Thinspiration: what’s all that dieting really about?

‘Thinspiration’ is a term which refers to the use of a celebrity photograph as a method of inspiration for weight-loss.

Chances are good that you’ve already seen the pages of starved women with thigh gaps and bones sticking out – with quotes written on them like ‘skip dinner, get thinner’… ‘, ‘what’s more important, that pizza or your hip bones?’…

So we already know we have an epidemic of women starving themselves, but have you ever wondered what started it?



In the 1930s – 50s, curves were in and so advertising was all about selling weight gain to women. From dieting products to makeup to clothes to magazines to ‘beauty’ products, today skinny sells.



Marilyn Monroe, the most beautiful woman of her times, would be considered fat by today’s standards.


Today’s emaciated, fashionable ‘waif’ look started back in the 90s with ‘heroin chic’ models like Kate Moss and Jaime King (who was literally a teenage heroin addict) who featured dark circles under the eyes and angular bones sticking out.



Kate Moss famously said that ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.’


It was a backlash to the curvier supermodels such as Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford.



This is what was referred to as a ‘buxom’ Claudia Schiffer in 1994.


I’m sorry folks, but that is hardly what I think of as buxom; here’s the killer curves I’m talking about:



This is Aussie model Laura Wells, a famous and successful ‘plus-size’ model.


And really perhaps Naomi Klein says it best in her book ‘The Beauty Myth’. She states that “A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one?”

Yes! Because it’s not just the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual problem of millions of women believing they’re not good enough the shape they are, it’s the political problem of silenced, self-loathing women not being able to step up and shine.

I am pleased to say that government’s have finally begun to recognize the epidemic of anorexia and demand responsibility from the fashion houses. France & Israel have both implemented laws that state that any re-touched photo that alters the bodily appearance of a model for commercial purposes must carry a message stating it had been manipulated. They also require a medical certificate for models to show that they have a BMI of at least 18 (about 55 kg : 1.75 m (121 lb: 5.7 feet)) before being hired for a job and for a few weeks afterwards.


I look forward to more Marilyn Monroes in our advertising soon.



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