Why We Need to Dump the Phrase "Thigh Gap"

By Kylee McGrane - 4:40 PM

I can't remember the first time I heard the phrase "thigh gap". I probably never even noticed it until it became a phenomenon in teenage girls in 2013. If you haven't heard the phrase "thigh gap" consider yourself lucky.
 For those lucky ones, a "thigh gap" is the gap between the legs that appears when one's feet are together. Suddenly, after learning what the term meant and realizing it was associated with being beautiful, when I put on a new pair of red jeans I focused solely on that gap and cringed at the fact that they touched on the top. Thigh gaps are usually associated with skinniness by teenage girls. However, far too often, this assumption is wrong.

Kate Moss once said, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels". Now you can find these words plastered on pictures of girls that may just be too skinny.  Far too often, these pictures are pinned, saved, and printed out and stuck on the refrigerators of women across America as a source of inspiration and aspiration of what the ideal set of legs look like. These pictures are labeled as "thinspo" and tagged under Pinterest boards as "Operation Thigh Gap". However, this trend isn't one that can be sold or bought in stores. This trend is usually attained by extreme dieting, purging, and excessive exercise.  Thigh gaps are a constant reminder of an "imperfection", a tool of self bullying. Now, it's more than just a Hollywood fad. Simply Google the term or search it on Tumblr and you'll find hundreds of girls yearning to have less of themselves. This trend has become so serious that it has become the headline of countless news stories and documentaries and is the blame of countless victim's ongoing eating disorder struggles.

In retrospect, I shudder at the thought of being so superficial. So what my thighs touch? So what they don't look the same on me as they do on the model in the store? So what I'm not perfect? Some girls are naturally skin and have built in thigh gaps. So does this mean that we need shun and bully the girls with thigh gaps? Absolutely not. As a society, we need to learn to be accepting of every kind of shape, color, But if you notice that someone is obsessing over it, then you need to step in. Some girls don't have thigh gaps. That's okay. No matter what the case is, thighs are made for more than just having a gap. Personally, my thighs weren't created to be stick thin. They were created to swim. They were created to run. They were created to hold my laptop and spread this message: Thigh gaps are a trend. One we need to get over as soon as possible because you are worth much more than the space between your thighs.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder please contact The National Eating Disorder Hotline at  1-800-931-2237

Infinite x's and o's,

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  1. Beautifully written. That idea of personal well-being is so vital and you explained it perfectly. :)