In the realm of body image, one of the highest trending search topics are Thinspo (abbreviation for Thin Inspiration) and Fitspo (short-hand for Fitness Inspiration). The idea and popularity behind Thinspo has been increasing particularly among young women the past couple years. Books have been written regarding this relatively new and shocking craze.
Thinspo is essentially the glorification of eating disorders as a form of weight-loss and being “healthy.” The main eating disorder Thinspo enthusiasts support is “Ana” short for Anorexia. In order to encourage starvation or food resistance, Thinspo enthusiasts surround themselves with emaciated photographs of what their ideal body image will be.
Continuously seeing these images helps to reinforce the resistance to eat, and to continue starvation. Thinspo enthusiasts see this as a healthy goal, and their desire for “perfection” reaches unhealthy extremes. The internet has been flooded with images of “models” with bulging bones, gaunt faces, and dead eyes. Support groups for Thinspo are at an all-time high. Trying to reason with Thinspo enthusiasts seems to be a lost cause because their desire for stick-thin figures is so strong that they are willing to do anything to be “skinny”.
As Thinspo diets (or lack thereof) increase in popularity, women on the opposite spectrum of this craze have retaliated with the newer health craze “Fitspo.” Fitspo is a mixture of clean eating and exercise, basically the epitome of good health. The same process resides within this trend of circulating photos of women with rock hard abs, and women eating healthy foods to reinforce good and positive health habits.
Related: Fitspo: Is Strong The New Skinny?
The difference between the two trends is stark and challenges anyone who attempts to achieve skinniness and perfection. They are two extremes of different body types, both attempting to claim the title as “healthy” looking. Whether it be starvation or over-exercising can result in loss of body fat which will ultimately result in Amenorrhea in women, which is the body’s way of shutting down the reproductive system by stopping the production of estrogen until a healthier equilibrium of fat and health is achieved. The results and requirements of both Thinspo and Fitspo are at a pinnacle.
Whether you want to lose a few vanity pounds or an extreme amount of weight, doctors and health experts would agree that Thinspo is not the healthy route, and is dangerous when attempted. Eating sensibly, avoiding processed foods, and getting adequate exercise 3-5 days a week is the healthy alternative for anyone trying to lose weight and be healthier over all. Depriving your body of nourishment is not. Think smart, eat smart, and be healthy.