. I’m ready to risk for perfection.”
These girls are looking to a small group of women as their ideal for perfection. They are striving for something that can lead them to an unhealthy lifestyle. According to The Huffington Post, “Teens spend an average of 53 hours per week consuming various media. Unsurprisingly, this can affect their health and self-esteem. A 2011 study conducted by researchers from the University of Haifa in Israel found that the more time teenage girls spend on social-networking sites, the more prone they are to negative body image and eating disorders.”
This is a dangerous trend for young girls. As a parent, do you try to make yourself aware of what your teenagers are spending their time on? Have you had to deal with issues like these in your own life or with a friend or family member?