The Thigh Gap: An Unfortunate Body Image Trend

thigh gap

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?

Related on EcoSalon:

8 Essential Oils to Help You Feel Amazing Naked

10 Tabloid Tips for a Hollywood Body

Your Body Image In Bed

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).