what is thinspo?

Thinspo is a portmanteau of the words thin and inspiration. The term is used on social media platforms, typically Instagram, as a hashtag to caption pictures of extremely thin people or images that promote dangerous levels of weight loss. 

The thinspo movement has been criticized for promoting an unhealthy and potentially life-threatening body image. Some argue that thinspo is a form of self-harm, as it can trigger eating disorders in vulnerable individuals.  

Others argue that thinspo can be motivating for those who are already at a healthy weight and simply want to become toned. They argue that the images shared under the thinspo hashtag provide motivation and inspiration for leading a healthy lifestyle.

The appeal of thinspo is undeniable. The promise of a thinner, more beautiful body is something that many people aspire to. And while there are health risks associated with thinspo, such as anorexia and bulimia, many people are willing to take those risks in order to achieve their goal.

The appeal of thinspo

There are a number of reasons why thinspo is so appealing. First, the media portrayal of thin bodies as the ideal is everywhere. From magazines to movies, TV shows to social media, we are constantly bombarded with images of thin celebrities and models. This creates a very strong desire in many people to attain that same level of thinness.

The appeal of thinspo

Second, being thin often signifies success and attractiveness. In our society, thinner people are seen as more successful and more attractive than those who are overweight.

The appeal of thinspo

The term “thinspo” is derived from the words “thin” and “inspiration.” It is used to describe images and messages that promote being thin. Unfortunately, many of these images and messages are unhealthy and can lead to eating disorders.

The dangers of thinspo

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that can have devastating consequences. They are characterized by an obsession with food and weight. People with eating disorders often see themselves as overweight, even when they are not. This can lead to extreme dieting and other dangerous behaviors.

The dangers of thinspo

Thinspo can be particularly harmful because it often idealizes unhealthy behaviors like extreme dieting and exercise. It can also Normalize disordered eating habits and create a distorted body image. This can lead to a cycle of negative thinking and destructive behavior.

The dangers of thinspo

Why thinspo is a problem?

Open Hands

Thinspo, or "thinspiration," is a problem for many people who are struggling with eating disorders or body dysmorphic disorder. The influx of thinspo images on social media has made it easier for people to compare themselves to others and feel inadequate. This can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

People who are exposed to thinspo images may start to see their own bodies as flawed and begin to obsess over their weight and appearance. They may start to restrict their food intake or engage in other disordered eating behaviors in an attempt to achieve the "perfect" body. This can quickly lead to a spiral of unhealthy behaviors that can be hard to break free from. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, it's important to seek professional help.


It's no secret that the "thinspo" community on social media is full of images and messages that promote extreme weight loss. But what's often missing from these platforms is any discussion of the potential dangers of such behavior.