The hashtag has been trending on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more in the past few months, but isn’t a new idea: words, images, and stories to inspire health. Instagram is the favorite social media outlet for #thinspiration, and many follow accounts dedicated to #thinspiration. Since the popularity of social media and body image issues go hand in hand, it begs the question: is this really healthy?
#thinspiration is free, and can be helpful in motivating someone, but only if it is for the right reasons. Many #thinspiration accounts post photos of skinny women and men with abs as sources of inspiration, but these body types are not possible for everyone and this expectation can be damaging. If these images are what young boys and girls are comparing themselves to, this is not inspiration, it is discouragement.
The media has been in the spot light for all sorts of body image issues, and it seems #thinspiration is another one. However, some accounts don’t post picture of unrealistic body standards, and instead post inspirational quotes or sayings. This avoids comparisons but still motivates the audience to get healthier. Additionally, while some accounts post shaming content, others offer reassurance and self-love. In the end it is important to be healthy, but overall health is more than just physical fitness and how you look in the mirror.
Many accounts have a positive approach to #thinspiration, but some of the more negative ones post pictures of girls with thigh gaps with phrases like: “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” or “are you sure you want that cookie?” While this motivates some, it is extremely damaging to others.
Being wary and skeptical of #thinspiration accounts is completely warranted and even necessary. Before following a #thinspiration account, check out their content: is it shaming or motivational? Negative or positive? Self love-focused or unhealthy eating-focused?
Know the difference, and know you are more than your body.
Thanks for reading, friends!