Artist Statement: When I was in treatment for my eating disorder I decided to use Instagram to help others who are also struggling with disordered eating. I started writing poems to share my story and connect with others who would understand my experiences. While I was posting, I noticed “thinspiration” ads pop up and after everything I’ve gone through, that made me really frustrated. I chose to write poetry about that experience because poetry helps me get my thoughts straight and remind myself why I want to be healthy and it helps me counter not only those ads but the ED voice in my head who buys into them and tells me I am not worthy enough or need to lose weight.
I’m proud of myself for making art and I wanted to share that with other teens who are like me. I want other teens to know it’s okay to be affected by those types of ads, but also they don’t have to give in to that type of pressure. After writing all this, I’m actually proud of myself. Those ads still affect me, but I can use them to remind myself why I’m dedicated to this, how far I’ve come, and why I want to share my story with other teens. I want to break the stigma around eating disorders and inspire others to do the same.
Inspiration for unattainable thinness
A thinness that is somehow marketed to define attractiveness
A thinness thought to bring happiness
When I would look at these photos
I would cry myself to sleep
At the sight of their
Something they somehow pulled off so effortlessly
But as hard as I tried, I couldn’t
Instant hatred and anger towards my body were brought to me.
I thought the only solution
was to lose weight
Inspiration should be positive
Motivate me to reach a certain achievable goal
While still being happy with myself and the progress I have made
Not make me believe the key to happiness
I let these lies into my brain
I let these pictures ruin my days
I let myself believe these girls were happy
And the accounts posting these pictures
along with the followers liking the posts will love me too,
if I looked like that.
It became a competition.
And the finish line was always “one step away”.
What is inspiring about these girls?
What are their accomplishments?
Having what my anorexia told me
Was the only type of beautiful.
Luckily, now when I look at these posts
I get nauseous at the thought of these girls flaunting their sickly figure
I get furious
That there are little girls seeing these images
And they too,
This is beauty.
This teen writer is a freshman in high school who has struggled with an eating disorder. She hopes to share her experiences with other teens and help them feel connected.