“Thinspiration” and “Fitspiration” are the names given to social media hashtag crazes that highlight challenges in body image. First bringing this dangerous and bizarre trend to light was the “thigh gap”. It was considered unattractive for women’s thighs to be touching in a standing position. Styles and models have changed, forcing culture to adapt. Girls are creating these trends out of insecurity. They can be damaging and harmful, especially to those trying to recover from eating disorders. Many experts are concerned that these trends can create eating disorders.
Fitness has become the new guise under which eating disorders hide themselves. Hyper-focus on health, nutrition and fitness has encouraged a new ideal in perfectionist body image. The new body is sculpted to a fine chisel, clean from impure foods, and pushed to its maximum capacity in fitness. “Fit is the new thin” or “strong is the new skinny” are common phrases accompanying this trend. The ab crack trend asks that the middle muscle between both sides of the abdomen be deeply defined. Health experts warn that working on this physique damages the adipose tissue, the healthy and necessary layer of fat that protects the muscles.
A thin waist is often the obsession of poor body image. Popular culture has demonized the idea of mass and body fat through decades of PhotoShopping and altering the images of women. Magazines, movies, and even print advertisements have honed in on the ideal and perfect body being signified by a tiny waist. The belly button challenge asks participants to wrap their arms under their back and around their stomachs. If they cannot reach their belly button, they are not thin enough.
In the collarbone challenge, thinness is determined by the amount of objects on can place on their collar bone. True success is measured by whether or not the objects fall over. The idea is that thinness is exemplified by a protruding clavicle.
Primarily popular in young asian girls, the “A4 waist trend” is a challenge to prove just how “paper thin” one is. The name refers to the size of the paper women hold against their bodies to see if their waistlines fit within the boundaries of the paper. Drastic thinness will encourage drastic measures.
Balancing on IPhone on one’s knees pressed together has become symbolic of perfection by way of being thin. According to this trend, the width of one’s legs pressed together should not extend beyond the length of the phone. The IPhone six is 5.5 inches long, meaning that each leg should measure no more than 2.75 inches each- a nearly impossible standard.