Thinspo as an abbreviation for Thinspiration are influential images and videos shared to engage people into getting thin.
It is sometimes interchangeably used with the similar term “fitspo”, however, “fitspo” models tend to feature more muscles.
Thinspo is meant to be motivational to people whose aim is to lose weight, eat less, get fit or work on their bikini body.
Images and other media sharing Thinspo content normally involve a person having very little fat, and under average body weight.
As a negative side effect, Thinspo has often been blamed for the warped body image of people struggling with eating disorders, especially anorexia and bulimia, where the person end up always seeing themself as fat, even if they are only skin and bone.
Origin of the term
The term is made up of “thin” and “inspo”, short for “inspiration”.
It has an unclear origin, but seems to have been used since around 2006, when pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia media spread increased with a shocking 470%.
Spread of the term
Although anyone can be affected by Thinspo, the main target is usually women, who has already grown up to feel like they need a “perfect, slim body” to be accepted in society.
Increase of social media has exponentially affected the distribution of Thinspo media, and platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest has frequent use of the term.