Thin-spiration, Body Love & Beauty

In the past three days, I have seen two pictures circulating on Pintrest and Facebook from “pro-ana” sites.Thinspo

Unsuspecting dieters are liking and sharing these images (one at 50 likes/hr!) that display clear indicators of starving intentions: references to “pro-ana” tubmlr sites in their bottom right corners.*

If you are not familiar with them, “pro-ana” sites promote anorexic images, weight loss tactics, and normalization of the condition for the the thin-obsessed anorexics who create and frequent them.

The two circulating images I’ve recently seen (of many more) are of “perfectly” skinny women in bikinis – one with details about a tonic that will help you lose 5 lbs in 7 days; the other above.

These images feed lies.  You cannot lose 5 lbs in 7 days healthily (it’s just water weight that you’ll gain back), and 15 scissor kicks will not give you a size 24 waist.

The deeper lie is that that one must have a size 24 waist in order to be beautiful and therefore valuable, worthy, and lovable.  Quick fixes don’t last, and true beauty is not cheap!

Let me be clear.  I am not knocking beauty or our collective desire for it and appreciation of it.  Beauty inspires us, and it is a true and healthy desire.  However, when beauty becomes our idol or obsession, we have placed it somewhere where it was not meant to be.  Beauty is a natural expression of love that has been exploited by advertising dollars and an unhealthy desire to control.

When we are obsessed with our waistlines or plagued with the shame of not being able to reach what is not healthy or sustainable for most, we are not others-focused.  We are not in service.

In fact, we have literally turned the spotlight on ourselves so obsessively that we are nit-picking our tiniest “imperfections.”  We were not created to hyper-focus on ourselves.  We were created to give and serve with the unique gifts blessed to each and every one of us.

If you are comparing yourself to others, you are not expressing or intending true beauty.  If your drive comes from shame, fear, or judgement, the sense of beauty you attain will be fleeting.  Let beauty be a natural expression of the love and joy within.

I choose not to celebrate anorexia as beautiful.  I choose to live a healthy lifestyle – period – and not ride the diet roller coaster that only ever asks for the next best fad.

Please take a moment to watch this video, which has also been circulating recently.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Jonathan and Charlotte create an experience of true beauty as an artful expression of voice, inspiration, and loyalty.

Thought for the day:  I am beautiful, and I choose to see the beauty in all those I meet.  I ask to be given opportunities appreciate the gifting of others and to share my unique gifts in service of the greater good.  Because I choose to honor my body as a beautiful vessel through which to serve, I keep it healthy with rest, nutritious food, and exercise.  I choose love.

“Beautiful people do not just happen.” -Elizabeth Kubler Ros

♥ 90 Days of Love: 38/90 loving choices. 
Little choices + time =  wholehearted change.

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* The site I saw last Friday referenced a URL as bold as “ana4life” and you can see the one attached points to “boneobsession.tumblr.com,” which has been taken down.  I am guessing the removal of the site is because of its promotion of thin-spiration which has been banned by tumblr.

1 Comment

  1. jwit2 on March 13, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    i applaud the beliefs stated in this article. i respect and support the promotion of beauty and worth as qualities from within rather than images seen with the eyes, measured in inches and pounds. however, it is in fact possible to lose 5 lbs in 7 days beyond water weight and so far, tumbler is still PACKED with pro ana thinspo – the entire website called myproana.com is frighteningly well stocked with images, diets, blogs and live chat. all of it is risky. just TRYING to lose 5 lbs in 7 days is very risky, regardless of if it works or not, and submerging oneself in all of the pro ana movement available is the same as allowing an alcoholic free reign in a liquor store. there is some validity in the sentiment that these site offer “support” – some tiny validity for a fleeting moment when someone suffering feels less alone and then? then its simply toxic, sick perpetuation of the disease and the mindset that is indeed deeply isolating and selfcentered. it is important to not view this in a hateful manner, however. it is not “selfish” with malicious intent – most people consumed by disordered eating are either too young/inexperienced to conceptualize life and themselves beyond their immediate present – in other words, they honestly cannot see how their issues apply to the rest of the world, it isnt within their grasp yet. Or, some are painfully aware of how isolating it is, and that isolation makes them far from the best wife, mother, daughter, son, friend….. you cannot be the full person you have potential to be when you are suffocating your Self with an eating disorder. knowing that it is suffocating everyone else too may or may not be a good thing depending on the person. it is good to see the dialog of self-less-ness applied to these issues of eating disorders and their promotion online. they have thrived before the internet and will continue regardless of it, but to see it battled is so much healthier than seeing it encouraged, no matter how they want to spin it.

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