thinspiration...your take on it?

Brittany - posted on 12/29/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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i was reading an article in a magazine the other day and it was saying that anorexia and bulimia are at all time highs starting at 6. that there are even websites that cater to them they are called thinsipration they feature tips on how to do it and images of sickly thin celebs. i know they have the right to put it out there. but i think something like that should be restricted access to anyone under 18. at least then you have a general understanding of not only the short term effects but the long ones too. i actually had my step daughter "forget" a few meals one week and she said "at least i will get skinner" now knowing this is out there makes me really think about it. we did explain she could lose weight with proper diet and activity because she was a little overweight. what are you veiws on this? im think of doing a report on this in psychology

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[deleted account]

I am anorexic, I started when I was 5 or 6 years old, but was not officially diagnosed until I was 7 years old (People who know me in RL do not know this, except for my mom, who is permitted to see my medical records. She and I have made up excuses for the overly inquiring, though I'm sure some of my family has probably made the connection). I am now 30 years old and still struggle. I try to stay away from the sites, but occasionally, I find myself browsing through them. Usually while I'm on the treadmill.

I do think this is prettier, but my problems did not start with body image issues, they started in early childhood as a way to have control over myself and my parents. One reason I will NEVER force my child to eat. I "know" I need to eat to live, yet every time I put food in my mouth, I am enveloped in an overwhelming sense of guilt and defeat. Even if what I am eating is healthy. And if I eat to the point where I feel "full" I cry. I try to think about other things, watch TV or read, but the tears just fall. It's pathetic, and I know that, but oddly enough, considering the disorder grew from my desire to have control, I have no control over it.

I guess I can't say from a normal perspective how I feel about the sites, on one hand, I hate them, on the other, they are a guilty pleasure. They keep me on the treadmill longer, and they give me a boost when I see women on them who are fatter than I am, but at the same time, I see pictures of myself with my son and think I am too thin, to the point of being ugly. I don't understand why I think these other women are pretty, but I, at the same weight, am ugly....



Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent, but there you have the way the sites effect anorexics. I wish I remembered more about when I first developed it. We did not have internet then, in fact, we didn't have a TV, so I don't blame media much.

Petra - posted on 12/30/2010

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I've checked out the proana sites, long ago when I was working on a paper for a psych class. I incorporated the story of a girl I knew who died from anoriexia in her early 20's. These sites are scary because they are extreme.

I've never checked out the fatspiration sites but I can tell you right now I have no desire to. Pushing people to aspire toward something clearly unhealthy (emaciation, obesity) is fucked up. But encouraging fat folk to love themselves as they are and telling skinny chicks that they look dead and need to get their asses into the hospital are glaring differences in terms of societal acceptance and encouragement.

Nicole - posted on 12/30/2010

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Kelly, I would be happy to elaborate but I will need to add my whole quote to do so. I didn't just say "thinspiration is used to provoke shame." Nicole. It was in this context: It becomes a problem when it becomes an obsession, and when the focus is on self-harm, self-neglect and the thinspiration is used to provoke shame.


Some women with eating disorders keep journals of pictures cut out from magazines, from the internet (pro ana sites) and so on and when they want to eat they look at them and these images, rather than inspiring them, make them feel ashamed of their bodies enough to put off eating even longer

[deleted account]

It is also notable to mention that there are "fatspiration" sites and "curvespiration" sites as well. If we hate "Thinspiration" should we hate the "fatspiration" too, for promoting heavier than healthy weights?

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Tiffany - posted on 12/30/2010

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Glorifying eating disorders is horrible. I have never visited any of these sites, but it's sad that they're out there. Unfortunately it's not going to change. Parents need to keep their kids in check and watch what they're doing, where they're going, what sites they're visiting. I have always been overweight. At 13 I took my Moms diet pills. One day fighting with my brother, he kept making fat jokes and I took about 20 pills. Luckily they were herbal pills and I only had a horrid stomachache for the night. When I was 17 I started making myself vomit. I had been eating great, exercising and losing weight and doing well and then gained about 10 lbs, and that's when it started. I didn't want to get big again. I did this for about 3 months. My friend intervened when she caught me doing it. I haven't done it since. There are times I have had the urge, but I don't do it. I am overweight now, I have quite a bit to lose to be honest. I have always had issue with my weight, since I was young. I'm sure it has a lot to do from being in dance classes for 11 years and always being the bigger girl. I was a good dancer, but always thought I was fat. Now when I look back at pics, all I can think is 'how did I think I was fat?' lol. My parents didn't pay attention to the things I did as a teenager and I think that had a lot to do with it all.

Caitlin - posted on 12/30/2010

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From the sounds of it, I seem to be a lucky one that loves food too much to stop, though when I was a teenager I tried to go that route a fwe times and failed in the grasps of a bag of potato chips. My mom gave me a huge complex about my body, because she was heavier then went totally gross anorexic like look when I was about 10, so I was always fat to her and she would put me on diets. I blame her for my love of junk food (because thats what I used to shove in my face when I left the house because I was so bloody hungry). I always see fat when I see a photo or my reflection, and probably always will, but I guess that's pretty much the way things are these days. No eating disorder in me - just self esteem issues. I totally want to take up karate again, so I can lose 30 pounds in 20 months like I did the first time.. too bad I moved too far away from my karate school..

Brittany - posted on 12/30/2010

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thank you to all that have shared now i guess would be my own time to share.

i do struggle with anerixa (sorry i cant spell) it started in my early teens when my mom would say how i was fat ,or had love handles,muffin top, etc. mind you i was never above a size 3 or 135 lbs with a athletic body. but it got to me. a friend had given me caffiene pills before (not for this.. for partying) i stopped eating for about a month living off of those pills and soda. i lied to my friends saying i had eaten at home and if my mom asked which was rare i said i ate before she got home. i ended up fainting in school one day. and my friend put it together he took me home and said i needed to eat. he was there for me through that and at the same time i was struggling with self mutilation. if it hadnt been for that one friend it would have been worse. but ever since then if i start gaining weight i will stop eating somewhere i know im not fat but the voice that im ugly always wont eat or i will run or work out until i puke. it isnt healthy but its what i have done.

i make myself not do it now but it is a struggle. so knowing there are websites out there like this encouraging these acts is horrible. if i had found something like that who knows i already felt all alone

Caitlin - posted on 12/30/2010

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Oh man, I found some risque photos I took with my hubby when we first met, obviously before both kids.. I am going to use those as my pre baby weight inspiration. I wont even call it "thinspiration" because I look damn good at 155, and anything lower than that I look like i'm sick.. I have big bones, a solid structure and higher muscle density than average in a woman, so at 5'9", 155 is pretty much as low as I go (45 pounds to drop.. ugh..)

[deleted account]

I think that it brings feelings of shame because the person wanting to look that way, doesn't. So they are ashamed of themselves and work harder to achieve their goal. The shame is the inspiration.

[deleted account]

Thank you, Nicole. I didn't mean to pull your quote out of context to make it something it wasn't, it was just the only part of the post that sort of confused me, so I wanted you to know which part I was asking about. "Shame" just didn't seem like a word I would associate with those images, but your further explanation is very helpful, and I now see how it could evoke feelings of shame, but I don't think that is the purpose.
I think the purpose is more about inspiration, thus the moniker thin'spiration'. I still don't think they are really a good thing.

Nicole - posted on 12/30/2010

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I also said, "I know that people like to have visuals of goals, and if someone plans on losing weight the healthy way and they find images of models/themselves at a smaller weight inspiring, there is nothing wrong with it"

Amanda - posted on 12/30/2010

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i have to say i looked at some of the proana sites (i had never seen them before) and i really didn't find any truly disturbingly thin women.... there were thin women, but not to the point of disgusting..... however, i do find the concept of the thinspiration sites disturbing, but i am equally disturbed by "fatspiration" sites.

[deleted account]

"thinspiration is used to provoke shame." Nicole

That is a very interesting way to see it, Nicole. I never felt like it evoked "shame", would you elaborate?

Oops. I didn't mean that we hated the people who were thin or obese, I meant that we hated the actual sites that glorify the morbidly thin or obese....sorry that came across wrong, it was late :P

One of the things I noticed was that there was more support for the "fatspiration" sites, where there was more outcry against the "thinspiration" sites in the media, and I was wondering if it carried across to regular people like us. Do people here find the "thinspiration" site more or less disturbing than the "fatspiration" site, you do you find them equally disturbing?
That is more what I was trying to ask...

Nicole - posted on 12/29/2010

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I know that people like to have visuals of goals, and if someone plans on losing weight the healthy way and they find images of models/themselves at a smaller weight inspiring, there is nothing wrong with it.

It becomes a problem when it becomes an obsession, and when the focus is on self-harm, self-neglect and the thinspiration is used to provoke shame.

[deleted account]

kelly it most defiantly goes both ways, no one hates people who are too skinny, we just want them to be healthy. Its the idea of glorifying these disorders people find appalling. Obesity is another eating disorder.

Jocelyn - posted on 12/29/2010

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I lurked a few site when I was in high school. I was horrified then, and I am still horrified now. They do nothing to help women, they make them sicker.

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I can't even believe that, annorexia and bulimia are DISEASES. I have a veeery close relative who has struggled with bulimia all her life and the effects are not pretty. Do they not realise that many annorexics DIE from their uncontrollable disorder, this is sick and makes me very sad. You can diet to lose weight, eating disorders ruin your body, mind, and mental health. Christ you can tell a masocist where to go to get their kicks without telling them to run a razor over themselves or light themselves on fire. All the work certain facitities and programs have done to battle these disorders and now we have websites glorifying them. You are the first to succeed Brittany I'm officially disturbed by a post on CoM it had to happen sometime.

[deleted account]

yea thinsparation is everywhere. its so sad, people think its ok to look this way, or to strive to be drastically underweight because they want beauty.The media made everyone think that underweight is ok. Its not!!

Nicole - posted on 12/29/2010

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I remember there was this site called anorexic rec. It was on the news and got shut down. The stuff on there was pretty shocking, projectile vomiting contests, fiction about women being starved and dying and some pretty disturbing photos.

I haven't been on a pro ana website since I was a teenager but I know that they have very negative effects on young girls.

The other disturbing thing is that even if girls avoid thinspiring websites, they just need to walk downtown, turn on the tv or glance at a magazine to see images that are almost/just as bad

[deleted account]

I had the opposite problem, i was underweight for the simple fact i was malnourished as a child. I've struggled with an eating disorder that wasn't my fault. When you don't eat a lot because theirs simply no food, your body gets use to it. Its hard to get out of the habit. When i started providing for myself, i had to struggle to get weight on. I was 80lbs at 5ft tall. I dont get hungry anymore. I need reminders to eat. I take vitamins and minerals to make sure my body gets enough. I had horrible stomach issues which are now gone because i eat regular healthy meals. My metabolism was shot, so i needed to fix that too. I studied nutrition while my friend was in university (i did all the work she was doing), that way i could make sure i ate properly. After i was healthy, i grew really thick hair which was always thin, my skin got right pink and healthy. I actually grew 2 inches at 21, i guess my growth was stunted because of it too. I look completely different now. I think anyone that wants to look the way i did, sick , needs mental help, and im not being sarcastic, they need to be in therapy because no one should want to be sick.

Amanda - posted on 12/29/2010

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I had a struggle with aneroxia after I had my oldest daughter. I gained 80lbs with her and that was ALOT for me! My prepregnancy weight was 110, so after leaving the hospital at 176 I was so disgusted with myself! My ex who I was with at the time, would constantly down me and make me feel fat and lazy, and that I was extremley unattractive. So I stopped really eating, and wouldn't want to eat because it would upset my stomach. I started dropping pounds fast, and before I knew it I was down to 130, by my 6wk checkup. The dr was shocked, and asked how I was able to pull that off so soon, I lied and said excercise. I hid this horrible secret for almost 2 yrs. My exhusband, whom I had my 2 youngest daughters with, found out about 6mnths into our relationship about what I was doing, and at that time I weighed a wopping 104. He told me if I continued down this destructive path he would leave me. I was really in love with him at the time, and pregnant with our first daughter together, and so I started forcing myself towards better health, not just for him or my baby but myself. Today I weigh 125 after 4 beautiful children. I eat in moderation, and still struggle sometimes. I know I should be lucky for the size I am now, and I thank God everyday that I didn't end up like some other women after children.

It truely is a struggle, a long up-hill battle, that's addicting. It was hard for me to get into new routines. It was hard to eat a full meal again, without purging afterwards. Today I'm happy with my weight, but still feel I could lose some more weight, but my fiance won't allow it. It's so easy for these young girls to fall into this trap and it's so hard to get out. It can end up killing you, and that's scary. It's not worth it and these websites aren't helping any!

Charlie - posted on 12/29/2010

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Ok so reading through the site a little more I can see where having others to talk through your experiance is helpful and can make you feel less isolated although my concern still lies in sharing tips and tricks and emphasizing that beauty comes in a dangerous size .

Charlie - posted on 12/29/2010

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Holy crap I just had a look at pretty thin . com WOW I am grossed out .
Sorry my honest opinion is looking like a cadaver is NOT hot and should never be encouraged there are beautiful thin people and there are beautiful big people but unaturally large or thin is crossing a dangerous line .

LaCi - posted on 12/29/2010

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I've kept up with proana sites and forums for quite a while.



Most of these DO say you should be 18 to enter, but its the internet, there is no guaranteed restriction. Most of the people who go looking for it (eating disorder-esque thinspiration) are already facing it (the eating disorders), it's not something that actually inspires the average person. Most people do not want their bones to protrude, most do not find it attractive. But it's no different than me seeing J Lo's ass and saying, "Man I need to start doing lunges again." I think most of us do it. We have the idea of beauty in our head and we look for inspiration and ways to emulate that. Whether it's fashion, hair, makeup, body type, whatever.

Brittany - posted on 12/29/2010

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true i guess it really falls down to locked computers in the main room with access monitored

C. - posted on 12/29/2010

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I used to follow those websites. Partly how I lost 50 pounds in 3 months when I was 16. COMPLETELY crashed my metabolism. Hasn't been the same since.



But, having grown up a bit and had a kid.. It's definitely not healthy and I wish people would never do such things to their bodies.



I agree that only certain ages should be allowed to view the contents of these websites, if at all. But really.. How are they going to know if someone is telling the truth or not?



For example.. I had just turned 20 at the time.. Hubby had just turned 21. He was at the store getting some alcohol for New Years and he asked me to hop on a site to see if they had this recipe for a drink he had heard about and wanted to try. The site was restricted for anyone under 21. I used his birthday so I could let him know if they had the recipe and what all it called for.. No one knew (until now). There's just no way to know if they're telling the truth.

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