If you’ve been on any kind of social media site, especially ones that revolves around images, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about when I mention the word “thinspiration.” By the way, I hate this word because it seems to go against true inspirations.
Anyway, I recently went on Pinterest and Instagram, and looked through the “thinspiration” tag and what I found just makes me so sad. There are photos of incredibly thin women, quotes such as “I’m going to run ’til I don’t jiggle”, and basically advertisements for anorexia. There’s this whole obsession that beautiful means you can’t have that second piece of pizza or your thighs don’t touch when you stand.
I have absolutely nothing against striving for better health but there’s this whole belief that health means being as thin as possible, especially for women. And then the whole body-shaming comes in. I’m talking about the insults directed to anyone who happens to look as if their below or above the “average” weight, whatever the hell that means, right? I know perfectly well that it’s not just overweight people who get verbally abused; it’s the underweight people too. Actually you can be at a perfectly “normal” weight and people will find one little thing that they can make fun of.
I don’t think it’s occurred to enough people that we are all born with different body types, and out body strives to be whatever that so happens to be. Some people are naturally more slender or more muscular or have larger bones or things of that sort. That all has to do with genetics. So you could do the same exact workout and have the same exact diet as another person and still end up with different results.
I saw a particular quote in the tag that goes “being able to wear whatever you want and look amazing” with a photo of a particularly slender young woman. I feel like it should read “confidence is being able to wear whatever you want and look amazing”. You don’t have to be a single digit size to look “amazing” and that’s why I keep putting words such as “average” and “normal” in quotes. There’s not really a single definition for them.
I guess what I really want you to take away from this somewhat lengthy spiel is that being healthy doesn’t have to mean being thin. Like I said, we all have different body types. Someone who stands at 5′ 2″ like I do can weigh 95 lbs or 120 lbs and still be perfectly healthy.
As someone who continuously suffers from an eating disorder, I beg of you to stop comparing yourself to others. As cheesy as it is true, you’re beautiful in your own way. And I know more than anyone that this is something incredibly difficult to accept and I still have those days where I think it’s a complete lie.
But let me tell you this: having a thigh gap isn’t worth a lifetime of struggling. Every single day is a fight for me and millions of others out there and I know that every single one of them would prevent another one from falling victim to the illness if they could.
So don’t strive to look a certain way; strive for confidence. Strive to feel good about yourself.
When you do, you’ll wholeheartedly believe whoever you see in the mirror is beautiful.