Trends come and go but this time around there is a trend that has many young girls obsessed to the point they are putting their health in danger. It’s the thigh gap. A trend that has young women dieting, starving and doing heavy exercise just to make their thighs so thin they have what’s termed ‘thigh gap’.
What is a thigh gap? Well it’s the gap between your thighs when you stand with your feet together. The goal many young women have is for their thighs not to touch at all. When I was growing up I remember the trend was to have your legs touch at the knees and slightly at the upper thigh. Now it’s the extreme and gone super skinny.
Girls are dying to have thighs so thin they are starving themselves to get that way. Websites like Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram regularly have young women searching with the hatchtag #thighgap in hopes of finding ways to reach their goals. It has grown into such a large problem that now if you search for #thighgap on Pinterest, you will get a warning like this below:
Eating disorders are not lifestyle choices, they are mental disorders that if left untreated can cause serious health problems or could even be life-threatening. For treatment referrals, information, and support, you can always contact the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 or www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Don’t get me wrong, there are some young women who are naturally that skinny. Some who no matter how much they eat just don’t seem to ever gain weight. But those are not the majority. Most women are average sized, plus sized or in-between. The reality is not everyone is supposed to look like that. Not everyone will look attractive with a thigh gap. Imagine how ridiculous some women must look if they are supposed to be curvier but they starve to be thin enough for a so-called thigh gap. You don’t believe it? Look at this photoshopped image of Beyonce below. Doesn’t it look ridiculous if she had a thigh gap?
So you see, not every woman should look the same. We are all different. As I always say, embracing your body and loving who you are is the first step to self-love and self-acceptance. It’s time we close the issue and say ‘close the thigh gap’.
If only I could just stand in the plus size model’s pose all day I’d feel hotter. The problem starts when you have to put on pants 😦
Shaming on people who have thigh gaps is no better than shaming people who don’t. So telling people who were naturally created with a thigh gap to close it, is telling them to fake who they are and how they were made. I mean you may see beauty by the size of your thighs, but that doesn’t mean that other people who have thighs smaller than you are any less beautiful.
Main point: thigh gap or no thigh gap you’ll always look the same, cause the face is what matters, so work on that.
Thanks for your comment May. This post was not meant to shame anyone who has a natural thigh gap. If you notice the paragraph that says, “Don’t get me wrong, there are some young women who are naturally that skinny. Some who no matter how much they eat just don’t seem to ever gain weight.” The focus of this article is about embracing all body types and to learn to love yourself as you are and not to focus on something to the point that obsession causes eating disorders or causes a woman to dislike herself. The term ‘close the thigh gap’ was a pun on words meant to say ‘close the subject’ and focus on loving yourself no matter what size your thighs are.
Thanks for reading and I appreciate your feedback!
What does “natural” thigh gap even mean? So its wrong for someone to stay healthy and not become over weight? Average is not the same as healthy. Remember the obesity crisis we have in America? 40 percent of Americans are overweight, so average is not what someone healthy wants to be. HEALTHY weight that is indicated by their height is what we want. I am 5’6″ and my ideal weight according to the Surgeon General is between 115 and 144. I know that at 115 my thighs don’t touch. Most people at the thin end of their correct weight would probably have a thigh gap. I don’t know what girls are googling, but whatever it is, we are still, as a country overweight, so what exactly are you so afraid of? That someone somewhere will be inspired by this thigh gap thing to loose the extra pounds? The way you talk you would think we have a dangerous amount of Anorexia on our hands. We DON’T. You know how many cases of Anorexia have happened in the last five years? Less then .1 percent a year of the country has been diagnoses with it.
Hi Maria, thanks for reading and for your comment.
To answer your question, “What exactly are you afraid of?” I never mentioned being afraid of anything in the blog post. My concern is that young women are being influenced in a way that they are not self-accepting and their self-esteem is damaged. I’ve been speaking to thousands of young women for the last 10 years on self esteem and body image and the media plays a large role in influencing girls and women about how they feel about their bodies. Constantly struggling to fit in is not an easy thing to manage daily. I once met an 8 year old girl who was on a diet. There was no need because she was already a tiny girl.
To answer you, no, it’s not wrong for someone to be healthy. The problem lies with the pressure to fit in to a certain image. When the trend of ‘thigh gap’ peaked in 2013, when this blog post was written, there were young girls doing things to resort to changing their bodies to fit in with the ‘trend’. Even girls who were healthy, as you mention, would tell me they were trying to lose weight to have smaller thighs. So this is not about obesity, it’s about the mindset. According to a study done by Dove, 97% of women dislike something about their body. Even skinny and healthy girls (who people would assume have a great self image) find something they don’t like. That’s what I find troubling. Every person is different and we need to learn that not everybody looks the same. So when I say ‘close the thigh gap’, it’s all about closing that mindset that thinks everyone has to fit into a cookie cutter image, which isn’t meant for everyone.
Again, thanks for reading.
Please read the entire post again. This was never intended to be shaming anyone. Also read my response to May regarding this to better understand the post. It’s all about closing the conversation and embracing all body types.
Thanks for reading the post Aneta!! 🙂
Let people live as they please; if a BEAUTIFUL thigh gap is what someone wants then they should have it. All this body positivity bullshit is what is driving the obesity epidemic, which is much worse than any harm that you claim comes from attaining the true beauty of a thin body, which btw is what the body should be. If you spew so much hatred for the thigh gap and those who want to be perfect, then the problem is with you and your secret envy of the thin and beautiful.
Hi Amanda and thanks for your comment. I have no envy. In fact I’m very tall and slim, what some people think is perfect. People regularly tell me I should model, not knowing that I used to many years ago. My years spent in the industry as well as a public speaker, touring with youth counsellors and having worked with the Bulimia & Anorexia Association taught me that girls need to learn to love who they are because not everyone was genetically built the same way. That’s a fact. Not everyone is naturally super slim. Eating right and exercising are the ways to stay in perfect health. The goal should be health not starvation to be something that person’s body isn’t genetically made to be. When a person’s doctor tells them they are obese and their health is in danger, then of course that person will work towards getting to a healthy weight. A healthy weight is not the same for everyone.
Losing too much can equally put stress on a person’s body like causing liver damage, gallstones, loss of brain tissue, loss of heart muscle (which can cause heart rate to slow down and a risk of cardiac arrest).
The purpose of this blog post is to let young girls and women know that killing yourself to achieve something like a ‘thigh gap’ is not always the best thing for your body. Even some slim women have thighs that touch. So trying to do things to achieve something that is not attainable for everyone doesn’t make sense. We all have different bodies.
This was not meant to be spewing any hatred, as you suggested, and I’m disappointed that’s how you internalized it.
I hope you learned something from my response.
All the best to you and thanks for reading this post.
Appreciate the comments.
Oh and I forgot to address, the obesity epidemic is not because of the body positivity movement. It’s because the food industry continues to add so many additives to processed foods causing those genetically disposed to weight gain to see an increase. It’s all that sugar in all the food you buy. Almost everything has sugar in it. Even salad dressing has sugar in it. It’s worse in America. I noticed that portion sizes in the U.S. are massive compared to Canada. These are some of the factors causing obesity, not body positivity campaigns.
i love these comments ! at my school ” thick thighs ” is a trend and i am not one to fit into that category . I don’t have big thighs that everyone thinks are beautiful . these comments make me feel confident finally people who understand that everyone is beautiful fat ,skinny, thick, or not . thank you all !