A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon an article, I don’t even remember where I read it, that talked about the new theme in Pinterest boards. Thinspo is inspiration to get thin. The idea intrigued me and so of course I immediately headed to Pinterest and searched the theme. Thousands of images and boards came up immediately. I spent at least an hour scroll through pin after pin. Later that afternoon I was out for a walk and couldn’t figure out why I felt so down. I realized as I walked the Boston streets that usually invigorate me that I was unfairly comparing myself to every single person that walked by and that I usually didn’t come close to measuring up. I shook myself out of that ridiculous stupor but realized the negativity, in a large part was due to the hour I had spent looking at Thinspo boards.

These boards, for the most part, are not just inspiration for women to get fit and drop pounds in the process. Most of the catchphrases displayed in fun colors have nothing to do with health and true physical well being. Instead it is propaganda that forces women to think rail thin is the only way to be happy. The only way to be fully human.

I’m sorry but that is just crazy. A picture of an uber-thin girl that says something like ‘to be able to find my size in a store’ is just plain silly. I’ve gone on fashion consultations with women of all shapes and sizes. It can be just as difficult to find a size 0 as it is to find a size 16. Shopping is frustrating for nearly everyone. The ‘reasons’ to be thin, according to these pins, are things like ‘to have a picture of me in a bikini as my profile picture.’ That would be a sad existence and reality if the main reason someone wanted to lose weight was to have a provacative profile picture.

I will be the first to admit that I wish I was a couple sizes smaller. The last two years of my life have been a little crazy and I’ve put on weight since I stopped running and working out with the frequency that I had before. For inspiration I do have a fitness board. (That’s where the pics in this post come from.) It acts as a reminder of how my body changes when I invest time into working out and eating right. It is not filled with pictures of models who are so thin their ribs are outlined. It does not have phrases saying ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny looks.’ It’s about reality.

And that’s not to say I have anything against those who are naturally smaller sizes. My younger sister was always the smallest of us all growing up. She is very easily a size 2 or 4. She lifts weights, works out, runs and eats right in order to maintain that look. But it’s a healthy skinny.

Neither of us are determined by the size number on our clothing. No woman is. I AM perfect as I am. I do not need to compare myself to others to find my self worth. My value comes from more than a side-by-side comparison to a complete stranger or even a good friend. My value is from being human, from working hard, from loving others, from being one small cog in this wheel of the world. It saddens me to see how many people feel they aren’t beautiful or worthwhile unless they are thin. The lie needs to be stopped. You are beautiful because you are. End. Of. Story.

 

A version of this post appeared on my fashion blog.

Katie Hinderer

Katie Hinderer is a freelance writer and social media enthusiast. She holds a degree in Journalism from Marquette University. Over the years she has transitioned from traditional publishing...