Despite efforts to place a ban on pro-anorexia motivational photos on social media websites like Pinterest and Tumblr, the debate continues on as more thinspiration pictures emerge online at Instagram under the hash tag thinspo.
The thinspiration community online garnered national attention when groups began posting motivational photos of anorexic women, weight loss tips and quotes for extreme dieting originally on Tumblr. The pictures then moved to Pinterest, prompting both social networks to create a policy against posting photos involving self-harm or promote anorexia or bulimia in March. Pinterest banned content that creates a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement or physical or mental illness to yourself, to any other person, or to any animal.
Now, the content has moved to Instagram, with over 30,000 photos under the hash tag #thinspo, 12,000 under thinspiration and 13,000 under ana, which is short for anorexia. Some of the photos include pictures of notable supermodels like Kate Moss and Karlie Kloss, to name a few. Celebrities have also participated in the thinspiration phenomenon, like Alex Chung who was under fire earlier this week for posting a photo of herself looking emaciated on Instagram.
People are different sizes. I'm not trying to be thinspo for anyone, Chung wrote and changed her account settings to private.
More shocking, however, are some of the comments about the photos being posted.
Continue Reading Below
my mom is makin me food now. i dont want it. in the meantime how about some thinspo!! wrote Twitter user BeThin2012.
So far, Instagram has not addressed the issue of the thinspiration photos on its site, however community guidelines do outline moral standards to uphold.
Remember that our community is a diverse one, and that your photos are visible to people as young as 13 years old. While we respect the artistic integrity of photos, we have to keep our product and the photos within it in line with our App Store's rating for nudity and mature content, it reads.
However, groups like the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) have spearheaded efforts with Facebook to rid of content along with countering the thinspo and thinspiration hash tags with a new one, Proud2BeMe, which promotes healthy body image.