Thinspiration: An Alarming New Trend for Teen Girls


Thinspiration: n Photographs or other material intended to provide inspiration for anorexia nervosa, under eating, over-exercising and being underweight as a lifestyle choice.

I was clued into thinspiration a few months ago by a teen intern. She explained to me, “Girls who really want to be skinny look at pictures of other skinny girls to inspire them to eat less or work out or to continue to be hungry and skip meals.”

A quick Google search of thinspiration brings up a ton of websites, images and videos mostly teen girls have made to support the ‘ana’ lifestyle. ‘Ana’ is shortened version of anorexia nervosa.

It is very important for parents to be aware of this behavior. I highly recommend parents keep tabs on the kinds of websites, pictures and videos teens are watching. Many of these types of videos would not flag parental control softwares or be blocked under Google Safe Search because there is no nudity or inappropriate content. However, these images, this behavior and more importantly, this internet subculture is extremely damaging. The Ana and Thinspiration websites encourage and normalize disordered eating.

Feel free to share thoughts in the comments.

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2 Responses to “Thinspiration: An Alarming New Trend for Teen Girls”

  1. Debbie
    March 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    This is really concerning. Like you said, these kind of websites would not be flagged on parental control. Other than snooping in their rooms, it could be difficult knowing what the kids are upto online. I believe communication and observation is important to notice any unusual behavior (skipping meals etc). Our society really hypes “thinness” and it places undue pressure on teen girls when they are the most vulnerable…


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