‘Fitspiration’ on Pinterest…friend or foe?

Lately I’ve been a bit of a Pinterest addict. I find it’s a great tool for keeping track of online recipes I see that I’d like to make in the future. I also like to check out the fitness categories. I notice a lot of images like this:

“Thinspiration,” or “thinspo,” has been well-documented as being an important part of online eating disorder communities, such as “ana” (anorexia) and “mia” (bulimia) groups. Typically these groups will have collections of images highlighting thin models, such as this:

But what about this “fitspiration” that is so popular on Pinterest? Is it more of the same thing? Sure, the ideal in the picture is different….typically the images highlight a physically fit woman with very low bodyfat levels. Usually with some sort of motivational quote.

But is this not still making women focus on a near impossible ideal body? You can workout and eat healthy all you want, but the odds of you looking like the women in the images are pretty low. Many of these women are fitness competitors who certainly don’t walk around looking like that all year round. In fact, they are most likely severely dehydrated, just so they can look extra ‘cut’ in their photos.

Rather than focusing on what our individual bodies and being the best that we can be, this is still making us focus on what we “should” look like.

What do you think? Do you find these sort of images motivational? Why or why not? I’d love to hear others chime in on this.

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