The thigh gap. The space between a woman’s legs. The above photo is a perfect image of said gap. All of a sudden everyone appears to be trying to get “gappy.” There are workout videos and pins on Pinterest showing women how to get the thigh gap. But where did all of this come from?
One of the first things I can think of is theChive. If you are not aware of theChive, it is a website/app mostly geared towards males that posts albums everyday of anything ranging from cool artwork and nature to women’s scantily clad bodies. They offer albums like FLBP which is a album dedicated to women with big breasts- FLBP standing for future lower back problems. They also have an album dedicated to thigh gaps. Because it has become so popular, I can only imagine that some of this pressure to have a thigh gap has come from outlets like theChive. The blame obviously isn’t solely theirs. It is easy to see that the modeling industry and fashion industry have pushed this agenda as well.
But what really is the agenda? The thigh gap is another standard that outsiders have placed on women. It has given overweight and average women another ridiculous standard to potentially strive for in order to be considered beautiful in society’s eyes. The thigh gap has even put pressure on skinny women. But why? It is because even for those with thinner legs, thigh gaps are based entirely on bone structure. You can make your legs thinner by working out, eating right and losing weight but if the bone structure isn’t there, it isn’t there.
What is upsetting is that the thigh gap standard has put additional pressure on otherwise healthy women. It is setting women up for additional body shaming.
When lifestyles began changing in the last 20-30 years we saw an increase in sedentary lifestyles. We saw an increase in cheaper, fast food restaurants and a decrease in outdoor activities or jobs that require physical activity. All of this has lead to an increase in overweight people in the United States. It is what it is. Our lifestyles now are just not conducive to health. Healthy food isn’t ideal because it is expensive (and wages have shrunk while the cost of living has increased) not to mention, it takes a long time to prepare. We spend hours at a desk every day. None of this enables or supports bodies that are at healthy weights.
But with the increase in heavier people came fat shaming. Kids in school pick on overweight and sometimes even healthy kids. Images we see on television and in magazines show skinny and thin models or actors/actresses. Overweight people are given dirty looks and until recently were hardly able to find clothes that fit because stores ignored that population. So all around, they have received messages that being overweight is frowned upon even though the American lifestyle is partially to blame.
In recent years there has been a clear push to stop with the body shaming. People have been shouting that enough is enough. Heavier women have become more and more accepted in society for who they are. There are clothing companies that make clothes for women with more curves and curvier women have begun to grace billboards and magazine covers. Finally we are making headway right?
Well in pursuit to stop “fat shaming,” “skinny shaming” arouse. Wait a minute? Skinny shaming? Disgracing or degrading skinny women? Yep. I stumbled upon the following photo the other day while pulling images for this blog and it reminded me of the skinny shaming issue.
Even though I agree with the whole “no thigh gap no problem” statement the rest of that post is completely ridiculous. Not only is it a bunch of bullocks and entirely untrue but it shames skinny women. According to the post, anyone with a loose vagina should have a thigh gap. So even if you can attain the potentially unattainable thigh gap, guess what you allegedly have to look forward to? Good thing the claims in the above photo are entirely false. What if some women have the thigh gap naturally? Society is the one that has placed this standard on women so why are women turning on each other and bashing each other over some practically impossible standard that none of us asked for?
I think the main point we need to learn is that society is the one with expectations. Society is also the one that is shaming everyone for not following them or for living a certain way. What we really need to focus on is each other. Instead of fat shaming and instead of skinning shaming or shaming people who aren’t super fit or whatever it may be, we need to stand together as a united front. All women need to stand up and say “enough already!”
Stop skinny shaming-
Curvy girls are beautiful. Bones are for dogs. Meat is for men.
Stop fit shaming-
Skinny girls look good in clothes. Fit girls look good naked.
Stop fat shaming-
You’re fat. Don’t sugarcoat it because you’ll eat that too.
Holy shit those are all entirely offensive. Bad enough that I feel dirty for even putting them in here. But the point is, people say them! There are memes dedicated to body shaming. So let’s stop it. Regardless of body size, shape or color women need to come together in acceptance of each other. If we don’t stand up for each other who will? Let’s stop the trickery and stop pegging each other against each other. This is an issue that we should all be on the same side of. When society splits us up into fat and skinny or fit and unfit, we fight each other when we should be fighting the expectations of society. Imagine a world where we spit out love instead of hate. That’s the world I want, so that’s the world I choose to create. You have to be the change you want to see in the world. So I start with myself and vow to stop body shaming ALL. I hope you will join me.