Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Who Wants to See Something Awful? (*Trigger Warning*)

Thinspiration...probably one of the most moronic terms ever coined. A portmanteau of "thin" and "inspiration," thinspiration consists of photos of either emaciated or obese individuals, in hopes of inspiring or motivating the observer. We (the disordered) all claim to hate it, but the truth is, we all crave it.

When I was my sickest, I spent way too much time scanning Google Images or even Myspace for images of underweight chicks. Severely underweight chicks. Like, disgustingly so. At my worst, something like this would be "thinspiring:"

Yeah. I know.

The pictures we use for thinspiration are not pretty. I know that now. Illness isn't beautiful. I was once told that, "it's biological fact that you are your most beautiful when you're at your healthiest." When your ribs are sticking out of your chest, you're not at your healthiest. Period. I'm figuring out (slowly) what is beautiful and what is illness.

For example:

Six months ago, the image on the right was my ideal. I called that beauty. I wanted that. Now, with clearer vision and a clearer head, I can appreciate the curves on the image on the left. That is health. That is beauty.

I don't need thinspiration anymore. I see it for what it is. But I still look. Of course I do. It's a train wreck and I don't want to stop looking. Part of me is fascinated by what I used to find so inspiring. I'm looking for what I used to be able to see, because it isn't there anymore. I see images a bunch of girls that are a lot sicker than me and who should be looking at me for inspiration.

Oh, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some commonly used "thinspo" and, uh, debunk it?

A lot of images we use to inspire ourselves, it turns out, are grossly photoshopped. Not airbrushed, photoshopped beyond all recognition. Wanna see?

Here's some images you'll typically see on any pro-ana site:

Ok. Maybe to a non-disordered mind, it is easy to see that these are fakes. And they are. Various sources (Snopes included) have debunked these images as extreme photoshop jobs. But, when you're in the thick of the disorder, these images seem attainable. You strive for this. And eventually, even these images are too fat for you.

I'm really not sure who thinks creating these sickly images is a good idea. To me, these are malicious and, when you're sick in the head, dangerous. Truth is, while these photoshopped images look extreme, they're not that far from the truth. That's probably the worst part.

This image hasn't been photoshopped. And there are thousands more where this came from. And probably thousands more on their way.

And where are we supposed to fit into all of this?

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