It wasn’t that long ago that thinspo and pro-anorexia memes, sayings and pictures were splashed all over the Internet (in fact, despite the attempt to ban thinspo, it’s definitely still around), but there’s already a new “weight loss” trend going around: the thigh gap.
I’m not exactly sure when this started, but at some point, girls of all ages, shapes and sizes became obsessed with the idea of having a thigh gap. Never heard of it and wondering what I’m talking about? It’s exactly what it sounds like: a gap between your legs in the upper thigh area. Basically, your legs don’t touch together. Despite the fact that this is not an achievable goal for everyone, because all of our bodies are different, it’s become a serious trend and there are a lot of people who will do anything to get it.
Do a quick Google search of “thigh gap” and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. There are tons of Tumblr pages dedicated to thigh gaps that feature hundreds of pictures of thin girls whose legs don’t touch together. There are lots of fitness blogs and communities that feature how-to’s on getting a thigh gap – one website warns you to avoid exercises that increase your leg muscles like squats and lunges and to focus on cardio to make your thighs thinner. In fact, sometimes it seems like fitspo and thigh gaps go hand in hand.
Search the hashtage #thighgap on Instagram and you’ll see tons of pictures and even arguments on the subject. There’s a Twitter for model Cara Delevingne’s thigh gap with an info that goes like this: “@CaraDelevingne works me out everyday so I can stay this perfect. Thanks mum :-)” The Daily Mail reported that some women are even getting liposuction to get rid of the excess fat on their thighs. The motivation to get a thigh gap seems to be everywhere.
Girls, what is going on?! Why are so many of us obsessed with the idea of a thigh gap? Psychotherapist Kimberly Moffit told The Toronto Sun that “It’s a way for young women to quantify their beauty and prove to themselves that they are attractive – especially if they don’t feel that way on the inside.”
Personally, I feel like this thigh gap trend is just another form of thinspo and I don’t think I’m wrong. Striving for the “perfect” thigh gap is unhealthy in the same way that thinspo is – both show how so many girls are enamored with their wish to be skinnier or the skinniest.
Here’s the thing with a thigh gap: some girls have it and some girls don’t, simple as that. And here’s something super important to remember: just because you don’t have a space between your legs doesn’t mean you’re overweight. There are tons of thin girls out there who don’t have thigh gaps. Excess fat on your legs or muscular thighs aren’t the only things that can cause a girl not to have a thigh gap – bone structure also plays a role.
Not convinced? Take a look at the images here. A thigh gap can depend on your hip bones – if you have wide hips, you’re more likely to have a thigh gap and if you have smaller hips, a thigh gap may not be a possibility. So dieting, starving yourself or doing excessive amounts of cardio exercises may never even help you if your hip bones are small enough.
If you have a thigh gap, great! I’m not trying to put anyone’s body down. And if you don’t have one, please don’t stress about it and please don’t do anything like extreme dieting or even surgery to get one. If you want to exercise and eat healthier to get healthy, that’s awesome. But whenever you’re dieting or exercising, your ultimate goal should always be to be healthy – not to be the skinniest girl in your class. There is nothing wrong with being skinny or thin, but that kind of thinking can lead to a scary eating disorder and we don’t want that for anyone.
I wish we could all learn to celebrate each other’s bodies no matter what shape or size we are. Until we can come to that point, let’s not focus on things that could be unrealistic for your body type just because you can’t go on Tumblr without seeing it.
What do you think about the thigh gap obsession? Is this something you strive to achieve? Do you think it’s the same as thinspo? Tell me in the comments.