Submitted by Brit Williams
Many of us are on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. They are meant for sharing and getting ideas, life events, keeping up with friends and reading about what’s happening in the world. Recently, I have noticed that there seems to be a phenomenon of sites using “Skinny” in their title as a way to entice their readers to pay attention to them and inspire a certain way of living.
I did a quick search on blog/websites that use skinny in their titles and sure enough about 10 sites came up within seconds: Skinny Ms., Skinny Mom, Eat Yourself Skinny, Skinny Taste, Skinny Kitchen, and so on… As I scrolled to the bottom of the page I read through the related searches. To my shock the topics related to skinny were anorexia, pro ana, and thinspriation blogs. My shock was less from how the topics were related, but more about how what I was feeling was confirmed.
When I read the names of the blogs and what they write about it evoked a sense of scarcity or “I’m not enough.” In fact, the word skinny means very lean or thin; emaciated. Emaciated means abnormal thinness caused by lack of nutrition or disease. Skinny is a hard word to “be” and to believe in.
Even if the blogs/websites have the intentions of supporting healthy living by helping people feel better about themselves and sharing tips, they do it at the cost of glorifying the thought of being emaciated. It unconsciously screams, “If you want to be happy, pretty, and liked by others, you should drink certain drinks, eat certain foods and exercise a certain way.” These thoughts lead to action and the action leads to other unintended consequences. The consequences could include: shameful thinking because they couldn’t meet the standards of the website or poor body imagine as they compare themselves to the pictures. Of course, these posts are not the only sources of influence on our society plagued with insecurity, but it plays into it all and magnifies negative thoughts.
My call to action for myself and others is to be aware of how these posts affect our way of thinking and acting. It takes a lot of mental power to overcome what the “skinny” world is telling us, but we have to overcome it and remember we are living for ourselves in the best way that we can.