Skinny Gossip Drama

I’m not sure where I want to start this post, but I’ll start with the fact that I’ve never seen something so terrible in my life. I don’t typically rant about things, but this was something that I just couldn’t pass up. I’ve been working hard to try to recover from anorexia, and seeing some things makes it harder. I know we have the option to shut our eyes, but sometimes we also have the option to keep our eyes open and share our thoughts with the world.

As I was reading the news, I came across a headline that grabbed my attention. “Skinny Blogger Calls Kate Upton Fat Piggie.” Naturally, I’m going to click on it and read it because anyone who does this is just awful! When I read the article, I was disgusted! There is so much to say that I’m not sure where to begin.

First:

I’m all for free speech and speaking your mind, but there also has to be a limit. There is a point where your dysfunction can promote unhealthy habits for others.

So, I’ll just dive right into the topic here. I apologize for any readers if anything is triggering (not my intentions) and I will also say to please take note that if you don’t know me I am very sarcastic.

Taken directly from the site Skinny Gossip:

Is this a pro-ana site?

No. This is a pro-skinny site. We do not, have not, and will not condone any kind of self-harm. (Spend some time browsing our community if you don’t believe us – many people have been banned for glorifying that kind of behavior.) Also, PLEASE READ THIS. People who have illnesses of any kind shouldn’t be here – they should be seeking professional help and working to get well.

“Had the media bothered to look a little deeper, they would have seen the community behind the site – a community I’m very proud of. The Skinny Gossip forum is made up of more than 1,000 awesome young women supporting each other in health and, in some cases, recovery. It is a community where we prefer the skinny look, but not at the cost of health. Promotion of self-harm is not tolerated, and in several cases we have suspended or even banned members who did.”

My thoughts:

Really? Because you have a section called “Starving Tip of The Day” and if you look at what was on there, I’m pretty sure it’s all pro-anorexia behaviors. When I was so caught up in anorexia before I started treatment, this is all I thought about, this is all I did, this is all I looked for and THESE were the DISTORTED thoughts running through my head. Looking at food and holding it and convincing myself that it was disgusting is a DISTORTED and UNHEALTHY relationship with food.

Now, let’s look at terminology – it’s not saying “Hey – we support eating disorders and we think they are awesome and okay and everyone should have one!” but what is happening is they are supporting eating disordered behaviors (i.e. starving, skipping meals, fasting, appetite suppressant etc.)

So, she mentioned that the media should have looked deeper, and it’s full of, awesome young women supporting each other in health and, in some cases, recovery. It is a community where we prefer the skinny look, but not at the cost of health”…. Really? Because her at 5’7” and 100lbs is SEVERELY anorexic! When I was 5’4” and 105 lbs my dietitian talked about inpatient because I was already 20+ pounds under weight. Through simple browsing of her site, there are girls with goal weights that are well under the healthy BMI and the site promotes looking at model pictures, talking about how being emaciated is beautiful, and discussions of how disgusting some models look. That ALONE does not promote health. Promoting an emaciated body type does not promote health by any means… unless of course I missed that memo.

I decided to dig further. I wanted to know what the “Starving Tip of The Day” was. If she doesn’t promote self-harm and anorexia, then this will be full of health, right? I am battling anorexia and trying to recover, so if she is promoting health she can help me! So, I did some searching and was shocked about what I found. Now, she took it down, but the cached sites can still be found. I was disgusted with what I found. Just in the event you aren’t sure this is truly copied and pasted, I’ll post a lovely picture for you (below). I tried to find some of the less descriptive tips because for a person with an eating disorder, this could truly be a recipe for the hospital. This site promotes the most disgusting and messed up relationship with food. Now, remember ….. she is NOT promoting anorexia….. not at all… just certain behaviors …. you know, for health…. that’s all.

Taken from cached sites:

STARVING TIPS OF THE DAY

With my added thoughts under them…. Please note the sarcasm in my voice.

Posted on April 22, 2010 by Skinny Gurl in General, Thinspo, tips-and-tricks, xylophone

This starving tip of the day came from SkinnyGossip reader Abbey:

Whenever you start to reach for that little snack you’re craving, first take a minute to finger that lovely xylophone, or those beautiful ribs that have found their way out.  You don’t want to cover them up again, do you?

Thanks for the great tip Abbey!

Yeah, thanks for the great tip, Abbey – this truly promotes health! I feel so much healthier having read this! Counting all of my ribs can assure me that I’m healthy.

If you can count your ribs, you are sick. This is not promoting health, nor is it promoting happiness.

Posted on October 8, 2009 by Skinny Gurl in Thinspo, tips-and-tricks

This starving tip of the day came from SkinnyGossip reader “Pro-thinChic”: Put a mirror in front of your refrigerator or pantry – see if you’ll be able to pig out then! Thanks for the great tip!

*Losing weight isn’t a difficult process and EVERY single person can be skinny. Not just slim but skinny.

 

What a great tip! We can all be skinny? Really? What about our genetic predisposition? Should we forget about that? Should we forget about the fact that some of us have larger frames and others are built differently?

 

WE CAN’T ALL BE SKINNY – Our bodies are programmed to want to be at a certain number and it will fight us to get to that number (so all the dietitians have told me). We can fight the process and “be skinny” but that is going to be one hell of a long fight and I can guarantee it will be miserable hell! It was for me!

Posted on December 5, 2011 by Skinny Gurl in General, Thinspo, tips-and-tricks

This starving tip of the day came from SkinnyGossip reader Chrissy:

Think of your stomach pains in a whole new light. Your stomach doesn’t hurt because you are hungry, that burning feeling is fat melting off of you. When I am out and am tempted by fast foods or conveniences (candy bars, cereal bars…yes they are just as bad) I grab a handful or as much as I can anyway of my stomach and think of how gross it would be if I ate whatever I want. My clothes fit nice and tight and if I eat I know my tummy will bloat slightly…and uh..ick!

Thanks for the great tip Chrissy!

What a healthy tip, Chrissy! When I was so caught up in anorexia before I started treatment, this is all I thought about, this is all I did, this is all I looked for and THESE were the DISTORTED thoughts running through my head. Looking at food and holding it and convincing myself that it was disgusting is a DISTORTED and UNHEALTHY relationship with food. Everything about this paragraph is wrong. Your stomach is burning because your body is sending signals that it needs nourishment. You are tempted by fast foods because your body is sending signals that it needs lipids and carbs to burn for ENERGY. If you eat a meal, you will not get fat. Our bodies burn food as energy.

Thanks for the GREAT and HEALTHY tip Skinny Gossip! I feel healthier having gone to your site!

Posted on November 25, 2010 by Skinny Gurl in General, Thinspo, tips-and-tricks

This starving tip of the day came from SkinnyGossip reader Katy:

This is particularly good if you are fasting. Buy about 3-4 flavoured lip balms, which you can apply when your craving something sweet and guess what? No calories! I’ve managed to get a chocolate one, chocolate mint one and a peanut butter one! They work wonders for me

Thanks for the great tip Katy!

This is my favorite…. Somewhere in the world of treatment, I missed the memo that it’s okay to fast. I guess they forgot to tell me that after I finally hit goal weight.

Super healthy, Skinny Gossip! Thanks!

So, many people will have their opinions, and that is fine…. Obviously, I have my own as I am blogging right now. A “supporter” wrote The girls at skinnygossip.com may be bitchy and cruel at times, but a lot of them focus on thinness more as asceticism and beauty and discipline, rather than sickness or trying to starve themselves to death.” I think people really don’t understand eating disorders and how deep they run. Anorexics aren’t trying to die! Anorexics are focused on thinness as a discipline and we don’t see ourselves as sick! When I was ill I didn’t admit it – I felt strong, capable and powerful. I was focused on my weight and food and I felt in control and disciplined, but I was sick. My organs were not performing due to malnutrition and I was severely harming my body. If you aren’t a professional or living through the illness/family of someone living through it, odds are you don’t have a damn clue about what you’re talking about when it comes to eating disorders.

Sadly, I think a lot of people don’t realize the number of eating disorders and disordered eating that goes undiagnosed and untreated. Some don’t want help, and some don’t know anything different than the disordered eating they have. I think eating disorders are so misunderstood and people who “think” they know what anorexia is have no clue. It’s not just about body image and if an anorexic wanted to die, she would.

I am so proud of our society and media who gave so much backlash about these comments. Skinny Gossip has removed her oh-so-healthy “Starving Tip of The Day” page and has added help for eating disorders and self-harm…. but she still claims she doesn’t support eating disordered behavior. Okay – keep dreaming, but hey, at least you aren’t posting those disgusting DISTORTED tips anymore! One supporter made a point – we can’t stop people from starving – and she’s right. My loved ones couldn’t stop me from restricting…. but we can take the normalcy out of it. It’s not healthy and it’s not normal. “Thinspiration” is not normal or healthy and it feeds the distorted thoughts. After speaking to one of my doctors, I found out that it is going to take me being at a stable/healthy weight for about 2 years before my brain is healed from the starvation I put it through.

More importantly, Kate Upton is amazingly gorgeous. I have to say that she looks amazing with her healthy curves and shows the true sexy side of women that we all want to own. I think our society is slowly moving in the right direction at seeing health as beautiful, but it’s a very slow move. Either way, I know that polled, there are more people who would say that she looks amazing than not. She is healthy and beautiful and represents the confident and radiant woman that is healthy.

Lastly, I do feel so sorry for all of the members of the Skinny Gossip community. It such a sad place to be. Before treatment, I was there. I was looking for “thinspiration” and searching for any reinforcement to keep from eating because there comes a point where your body demands food because it’s so malnourished (hence why all the tips are needed). Being there is miserable. It’s a false sense of happiness and even though you are in a size 0, it’s not enough. I truly hope that they find happiness in something other than obsessing about weight, browsing the forum on Skinny Gossip and focusing on the negativity in life. I truly hope they can find peace within themselves and find some sense of happiness. I will stand up for everyone I know fighting an eating disorder and say, “Screw you, Skinny Gossip, for promoting these unhealthy behaviors because this is one hell of a fight we are going through to try to regain health! While we are fighting eating disorders to save our life, you’re promoting the behaviors that got us here.” After going in treatment, I can say that I’ve found happiness in so much more than those size 0 jeans.

Beauty can be redefined!

http://www.beautyredefined.net/

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13 thoughts on “Skinny Gossip Drama

  1. What a great statement you’ve made here. Because of the uproar that the “Skinny Gossip” site has cause there are many other sites, bloggers, etc. commenting on this. I’ve gone through several. You’re was the first that had a level headed approach and insight from someone who’s “been there and back”. Ms Rach, I applaud your efforts and constructive criticism on this matter. Yeah, you sound passionate and there is that sarcasm that does pop out at times but still, an effort well done and thought of.
    My own views are… healthy is healthy. That’s what everyone should aim for and it doesn’t come in a size “0” or a size “14”, it simply comes in being healthy and the best you can be. Keep up the good effort!

    • Thank you! And that is so true! Healthy can be found at a size 0 and a 14! I make attempts to stay rational and then sarcasm is what keeps me going 🙂 Thank you for your kind words.

  2. Thank you for posting this! I agree with everything you said. I browsed through the site and {other than the cheery promotion of unhealthy views} all I saw was negativity and insecurity. I think most of the members of the site are bitchy but I can’t help but pity them. I hope one day they’ll find happiness that doesn’t stem from ribs and scales and hunger pangs.

  3. Not only is fasting ok, it has a whole lot of positive health benefits for everyone.
    http://thefastdiet.co.uk/
    Sure, ‘starving tips’ is controversially named, and bound to have backlash. But if you’re doing intermittent fasting, like people have since forever (think as far back as cavemen only getting food when they’ve been hunting) it’s incredibly helpful to have tips to stave off hunger.
    Additionally, you can’t label someone as ‘anorexic’ dependent solely on their weight, as you have here.

    • Thanks for your thoughts! Skinny Gossip isn’t about fasting, though. Fasting is different than starving yourself.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

    • Evie, the website you’ve linked to is not a reputable or scientific source of information. I had a quick browse, and found it to be full of unsubstantiated or disproven claims.
      There is no good scientific evidence for the efficacy of fasting. Short, intermittent fasts might not be actively harmful but they’re definitely not helping either.
      This idea of ‘detoxing’ is pseudoscientific nonsense. Our livers and kidneys do a good enough job of detoxing our bodies all by themselves! They don’t need assistance. Also, note that when people claim that so-called ‘cleansing diets’ remove toxins from our bodies, they never name the actually toxins that are supposedly removed. If they did, it would be a simple matter to test to see which toxins are removed by a ‘cleansing diet’.
      It’s also true that you can’t name someone as anorexic solely by their weight. But, to be diagnosed as anorexic, you have to weigh less than 85% of what is considered healthy for your weight so a weight that is significantly under a healthy weight is a part of the diagnostic criteria. And even if you meet the weight criteria but not the other behavioural criteria, weighing less than 85% of a healthy weight is a sign that there’s something wrong that needs investigating and treating.
      To the original poster – thanks for such an interesting, insightful and personal piece. It’s interesting to hear about this from the point of view of someone who is in recovery from an ED,
      You should also be aware that even though the owner of the site has made a few changes in response to the outcry, one of these changes has been making new members gain personal approval from her before registration. And guess what the criteria is for becoming a member of Skinny Gossip? You have to have a MAXIMUM BMI of 19. 19! Bearing in mind that a healthy BMI is 18-25. It blows my mind that she can still claim that her website promotes health.

  4. My honest opinion: Kate Upton should be the size she wants to be, but she IS too heavy for runway. Also, I don’t think she is the definition of curvy (she does have breasts, but she is built rather straight up and down…her waist does not curve inwards…not saying it’s a bad thing, just pointing it out). Women always complain about how larger-sized women are not represented in the industry. Why don’t they complain that women 5’7 and shorter are NOT represented, or that only women who have angular jawlines/nice cheekbones/nice lips are represented? You can change your weight, but it’s impossible to change your face shape or your height…Also, why are you not complaining about the pro-fat websites? (no, not the anti-bullying ones…the ones that actually claim bigger=better)

    • You make a lot of great statements here. You’re right, Kate is not the size for the runway and that is just fine. The point that I was making, was that we live in a society where we bash other women for their sizes and encourage people to have to feel like they should dislike certain body types and be thinner. Websites like skinny gossip promotes that bashing that we (our society) do.

      In my archives, there is a post about arguing that bigger is better – Although, I did not include websites, I wrote the post talking about that very idea you mention… it’s called “What is healthy?” here’s the link:
      https://hungryrunninggirl.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/what-is-healthy/

  5. By the way, I know THIS article wasn’t about Kate Upton (or larger women in general)…but the article on skinnygossip was…I think that it was pretty mean and could have been worded (way) more nicely, but it’s a fact that model agencies are a business and they have the right to decide who they’ll represent and who not…if they don’t want to represent “gorgeous” or “healthy” Kate, then so be it.
    (oh, and skinnygossip no longer has those starving tips on their website, but if someone wants to find them they can easily do so through your blog… :/ )

    • I agree they could have said their thoughts in a nicer way. Calling somebody a “fat pig” could have been worded better.

      You are right – they do not have to say she is gorgeous or healthy, that site can say what they want. My site is to talk about how our society is plagued by information like that – information that tells us we are not beautiful unless our bodies are terribly thin.

      Skinny Gossip has deleted the starving tips after all the Kate Upton stuff went down, but there is this little thing called “cached” where you can see any version of a site after it’s been deleted – because nothing on the internet is really gone once it’s deleted. I’m sure that the very few examples (of the thousands+ that were posted over the years) are not what is helping people find tips. In fact, if a person reads my entire post they will see that it’s not what I’m doing.

  6. somehow what really irritates me about their boring forum is how much they literally HATE other women. They criticise women’s faces, style and even have pages and pages of criticism towards Amber Heard and her divorce …it’s nothing but hate on those forums

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