I should start off by saying that I love Pinterest just as much as the next fashion/decor/fitness/food fan. I can’t tell you how much time I spend scrolling through pages upon pages of beautiful things that usually just point out my own mediocrity/inadequacy but that I still love nonetheless.
But I’ve got this beef with Pinterest. You see, amongst all the pictures of tasty looking treats, beautifully decorated bedrooms, and well dressed fashionistas you will find photos that provide “thinspiration” to those seeking to lose weight and get skinny (“thinspiration” being a term combining “thin” and “inspiration”). While I will admit to having pinned many fitness/health related images on my personal Pinterest, I refuse to ever pin anything that tells people to starve themselves to become skinny. But all too many impressionable pinners (usually teen/young adult women) are pinning downright unhealthy images that link to blogs with even worse “health” advice.
Probably the worst “pin” I have come along was the description in this one:
The “advice” goes on with other “tips” like “wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it when you want to eat”, “smell coffee to suppress your appetite”, and “take a picture of yourself wearing a bathing suit and look at it before you eat”. There’s pretty much nothing about eating often and healthfully, exercising moderately, or feeling good about your progress (all the things that will actually help a person get fit).
I won’t go as far as saying pins like this will give someone an eating disorder-there is no proof of that, and I don’t see one image as having the power to do that. However, when large amounts of images like these are being thrown into Pinterest users’ faces, you almost can’t help to look down at that chocolate ice cream you’re eating and feel slightly down on yourself.
I’m not saying that I’m about to petition against this sort of thing- it’s the internet and in holding true to the freedom of speech, people should be able to post what they want. The problem here is that people actually believe a lot of what is put on the internet- it’s simply a matter of being educated in regards to who we can trust with health advice and going to sites like Pinterest with the mindset that the friend who pins onto her “Thinspiration” board just might not know what is best for living healthy and fit.
Next time you’re on Pinterest, pin images that are inspiration for having good health while spreading positive messages like these:
And maybe just for fun, throw one of these babies at ’em! A little dessert never hurt anybody.
Pin responsibly! =]