Confession: When I learned about the thigh gap trend, I looked in the mirror to see if I have one. I don’t, and guess what? The world didn’t come to an end!
The “thigh gap” is the new cleavage (which I don’t have either!). In case you haven’t heard, a thigh gap is the space between the tops of your legs when you stand with your feet together. This feature has become a disturbing form of ‘thinspiration’ among young women, with entire Tumblr blogs, Pinterest boards, Twitter accounts, and hashtags dedicated to the subject. There’s even a tutorial on how to get a thigh gap (FYI the first sentence of step one is “Understand that a thigh gap is not physically possible for most people.”)
When it comes to body image trends in general, I’ve been completely out of the loop for the past few years – on purpose. I spent almost my entire 20s trying to build and maintain the “ultimate” lifestyle that’s “supposed” to make a woman happy: the career, the home, the clothes, the shoes, the makeup, the tech, the socializing, the relationship. On the outside, my life looked like a Marc Jacobs ad. But I was exhausted trying to keep up, and behind all the glitz I wasn’t a woman anymore – I was a shell.
Sure I could blame the photoshopped celebs and models in fashion mags, and every thigh gap blog out there for how I feel about myself, but the only one truly to blame for my formerly-skewed body image is me. How you feel about your body is 100 percent in your control. A fashion ad is just that – we’re the ones imposing the subliminal messages of perfection onto ourselves.
What helped me break free was when I started thinking about the women I admire and the reasons I admire them. Surprisingly, my admiration had nothing to do with their looks or thigh gap at all, instead it was what they’ve achieved – they’re so successful in their areas of expertise they surpass the concept of physical beauty. In fact, their eccentricities are their signature – and the “weirder” they are, the more I admire them!
Even if you were to achieve the perfect thigh gap (I can’t believe I just said that), there’s going to be a new body image obsession right around the corner – you have to decide where to draw the line. Model Robyn Lawley put it best:
We have the power to change perceptions about body image—and we have the power to stop harmful trends like the “thigh gap.”
How do you feel about the thigh gap trend?
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Image: Wikimedia Commons