The ‘thigh gap’ craze, which started with catwalk models, encourages impressionable girls to get their legs so thin that they didn’t touch above the knees.
And it was soon followed the ‘bikini bridge’, a summer holiday social media craze where bikini bottoms don’t touch your stomach as you lie down, suspended between two protruding hipbones.
After battling anorexia for seven years Laura from south-east London worries about these pro-anorexia fads.
“The bikini bridge is so unhealthy and shouldn’t be glamourised”, she explains.
“Girls posing with their bones sticking out in bikinis using thinspiration hashtags and selfies send such a bad message. It’s too readily available for young girls.
“These celebrity photos put pressure on girls to diet to an extreme.”
The 28-year-old administrator was so obsessed with getting a celebrity bikini body she starved herself and worked out frantically.
“I’d measure the gap between my legs and lie on my back to check how much my hip bones were protruding,” she admits. “I could get my thumb and index finger around the top of my arm.”
During this time Laura was living off a shockingly low 800 calories a day.
“I was totally out of sync with everyone in my life, I’d never go out with friends because I didn’t even want to eat a sandwich,” she says.
“I exercised for two or three hours every day. I wouldn’t even eat a slice of bread, I’d eat a 70 calorie piece of fish and steamed vegetables. If I ate anything extra, I’d feel guilty. Food ruled my every thought, I was miserable all the time.”
Chatting openly about her story to highlight the dangers during Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2014 Laura reveals it all started when someone said to her, “you look like you’ve put on weight’.
“I instantly cut out carbs and sweets,” she admits. “I lost a stone quickly and then it got out of control. I started doing lots of cardio at the gym followed by fitness DVDs at home. I was obsessed with reading weight loss tips in magazines, it was grim.”
Looking back at her holiday beach snaps now Laura feels sad about how thin she looked.
“I thought everyone who was really skinny looked amazing," she reveals.
“At the time I wanted to be as skinny as possible. I tried everything; laxatives, fat loss pills, water retention tablets. Anorexic suffers all read websites that give tips on how to lose weight quickly. I followed and read them all.
“Even though I could see my pelvis bones sticking out I felt fat. I had really hairy arms, brittle hair and heart palpitations.”
Luckily seven years on Laura is finally happy and healthy and despite being told she might never have children, is pregnant.
“I’m now six months pregnant, expecting a little boy,” she reveals. “Which is something I thought was impossible after missing periods for seven years, I feel very lucky.”