The problem with pinning

There was a time long, long ago when we had real interests and people came up with their own craft ideas. Some refer this time period as 2009. Now we have pinterests. The social media site, Pinterest, was founded in 2010 and now has over 20
million users.

If you have somehow, though I don’t believe it could be done, missed the hype, Pinterest is a website used primarily by college girls avoiding their homework. It’s filled with pictures of extravagant houses, lavish weddings, picture perfect vacation destinations, clothing, food and home decor.

It often leaves teenaged and twenty–something girls wide eyed with envy and I think that’s a problem. According to an article on, 82 percent of the site’s traffic comes from women. I think this seemingly perfect site filled with images from seemingly perfect lives is detrimental and has the power to seriously hurt a generation of people, leading to low self-esteem with every pin.

I myself am not excluded from the trend. I have never been overly interested in the site due to my hatred for baking/cooking. I lack the desire to plan a wedding due to the fact that I’m 19 and the idea of marriage still scares the living daylights out of me.

But I have dabbled. I have two boards which I occasionally pin pictures to: one filled with pictures of ideas for decorating my first apartment and the other that has odds and ends of things that have made me laugh or go “awww.”

So when I speak about the problems with pinning, I am just as susceptible as others.

The problem is this: we sit on our couches in our rentals or dorm rooms in Eau Claire, where it is freezing cold and look at pictures of beautiful people on beautiful beaches or in beautiful houses and all of a sudden our lives don’t seem to be enough

Pinterest allows us to think we don’t have enough, that our lives aren’t fulfilled because we don’t have a 10,000 square foot house with a water-slide or the prettiest clothes, hair and nails.

It’s a vicious cycle. Envy leads quickly to low self-esteem. Not to mention the site boasts material items as the only things that matter. You couldn’t possibly be happy in a smaller house with less flashy clothes, right?

Beyond that, it largely praises one type of woman: thin, white women. A quick scan through the site’s popular pins shows limited traces of diversity in race or body type. Most girls shown on this site are white and thin with perfect hair, teeth and complexions.

Young users of the site are trying to obtain that picture perfect image and it’s leading to problems. Among the trends is the craze for the “thigh gap.” According to an Associated Press article, “when the vast majority of people stand with their feet together, their thighs touch. A tiny percentage of people have thighs so slim that they don’t come together. The ‘thigh gap’ refers to this space.”

For a small percentage of the population it is natural to their body type, but there is harm in making a body type a trend. The thigh gap posts across social media, including Pinterest, has led to an increase in eating disorders in young women,
researchers say.

Granted, most of this stuff is out there on the Internet first and later pinned to Pinterest. Pinterest puts it all in a bundle, all in one place: all the beautifulness that your life supposedly lacks. It’s causing problems for young girls and I caution people to not get too wrapped up it all. Because real life isn’t picture perfect like the unrealistic world the website depicts.