I know I have written a post before about the craziness of the media’s attitude towards size and weight in preference to actual health and fitness.
it was a while ago and you can read it here:
In that post I was particularly flabbergasted at the lack of actual health and fitness advice in health and fitness magazines, and the inclusion of a cosmetic surgery magazine with health and fitness.
I have a lot more to say on the subject of celebrity endorsements and lose weight quick schemes but that will follow in a future post.
The subject of this post is “thinspiration”
For those of you unfamiliar with the term it is Inspiration to be thin, ok…that much is obvious. What is less obvious is that it is a term coined by the “pro ana” and “pro mia” community who basically promote disordered eating as a way of life and post “thinspiration” pictures of celebrities and non-celebrities with visible bones and probable eating disorders as images to aspire to.
Why I am I telling you this now?
Well…as I was walking past the magazines in the supermarket yesterday, I saw this:
Firstly…I didn’t actually look inside the magazine, so these might be well thought out articles full of advice on being healthy…but I wouldn’t hold my breath!
Secondly, these “celebrities” are not the bone protruding images that adorn “thinspo” galleries on pro ana/mia sites and I have no opinion on these particular people, nor do I think they are particularly supporting eating disorders.
I have a very big problem with the use of this sort of language and concept by the mainstream media.
It could be triggering for people in that world trying to escape.
It puts the idea of thinspiration into the heads of the population, at least some of whom are influenced by these things, and it is a very simple step to google thinspiration and find a whole world of tips and tricks to hide disordered eating from the world at large and how to support it and maintain it.#
Over and above these extremely worrying associations, is the message screaming out that thin is best.
Not fit, not healthy, not even slim but thin.
Thin and thin at any cost.
This attitude has got to change.
Focusing on size and weight over and above health and fitness is damaging both physically and psychologically. Speaking as someone who has worked hard to lose a thin at all costs attitude, I know how hard it is.
I am not the only person saying this, but I felt the need to add my voice to the call for a change in attitude.
The media has a powerful and direct influence on the attitude of a lot of people. It is time to look at the damage this sort of article can do. Not particularly the information on what “diet” a celebrity is following because although it is unlikely to be a successful long term solution (which is a whole different post…) following a celebrity diet probably won’t actually damage you as such. The real problem is the tone and language used. Holding up “thin” as something to aspire to, sends the message to most of the population that they need to change something about themselves in order to be accepted or desirable. This in conjunction with the body shaming tactics employed by the media and world in general has a huge influence on a person’s attitude, self confidence and behaviour!
It is important to point out that I am not saying that being thin is unacceptable. There are people out there who are thin, and healthy. I am not saying that the desire to lose weight is unacceptable. I am merely highlighting that an obsession with changing your body beyond healthy limits in ways that are damaging is something that should not be promoted either consciously or unconsciously.
I don’t pretend to have the solution to this, I just hope that one day, people will get the message that thin is not more important than healthy!