Thursday, September 23, 2010

“Thin” as a bad word

The word “thin” and all the bastardized hybrid words made from it irk me when referring to weight loss.  “Thinspiration” is a word used by pro-ana communities and therefore has an unhealthy connotation.  I don’t watch weight loss “reality” shows (read Bridget’s “Biggest Loser” post on Hollaback Health – it pretty  much sums up my feelings exactly), but have heard of a new one called “Thintervention” – wouldn’t it make more sense if the show were about eating disorder interventions?  I admit, it’s a catchy term…”healthervention” just doesn’t have that same snappy ring to it.

To me, a word containing “thin” means an extreme – gaunt, unhealthy, disordered.  I hear “oh she looks thin” and think “sickly.”  I imagine someone being described as “thin” to be skin and bones, malnourished, painful-looking.  I expect “thin” to be on the opposite side of the spectrum than “obese,” nowhere near the happy medium I hope to find.

Are we doing damage to people, fat and “thin” alike, by using this word as an ideal?

How much power does a word have?  Does everyone have that knee-jerk reaction to the word “thin,” or am I bringing too much baggage to it?