Thinspiration on Pinterest

(NOTE: since I wrote this post you’ll notice that Pinterest removed the photos I shared. I have chosen to leave the post as is because I’m thrilled by their decision to take action and put an end to this trend. Thank you Pinterest!)

I love Pinterest as much as the next girl, but lately I’ve been bothered by the increased presence of “thinspiration” boards. I know this is nothing new to the internet, there are pro-eating disorder websites that promote awful messages and share “inspiring” images like this all the time.

But seeing thinspiration on Pinterest has not only irked me but has also broken my heart. So many women long to look like images from magazines (and I call them images because they are just that, they are not real women).

It breaks my heart to watch women pin & caption images that they believe will help them change.

As a fitness professional and a passionate supporter of healthy body images, I know it’s a fine line to walk. I walk this line everyday. There are some very inspirational sayings and images on Pinterest that empower women to be strong and healthy, but some of them go beyond what I consider to be healthy.

You know that here on The Balanced Life I’m all about inspiring women to get healthy for the RIGHT reasons.

Many of my clients and readers need and want to lose weight. That is okay.

But you will never see me encouraging women to post pictures of their dream body as motivation. You will never see me use guilt as a motivator.

True motivation and change must come from within. For change to occur, decisions must come from a place of self-love, not of hate.

Using images like this causes you to hate your own body and covet another. Hating your body makes your body the enemy and that will always work against you in the end. Constantly comparing yourself to others and striving for perfection is not only destructive, it doesn’t work.

If it were up to me, I’d love to see a lot more images like this:

And a lot less like this:

Source: via Karlee on Pinterest

Also, be aware that when you “re-pin” a pin, you may be promoting a pro-eating disorder website. Think twice and check the sources of your “fitness motivation” boards before you pin.

What do you think? Will you join me in pinning the positive and ditching the negative?



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  1. I agree. I try not to pin any thinspiration images. In fact, the ones of these so called perfect, thin looking girls look so unreal. I try to keep mine strong & healthy. Hate that this is such a trend on Pinterest. Tumblr is even worse. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Robin Long 8 years ago

    Hi Ericka, thanks for sharing. I’m right there with you. There’s nothing wrong with motivating yourself but there is certainly a healthy and un-healthy way to do it. Good for you for being aware of what you’re pinning!

  3. Robin 8 years ago

    Oh wow. Some of the images are really disturbing. I haven’t even seen those ones and I’m still completely on board with you (obviously).

  4. […] to giving up, burning out and ultimately losing motivation as time goes on. This yet another reason I’m not a fan on ‘thinspiration’ or ‘fitspiration’ and will never encourage you here or encourage any of my clients to use photos of other women for […]

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