A response to “Thinspiration”

A response to “Thinspiration”

I created a Tumbler focusing on positive body image for my final project. I have had a Tumblr and I re-blog inspirational quotes and happy pictures. I am very familiar with Tumblr and I am following around 150 different blogs. I am aware that there are specific blogs that are completely devoted to “thinspro” or “thinspiration” that showcase “real women” taking photos of themselves and then posting them for inspiration for other women. Usually the women are wearing a sports bra or a very fashionable outfit. There is usually a caption stating an accomplishment of obtaining their body. This is very different from the celebrity diets and weight losses in magazines because there is a certain distance between celebrities and “normal” people. The problem with “thinspro” on Pinterest and Tumblr is that they are showcasing “every day” women that have overcome their eating cravings and have met that unattainable form of beauty. A new fad or complication to “thinspro” is “fitspro” which has a huge emphasis on eating right and exercising. “Fitspro” is all about a healthy lifestyle, but it borders the same messages that “thinspro” professes that women need to be a certain body type, which is skinny, to be beautiful. These social media outlets could potentially promote eating disorders and negative body image.

So many of my friends, family members, and myself struggle with body image and eating disorders. My counselor, Sharon Kauffman-Osbourne is an amazing woman and has helped give me ways to improve my body image through positive self talk. She sent me an incredible article from CNN by Brené Brown about the quest for perfection and how women need to tell themselves, “I am enough.” I think she sums up the culture women live in today perfectly, “We love authenticity and we know that life is messy and imperfect. We get sucked into perfection for one very simple reason: We believe perfection will protect us. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame.” These blogs promote perfection and anything less is a failure. We live in a postfeminist society that encourages perfection in all aspects of our life: romance, work, and social. Brown’s argument culminates with the argument, “If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.” This article was incredibly inspiring to me and it really resonated with me. Frequently, I feel as such a pressure to excel in every area of my life and this pressure is extremely exhausting and suffocating. Saying something like “I am enough” or “I am worthy” seems so simple, but it can have such great effects on women’s confidence in themselves for who they are.

When I was considering what to do for my final project, I decided to use the media outlet of Tumblr in a positive way to promote self love and for women to feel confident in their bodies. I found a plethora of blogs with topics that ranged from “fitspro” to recovering ED (eating disorders) advice to “strong is beautiful.” As I looked deeper, I found more blogs like the one I wanted to create, where women could go and take a break from the world that says they have to be a certain type, or weight. I wanted my blog to change the mindset of women who are so used to feeling failure, instead they could feel beauty in their accomplishments and acknowledge that they are amazing just by existing. I decided to include inspirational quotes and pictures of “real women” of all different sizes and these women more accurately reflect myself and my friends. I think it is really important to have a variety of body types in the media. 

I am really passionate about empowering young women to feel confident with themselves. I would love to go into a career or do some volunteer work that works to empower young women. Young women should not have to compare themselves to others or be ashamed of their bodies; they should be focused on becoming the next leaders of the country and being confident in their abilities. I sent my blog to my friends and I will continue to add to it even when though the class is over.

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