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Do you know what a gravitational singularity is? It’s a complex idea but in simplest terms, it’s the ‘center’ of a black hole, the area beyond what’s known as the “Event Horizon” wherein nothing can escape, not even light. It’s basically an overpowering gravitational force in space. It’s also where all sanity goes when the term “Thinspiration” crops up into conversation. Yes, that’s a real thing and, yes, its proponents expect it to be taken seriously.
Thinspiration as a movement is not the same as organizations that declare that healthy and fit bodies are the ideal. Rather, the Thinspiration movement is basically a literal incarnation of pro-anorexia propaganda and they espouse that the concept of ‘thinness’ to be the be-all-end-all, not fitness or even happiness. It’s one of the most self-destructive things I’ve ever witnessed as these groups post images of corpselike visages and boast about how much weight they’ve managed to lose from an already malnourished and underweight form. I shy away from this comparison under any other circumstances but the truth is it seriously reminds me of the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, except the inmates seem to enjoy it in this context or, at least, claim to.
I’ve generally neglected to mention the movement because they tended to keep to themselves; out of sight, out of mind. However, in a recent Yahoo News article (http://shine.yahoo.com/beauty/kate-upton-defends-her-curves-8220-gorgeous-very-181300013.html) one outspoken Thinspiration blog attacked a model, Kate Upton, who was already pretty slender to start as being, and I quote, “lardy”. They go on to say about Upton’s physique, formatting theirs, “Huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition--she looks like a squishy brick.” That is, until the blog was met with a slew of negative feedback where it immediately slammed on the brakes and backtracked, desperately trying to hide the more extreme aspects of their movement by including links to self-help sites. Nice try, but the damage is done already and it really goes to show just how meaningless words like “big”, “fat”, “small” and “thin” really are since they’re all comparative terms.
Thinspiration is something like a cult in terms of the zeal of its proponents and it’s not like it should take but a glance at the popular culture to see where the rabid fanaticism of its ambitions stems from. From childhood, little girls are inundated by grossly unrealistic, horrific parodies of the human body in the form of Disney Princesses, Barbie dolls, the always-mortifying Bratz dolls, actresses in movies who could be replaced by CGI replicas what with how much they’re air-brushed to death, the list just goes on. The message to little girls is “you want to look like this” and the message to little boys is “you want a mate who looks like this” and it’s just psychologically damning all around. It’s a sad, but not entirely unforeseen side effect.
The good news is that the Thinspiration movement is small and counter-cultural. The mainstream media, despite its obsession of thinness on the whole, isn’t ready to make a plunge into the decidedly zombie-like territory of ultra-thinness. In fact, studies repeatedly show that people generally identify better with the “girl next door” appearances and a body type 2-3 dress sizes higher than the average model seems to be the ideal. For now, the problem lies more in that the advocates and talking heads of Thinspiration are basically killing themselves and ignoring the dangers in so doing. They really shouldn’t be hated for that, rather, pitied.
However, the key underlying point I want to make here isn’t that we should get angry or write threatening e-mails or anything like that, no. My point here is that all of humanity is beautiful on the merit of BEING human, not some arbitrary ever-changing standard of “beauty” which morphs with every generation and culture. We should strive to be above the desire to ridicule others based on appearances and differences because the end to that appearance-based discrimination is everything we’ve ever dreamed of. Can you picture in your mind a world where nobody judges by appearances but by what you have in your heart and soul? I know I sure can and it seems like a pretty great thing to me.
Hey, I got it, how about instead of hating ourselves and separating ourselves into camps of “Them” and “Us” we do something REALLY wild and REALLY daring? How about we try to love ourselves and the people around us? Crazy, isn’t it? Want to give it a try? Okay, here’s how this is going to work, for male and female readers alike, take a moment every day and really look at yourself in a mirror, naked if possible so you can’t hide anything. While doing so, deliberately try to find your good points and for once just don’t stop to consider the things you don’t like. Don’t just stop at the physical either, seriously thing about your personality, your hobbies, your friends, your family and really stop to count your blessing like today was your last day on Earth and think about all the good things you have going for you. For one month, seriously try this exercise once a day. Maybe you might notice a change in how you view others too. What could it hurt?
Written by: Jeff M.
"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken."
"August creates as she slumbers, replete and satisfied."