Thinspiration. A clever way of combining the words thin and inspiration. Using pictures of the underweight as motivation.
I've seen girls looking at pictures of other girls hunched over showing off their protruding spine in the mirror. Girls who have their "feet together and thighs apart, the collarbones is where we start, feel the hips and count the ribs, that's what makes us skinny bitch". Girls showing off their new bikini bridge or posing as paper thin. Pictures upon pictures upon pictures being spread around twitter, tumblr and pinterest. Pictures of girls with long hair and thin arms saying that "eating isn't very Chanel" and that they "skipped dinner to wake up thinner". Girls believing that not eating makes them perfect. That their "collarbones and hipbones are as strong as their mind". Girls asking other girls how they got so thin and being told that "hunger hurts but starvation works"
Girls clinging on to these quotes and images because their illness is the only thing that defines them.
Look a bit more closely. Read the captions carefully. Look at how these girls are so malnourished and have such bad body dysmorphia that the emaciated feel fat. Look and see the scars from cuts covering their bodies from the inner self hatred. Look at the way these girls are hunched over, in the same pose as a sick animal. When animals get too thin, we pity them. When girls get too thin, we worship them.
I'm not going to lie. I've looked at these pictures. I've drooled over other girls thigh gaps, wishing that the fat on my legs could disappear. I've looked at other girls chest bones then posed in the mirror in a thousand different ways to try to see mine. I've stared at protruding collar bones while feeling mine.
I don't believe that thinspo causes eating disorders. You have to already be sick to think this is sane. Depression, anxiety, genetics, trauma, bullying and environment all trigger eating disorders. Although thinspo doesn't cause eating disorders, it gives those who are sick a reason to stay sick. Thinspo may not be the root of the problem, but it still kills us in the end.