'Bonespiration' is the horrifying new social-media trend

Kristine Tarbert

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.

Bonespiration is the newest social media trend. Photo: Instagram

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.

The term 'celebrates' protruding ribs, hips, collarbones. Photo: Instagram
Researchers found 14k images tagged bonespiration on Instagram. Photo: Instagram

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.

Luckily the website is quickly moving to ban this new term as well. Photo: Instagram

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.

The images can be very damaging, especially to young girls. Photo: Instagram

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