Despite social media sites banning the use of words that could encourage eating disorders, internet users have come up with a new phrase to get around it.
‘Bonespiration’ is the damaging new social-media ‘buzzword’ even more dangerous than thinspiration, which was banned online in 2012.
And the images posted online to sites like [37485948|Instagram] and Twitter by users, including young girls battling eating disorders, are even worse.
The term is used to ‘celebrate’ images featuring protruding ribs, collarbones or hip bones.
A report published in the Journal of Eating Disorders found a staggering 14,000 images tagged ‘bonespiration’ on Instagram alone.
Catherine Talbot, a psychologist at Exeter University Medical School, together with a team looked at 730 of those images and found that a quarter showed off protruding bones, including the spine.
Researchers from the University of California have in the past said these images – that likely have faces cropped out to focus on body parts – can be very damaging particularly to young girls.
Especially if an image has a high number of likes, this could be interpreted as positive reinforcement and prompt women to resort to extreme dieting measures and other harmful behaviours.