I came across an article that explained Tumblr efforts to ban content that “actively promotes or glorifies self-injury or self-harm,” and Pinterest soon followed the same suit – check out the article on Mashable. It stirred up some strong emotions about the whole issue.
The internet is still the wild west and I’m glad that my teen years were during the time when the internet was just starting to take off. Being submersed in digitally altered photos, age of plastic surgery, and images of impossibly thin models would have definitely had a negative impact on my already vulnerable teen state. I’m not going to lie, I too have a Thinspiration board. Its labelled Focus on your FITNESS on Pinterest and I religiously look at it before I’m about to take off to the gym. It really helps me get in the right mind frame. The only difference is that I have fought through my issues to identify who I am as a woman and have a strong sense of self – teen girls are in the crux of this dilemma.
If these Thinspiration boards and images make teen girls feel extremely vulnerable during this time of self-discovery, then how do we protect them? My source of insecurity and lack of self-esteem growing up stemmed from my uber critical female family members. Many of you can relate, as women tend to be more critical of each other than men are. So the source of security and solid self-esteem needs to start at home. The internet did not bear your baby girl. She needs to have the in-depth discussions of what’s real or fiction in the media and learn the tools that will protect her worth. Parent’s, older sisters, cousins must be the foundation of security and self-worth that girls need. These boards are not the root of the problem, society as a whole holding women and girls to these unattainable standards is. The frenzy about women like the real-life ukrainian barbie, doesn’t help the issue either!
Nonetheless, this issue will not go away over night. I’m glad Tumblr and Pinterest took a stand. Will it stop the thinspiration posts from going up on these sites? I doubt it but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.