I’m going to talk about that thing I rarely talk about, this time in the form of a fun social experiment (and possible internet trolling on my part). This year, I plan to add a good dose of feminism to this blog. You may think we live in a progressive world, but the idiocy, sexism, and privilege is still rampant. There is a relatively new site called Pinterest. Pinterest, as the name implies, is an “online pinboard.” Users can make inspiration boards about fashion, art, travel, weddings, and babies. It’s mostly weddings and babies. Oh, and “fitness.” The fitness section is full of Jillian Michaels aphorisms and silly, rather harmless diet tips.
Amid all this I noticed a disturbing trend. Many of the boards are called “thinspiration,” thinspo for short. Aside from being a ridiculous word, the term was coined by the pro-anorexia movement. Pinners like to pin (pinners gonna pin!) models and randoms with large inner thigh gaps…seriously, there is a fixation on the inner thigh gap (you down with ITG? Yeah, you know me), which, by the way, is often difficult to achieve. I even found a classic pro-ana image in a board dedicated to health and motivation. Is that written in blood? I hope so. This is a problem. I doubt many users know the provenance of these images. So I did what I am wont to do and made a board parodying this stuff. You can see it here. I mixed a few images from real pro-ana sites with a few of my own creations. And Christian Bale. I thought my sarcasm was obvious, but I got two reactions: people getting really angry and talking about how anorexia is unhealthy, and people repinning my stuff to their health boards (even the saline one, trolololo). I wanted to show that often, there is not much difference between actual anorexia and the thinly veiled “health” rhetoric. Also that if you followed the diet advice on pinterest, you would likely end up with the medical problems I joked about.
Anorexia is a health problem. I won’t lie: I have a love, hate relationship with it. However, it really does suck a lot out of life. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.