Fashion Exposed: Behind 'Thinspiration'

‘Thinspiration’ a combination of ‘thin’ and ‘inspiration’ which is a word used to describe those who look for inspiration to become thin. Upon a google search of the word, or the shortened name ‘Thinspo’ it’s clear to see that this is not a new revelation, with thousands of blogs, mostly containing thinspo photos are first to pop up. The photos within the blog usually depict thin models or celebrities which the readers are supposed to use as encouragement to lose weight, while in other cases it even contains photos of a person showing their weight loss progress.

Those who have become followers of Thinspiration may also prescribe to ‘Pro-Ana’ or ‘Pro-Mia'. Pro-Ana describes a person who has decided to become anorexic as part of a lifestyle choice, while Pro-Mia similarly describes those who become bulimic by choice. Some of the blogs that promote the idea of Thinspiration also write to their readers as a form of encouragement, with words such as “you will be FAT if you eat today. Just put it off one more day” and “Bones are clean and pure. Fat is dirty and hangs on your bones like a parasite.”

Thinspiration is loosely linked to the fashion industry, as girls look to photo editorials and catwalk photos of thin models to use for their personal thinspiration, while thin celebrities are also often used as a source. Many people who use thinspiration chose a person or particular model to be inspired by.

It is noticeable that there are people who choose to reach to the runways for their ‘thinspiration’ but it is far from being the fault of the fashion industry - if these people didn’t look to models, they would look elsewhere for similar images to become ‘inspired by’. Some of the photographs of models used have even been digitally altered, with close-ups of accentuated rib-cages being the most popular.

According to one source, there are even women who have chosen to wear a particular coloured string bracelet to signify their ‘Pro-Ana’ or ‘Pro-Mia’ status, while this isn’t just a female phenomena, male thinspiration also exists with many blogs dedicated to the subject matter, as well as ‘reverse thinspiration’ where one is encouraged to put on weight in an unhealthy manner.

Like anything, this is a lifestyle choice, and one that many may not agree with, just like smoking, being unhealthily overweight or getting a tattoo. Our bodies are our bodies, and we have all been given the choice and the right to control it ourselves, be that for better or for worse. As William Shakespeare put it "our bodies are our gardens - our wills are our gardeners".

Above - a video created by a Youtube user who uses models as part of her thinspiration. Let us know how you feel about the idea of Thinspiration in the comments section below.

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  1. It's sure nice to look thin and gorgeous but if you have to become unhealthy and ill for this, you'd better forget it. Nothing is more important than a healthy body and a healthy mind. We all know the fashion industry now condemns anorexia as a diseases and we've all seen the cases of those poor models who died of it. This is not a role model to follow. Have a balanced diet, make sports and clean your mind: Make peace with yourself. A good recipe for a good life.

  2. This both disgusts and inspires me. I cannot even fathom how it became possible for "pro-ana" and "thinspiration" to become so popular on the web. Is it really coming to a time where women (clearly the most affected here) are supporting pressure on one another to be 100 lbs or less? Where 125 is **unhealthy??? What's worse, I have to admit that as a women, I see those models as beautiful and would want to look like them. Either way (and perhaps in both ways), "thinspiration" definitely makes an impact.


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