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Susan Cowden, MS

'Thinspiration' - It's more common that you might think.

By March 1, 2012

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I have been on Pinterest for a few months now and have been enjoying having a place to 'pin' home decor ideas, recipes and fun things to do.  However, I was completely caught off guard when I noticed that a friend who I was 'following' on Pinterest had pinned a photo with dieting tips on it.  As an eating disorder therapist I know that I am more sensitive to such topics and started to shrug it off - but then I noticed that the watermark on the photo was for a pro-ana site.

I know the person who pinned the photo well enough to be relatively sure she doesn't have an eating disorder.  However, why was she pinning things like that then?  Well I decided to e-mail her and let her know it came from a pro-ana site.  She quickly responded by deleting her pin and explaining that she didn't even realize that there was such a thing as a pro-eating disorder website.

I use this story to illustrate the point that many, many people have bought into the idea that "thin=beautiful" to the point that they may not even recognize pro-ana propaganda.  And, sometimes we stumble upon dangerous photos and information when we least expect it.  Challenge your beliefs about weight and educate yourself about thinspos, thinspiration and pro-eating disorder sites.  We, as a society, must become aware of the messages that we buy into.

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