“Thinspo” stands for “thinspiration” and is a commonly tagged word on Tumblr, Pinterest, and other social media sites. Thinspiration posts are designed to promote the idea that thinness is desirable, and that it must be pursued relentlessly regardless of consequence. Thinspo has become a contentious tag in social media contexts, and several sites are banning content associating itself with the thinspo label.
YAY! Huzzah! Let’s get this unhealthy, body-hating term out of Internet-Land, far away from our sensitive ears!
Unfortunately, there are always work-arounds.
On Pinterest, what I would previously see tagged under “thinspo” I am now seeing tagged under a new term: “fitspo”.
Upon initial contemplation, I loved this idea. Let’s make it NOT about body type. Let’s shift the conversation over towards a healthy lifestyle! Activity! Movement! Self-love! However, if you search for “fitspo”, you will be disappointed.
Now, I consider myself somewhat of a Pinterest maven, and The Fat Word Pinterest board is a repository of such body-negativity propaganda.
Initial rage thoughts:
- Losing weight should NOT be tantamount to addiction. The idea minimizes the struggle of actual addicts while promoting the idea that losing weight is something so desirable that once you start, you need an intervention to stop. If it is actually an addiction, it’s called anorexia. Or bulimia. Or disordered eating. Or activity disorder. Not exactly inspirational cat-poster stuff.
- Speaking of fluffy cat -posters, Ryan Gosling might be a little miffed that his image is being used to make people feel bad about themselves.
- Writing letters to your fat gives it agency. No longer do you view it as part of you, but an enemy to fight. In reality, you’re just fighting yourself.
- Society wants you to think that “you’ll still be uglier than you want to be in a few months, but if you keep self-hatin’, soon you’ll be even LESS ugly than you are now!”
- Hotness does not equal fitness, especially when it’s measured primarily against other women.
- I wear skinny jeans. And mini-skirts. I have crop-tops and short shorts. I almost exclusively wear bikinis. I get cat-called. I have fun. I am a confident, happy, healthy, satisfied person.
I need a mental antacid.
There is another key term out in Social Media Land, called “fatspo” — fatspiration. Not that the “fat body type” is necessarily something to work towards or cultivate, but that we can be fat, fit, happy, and beautiful.
That’s more like it. That’s what inspiration is supposed to feel like.
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