Tumblr Pressures Teens To Stay Thin

You all may have heard of Tumblr, a popular social media site full of bloggers. It contains a plethora of blog types that range from fashion to humor. But perhaps the most concerning blogs on Tumblr are the ones that are “thinspiration” themed.

Tumblr has increasingly become a center for teenage girls to compare themselves to others. Thinspiration blogs have only fueled the fire. These blogs encourage youth, especially girls, to pursue actions associated with eating disorders in order to minimize their size. These blogs provide tips on throwing up and starving yourself.

The worst part of these sites is the fact that they make being unhealthily skinny look normal. They advertise pictures of overly skinny girls as if being able to see someone’s bones through their skin in totally okay. This misleads  teenagers to think that what these thinspiration blogs are trying to accomplish is not wrong, because other people do it, too. And we, being humans, naturally follow the trend.

We all have our insecurities, however, telling a girl with already low self esteem that it’s acceptable to starve herself or throw up her dinner is sickening. We should be building each other up with positive advice, and not tearing each other down by essentially saying “you’re not good enough.”

According to  the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 95% of those who have eating disorders today in the U.S. are between the ages of 12 and 25. This specific demographic is especially terrifying because they are essentially the future of our country. And if the future of our country grows up in an environment that puts them down and constantly makes them feel like they’re not good enough, we can only imagine what their life will be like as adults.

The most ironic part of this situation is that these thinspiration bloggers think that they’re in the right. They believe that they’re actually helping girls to be comfortable in their body by encouraging them to develop eating disorders. In reality, if we want teenagers to truly be comfortable in their bodies, we should encourage them to be themselves instead the person they’re forcing themselves to be.

But then you ask, what’s the appeal? Why do teenage girls struggle so much with body image that they feel the need to start blogs promoting eating disorders? Researches have identified many reasons for eating disorders, among them, we think that images such as those found on the thinspirations blog and in advertisements are the most powerful.

The most influential aspect of society on girls are big corporations, such as Abercrombie and Victoria Secret, who utilize ridiculously thin models in all of their ads. Big corporations, and just society in general, should advertise a healthy body image opposed to some computerized perfected models. We need to show teenagers that beautiful people come in all shapes and sizes, and that physical appearance is not everything. Being beautiful should be about who we are not what we look like.

So stop associating the word “beautiful” with “skinny,” and start associating it with “yourself.”  Because being yourself and being comfortable in your own body is the most beautiful thing that you can be.

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