Three Diamonds and the Elusive Thigh Gap

27 Mar

When I was growing up, a friend of mine once told me that girls should be able to see three “diamonds” between their legs when they stood with their feet together. One between the ankles, one below the knees, and one between the thighs.

mind-the-thigh-gap

[source]

Since then, I have been distinctly aware of the gap between my thighs, or rather, the lack thereof. It has never been something I obsess about, but more of a thought that passes through my brain whenever a Pinterest picture pops up that involves some exercise that’s “guaranteed” to give you a gap between your thighs.

Then this happened:

Apparently I have been living under a rock because there are ENTIRE Tumblrs devoted to worship of the elusive gap between the thighs.

After reading a couple of articles about the trend, I realized that this obsession has permeated through the generations under various pseudonyms: “the horseshoe”, “ITC” (inner thigh clearance). The difference this time is the rampant availability of pictures, videos, and other forms of media to saturate ourselves with body shame.

At least when Molly Ringwald awoke feeling like she was having a “fat day”, she wasn’t bombarded with Tumblr images and “thinspiration” to drive her further into the realm of self hatred.

I have said it many times: the Internet is a magical place. But take heed World Wide Web: with great power comes great responsibility. It seems like every teenager has an iPhone and every child has an iPad, which puts Internet discoveries right at their fingertips. I wonder what goes through a 13-year-old girl’s mind when she sees photo upon photo of skinny girls with overlaid “inspirational quotes” saying, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” or “Everything looks better on skinny girls”.

WHAT. THE. HELL.

It makes me feel bad about my body and I’m reasonable enough to know how ridiculous this ish is.

What is the point???

When are we going to stop worshiping unrealistic expectations about body image?

Some people have gaps between their thighs – their bodies are built that way. It doesn’t make them freaking Mother Theresa and you’re not Satan incarnate if, God forbid!, your thighs dare to touch, to rub against each other, to squish together when you’re sitting down.

STOP.

If you find yourself looking at a magazine and wishing for a model’s thighs or abs or butt, just

STOP.

Your body is what you were born with and when you’re on your deathbed when you’re (hopefully) old and gray, the last thing you are going to think about is “Dang, I wish my thighs didn’t touch”.

Whether you’re skinny and can’t get the curves you want or you’re curvy and want the slenderness that everybody seems to covet, please, for the love of all that is good, just take a deep breath and thank your body for maintaining the delicate balance that is life.

Because life really is miraculous and it’s not worth wasting it obsessing over how your stomach isn’t flat or your boobs aren’t big enough.

Love life, love yourself. The End.

measureofawoman

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12 Responses to “Three Diamonds and the Elusive Thigh Gap”

  1. Aunt Rebecca March 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    Years ago, I heard that in some Latina/o circles, women with the thigh gap were considered ‘seca”, or dried out. Now, damning judgements of any kind are just wrong… But I do like the thought of us round women being luscious!

    • Sara @ Magia e Pasta March 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

      The other one I heard was that it used to mean that if you had a thigh gap, it meant you were sexually promiscuous. Crazy!

  2. Colleen Lerro March 28, 2013 at 12:34 am #

    Seriously, LOVE this post.

  3. theadventuresofzandk March 28, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    I agree that media is so overwhelmingly influential in terms of body image. Every day we are bombarded with images and unrealistic standards. I’ve certainly done my fair share of comparing/wishing/wanting. I now feel like I’m at a point in my life where I’m trying to be the best possible version OF ME…not someone else. It’s taken me a lonnng time to reach that mindset but I encourage others to do the same! Great post Sara!

    • Sara @ Magia e Pasta March 28, 2013 at 10:12 am #

      Thank you Kerry! I know that a ridiculous number of women have struggled with body image that it’s to the point where having a GOOD body image is the exception. Glad that you’re encouraging others to love themselves – you are totally right about trying to be the best possible version of yourself!

  4. mary @ minutes per mile March 28, 2013 at 6:06 am #

    Wow, I had no idea the thigh gap was an internet sensation. That is sad. At one point in my life I had a rather large “gap” though I realized that it was only possible by maintaining an unhealthy weight. I’m much happier being gap-free and healthy now !

    • Sara @ Magia e Pasta March 28, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      Right? I know that some people have it naturally as a result of their body composition, but I can’t believe that it has become a symbol of beauty. Healthy is always better, thigh gap or not 🙂

  5. wickedhealthywashingtonian33 March 28, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    This is awesome, Sara. It’s posts like this that snap me out of my bad habit of letting the internet make me feel bad about my body and my life. Our bodies are amazing and allow us to do so much- we gotta give them the love they deserve.

  6. Jan Scott (@janscott75) April 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    I just heard about this recently, too. How crazy. As if young girls need another way to feel insecure.

  7. Thigh Gap Hack April 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    The thing is that you can go about getting a thigh gap (and there are various degrees to a gap might I add) or slimmer legs without going to extreme measures such as developing an eating disorder or excessive exercise. I should know because I wrote a book about it (The Thigh Gap Hack).

    I also think condemning girls who want a slender body is just as radical as condemning guys/girls in the gym trying to get bigger muscles. A person has the right to try to achieve the body they find sexy and desirable as long as they are not harming themselves. And to say everyone should just accept their bodies the way they are is disingenuous as the obesity rate in America is through the roof (in other words, many people actually need to start trying to change their bodies)

    Lastly, and I am not trying to be contentious here – just adding my two cents – stubborn lower body fat is a REAL problem for women as we tend to store fat there due to our bodies always trying to be prepared for a pregnancy, so women who are otherwise fit have a valid concern when their lower body is out of proportion with a slender upper body and should have the right to try to do something about it. My job is to help them and when I do – a HUGE difference for the better can be achieved!

    • Sara @ Magia e Pasta April 4, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

      The problem I have is not the quest to get in shape or slim down, but rather the unhealthy fixation with the thigh gap as the only acceptable indicator of the ideal body. The fact of the matter is that some people can achieve a gap quite easily and others can only achieve it if they have unhealthy levels of body fat. I too fully support a quest for health and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look slim, but I do have a problem when people go to extremes to reach an arbitrary social indicator of beauty. Thank you for your input!

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