Social media spreads eating disorder ‘Thinspiration’

19 Jun

In Children, body image, bullying, and eating disorders, moi said:

The media presents an unrealistic image of perfection for women and girls. What they don’t disclose is for many of the “super” models their only job and requirement is the maintenance of their appearance. Their income depends on looks and what they are not able to enhance with plastic surgery and personal trainers, then that cellulite can be photoshopped or airbrushed away. That is the reality. Kid’s Health has some good information about Body Image

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, Children Diet To Keep Off Pounds And Ward Off Bullying, Survey Says:

A recent survey of 1,500 of children between ages 7 and 18 revealed that young teens diet and worry about their weight.

About 44 percent of children between the ages of 11 and 13 say they’ve been bullied because of their weight, and more than 40 percent of kids younger than 10 admitted they were concerned about packing on the pounds, with nearly one-fourth reporting having been on a diet in the last year, according to the Press Association….

Last year, 13-year-old Nicolette Taylor resorted to plastic surgery to escape harassment and name-calling, particularly on social networking sites such as Facebook.

All my friends could see [my nose], all my new friends, and I didn’t want them saying things,” Taylor told Nightline about her decision to get a nose job. “Gossip goes around, and it really hurts.”

Other teens have felt suicide was their only way to escape daily scrutiny about their appearance or sexuality.

Although adolescents get picked on for a variety of reasons, weight is the top reason children are bullied at school, Yahoo! Shine reports.

And according to Rebecca Puhl, Director of Research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy at Yale University, a new ad campaign in Georgia is only “perpetua[ting] negative stereotypes.”

The ads, which aim to curb childhood obesity rates, feature photos of overweight children accompanied by text, such as “WARNING: It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/children-diet-bullying_n_1186422.html?ref=email_share

It is situations like this which cause unhealthy eating habits and disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Web MD has some excellent information about anorexia. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/children-body-image-bullying-and-eating-disorders/

KING5 News reported the story,‘Thinspiration’ photo trend encouraging anorexia, bulimia http://www.king5.com/health/Thinspiration-encouraging-anorexia-bulimia–159510025.html Carolyn Gregoire wrote the Huffington Post article,THE HUNGER BLOGS: A Secret World Of Teenage ‘Thinspiration’:

“It’s a huge issue,” says Claire Mysko, an advisor to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), who has seen a large increase in the number of pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia blogs since Tumblr exploded in popularity last year. “Young people who are prone to disordered eating are generally plagued with insecurity and feeling very isolated, so this world of pro-ana provides a community and a sense of belonging, and validates their experiences. But unfortunately, it does so in a way that promotes incredibly unhealthy and dangerous behavior.”

Search around on Tumblr, and you’ll find a variety of like-minded thinspo and “fitspo” blogs, absorbed with fashion photographs, food-diary entries, and quotes on willpower and beauty. Every word and image posted declares the user’s allegiance to an underweight ideal of beauty.

After launching in 2007, Tumblr has shown incredible growth — last year, the site generated roughly 15 billion pageviews and attracted 120 million unique visitors each month. What draws teens to Tumblr in the first place — the ease of sharing and finding bloggers with common interests, a parent-free environment (now that Facebook has become family friendly), and the diary-like feel of its blogs — also makes the site conducive to health and weight-loss blogs.

And where those blogs are prevalent, it’s likely that pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia pages that promote disordered eating will thrive, as well. The Tumblr platform is ideal for giving expression to both inspirational and aspirational content — their intimate and frequently anonymous nature make it comfortable for authors to post highly personal information alongside collages of fashion photographs, in an effort to inspire themselves and other girls who are desperate to shed pounds.

“Tumblr, unfortunately, is the perfect toxic expression of these [preoccupations],” says body-image expert Jess Weiner, author of A Very Hungry Girl and contributing editor for Seventeen Magazine.

Although thinspiration sites have been around nearly as long as the Internet itself — as far back as 2001, Yahoo! removed roughly 115 sites (pro-ana was the label used at that time) citing violations of the company’s terms of service — the depth and scope of Tumblr’s teen thinspo community seems unprecedented. Tumblr-based thinspo blogs are a sort of pro-ana 2.0, forgoing chat rooms and message boards in favor of eerily elegant images, sophisticated design, pop-culture references, private messaging, and street-style sensibility. The blogs are reflections of their creators. For millennial girls — uber-connected, style savvy, image-conscious, and concerned about uncertain economic futures — Tumblr offers an intimate, exclusive, and of-the-moment niche community of peers.

The pages are both personal memoirs and public bulletin boards. In one corner, you’ll see a “motivational” quote (“I came into 2012 fat but I’m going to leave it skinny,” which was ‘reblogged,’ or shared, more than 1,500 times), and in another, a photo of Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr strutting down the catwalk. Melancholy song lyrics once reserved for the private corners of dog-eared notebooks (“Come on skinny love, what happened here? Come on skinny love, just last the year,” from Bon Iver’s 2008 indie anthem), share the turmoil of the teenage years with thousands of followers.

The poster girl for thinspo bloggers is Cassie, the starry-eyed, anorexic pill-popper of the British teen television drama Skins, whose image pops up all over the thinspo blogosphere. The models most frequently featured are Karlie Kloss and Kate Moss. An iconic black-and-white photograph of Kate in an oversized T-shirt that reads “I Beat Obesity” is a recurring theme, perfectly capturing the ethos of the thinspo community. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/08/thinspiration-blogs_n_1264459.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Beautiful people come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The key is to be healthy and to live a healthy lifestyle.

Related:

Helping Girls With Body Image

New emphasis on obesity: Possible unintended consequences, eating disorders                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/new-emphasis-on-obesity-possible-unintended-consequences-eating-disorders/

“Thinspiration”: Social Media’s Dark Side http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/Thinspiration-Social-Medias-Dark-Side-152126335.html

Alarming trend: Kate and Pippa as ‘thinspiration’ http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43755965/ns/today-today_health/t/alarming-trend-kate-pippa-thinspiration/#.T-CjLJFPm-Z

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

3 Responses to “Social media spreads eating disorder ‘Thinspiration’”

  1. Taryn Reksten July 11, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    Eating disorders can be handled by consulting a excellent therapist. A number of eating disorders are caused by some psychological problems. “`'”, Regards vitamins webpage

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