Okay, this is a thing now apparently. Like a thing young women are striving for when they go on diets - getting the perfect thigh gap. So, now this body ideal we are supposed to covet includes not only perky breasts, a flat stomach with a six pack, toned arms… and a gap. No – not a gap between your teeth, because that’s NOT acceptable, only a gap between your thighs so they don’t touch when you stand with your feet together.
Thigh gaps, post-baby bodies and wrinkles
I guess this “thigh gap” thing is more prevalent in the younger set – but this latest body obsession insanity runs parallel to women in their 20s and 30s desperately trying to shed the baby weight in a matter of weeks, or women in their 40s, 50s and beyond looking high and low for a magic elixir to stave off wrinkles.
So, can we blame the media?
Yes and no. The media prints it – but we keep buying it. If we think it’s insane how much magazines focus on weight, or how body-critical websites are, then we need to stop reading, watching and buying them until something changes. Yes, us.
I’m not saying that the media is not at fault. There have been plenty of of studies on how we feel after we read or watch certain things, so believe me, I know it’s legit. So if fat shaming in the media and fat talk are not new topics, then why am I writing about them? For some reason this latest thigh gap issue hit a nerve. How many women will avoid the beach this year or not go on spring break because they don’t have a thigh gap yet? How many new mothers will experience angst about their post-baby body, instead of enjoying, and celebrating and marveling?
The things that I no longer do:
- I don’t pick up magazines if they have anything related to weight loss or body dissatisfaction on their covers (this includes all stories about getting the perfect butt in 5 easy moves, or 10 dinners that are 350 calories or less). And I bought A LOT of those magazines for many years.
- I don’t watch television shows that focus on people’s weight or appearances.
- I still read too many gossipy/pop culture web sites – and I’m working on that. For instance, in one day, 4 out of the 5 top stories trending on one of these sites were about celebrities and their baby weight (see that photo). I’m trying to stay off sites like this.
So, will you join me? Will you start spending your time reading body-positive sites like Mara Glatzel? Will you ditch the fashion sites that make you feel bad about your body, and start reading more from plus-size women who celebrate their bodies? I do believe it’s made a difference in my spirit and can for you, too.