A little while ago, I overheard one of my friends talking about how she’s been working out so hard this week; that she’s been “going for that thigh gap.” Now, in fear that I was missing some underlying meaning, I looked up the term “thigh gap” because I didn’t even know what that was. Here’s what I got: “A thigh gap in women is a space between the inner thighs when standing upright with both knees touching. Some women aspire to have a thigh gap because they believe it will increase their attractiveness, with some considering it a sign of femininity and fragility. Some go as far as to say it symbolizes ‘the ideal body shape’. Reportedly, some teenage girls have taken the view that the bigger the gap, the more beautiful the girl.” Are you kidding? Who created that concept?
You’re telling me that girls are striving for a thigh gap because it will make them more beautiful? You’re telling me the distance between my two legs determines how I should view myself and how others will view me? You’re telling me that if I have toothpick-thin legs, I will be the most beautiful because there’s like a whole foot of empty space between my thighs? And that doesn’t sound ridiculous to anyone else?
Incase you’ve never met me, I’m a pretty petite person. I stand about 5’3″ and I guess, according to this definition, I have a thigh gap. It’s not really because I worked for hours in the gym to achieve it, but rather because I have a high metabolism. But from someone who has this physical trait, I don’t really get the hype. Having a thigh gap hasn’t given me a daily reminder of how fantastic I am. It hasn’t affected my personality. It hasn’t changed how I view myself. It hasn’t been my point of reference for my position on the beauty-ometer. I don’t look in the mirror and say, “well I got that thigh gap so I guess I’m still lookin’ pretty hot.” So when I heard my friend saying she was trying to achieve that, I couldn’t help but question why? Was it because she’s seen way too many fitness pictures on Pinterest or was it because she thought having a thigh gap would make her more beautiful?
Now don’t get me wrong, I am in full support of people taking back their self-confidence and their pride; whether they do that through exercise or eating healthy or getting back into a lost talent. I think there’s something very admirable about someone who can rise above their own limitations and expectations; someone who can figure out how to take back things they’ve been missing for years. But I believe there’s a big difference in making changes for personal enjoyment and challenge vs. making changes because of how society measures beauty. I just have to say that, from someone with a thigh gap, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Once you get that thigh gap, you’ll be like “wow, that’s great. But now I don’t like my lips.” That’s how insecurity works. There’s no such thing as selective insecurity where you get that one physical trait taken care of and you’re care-free like Maria running through the Swiss fields of grass in “The Sound of Music“. It doesn’t work like that, people. Today it’s a thigh gap and tomorrow it’s a “bikini bridge” (don’t know what that is, but I’m starting to hear that term used, so I’m a bit frightened.) Ladies, put down the rice cake.
It scares me to think that women measure themselves in terms of a thigh gap; that women don’t take their personality, laugh, honesty, compassion, and spontaneity into consideration when they evaluate themselves. It makes me sad because sometimes I feel just like them. Even though I have a thigh gap, I am still insecure about my indecisive curly hair and my skin a variety of other things. Insecurity is not something you just zap away, but it is something you can fight.
I’ve met many people who will never be nominated for the “Sexiest Man/Woman Alive” title, but when they smiled, I thought they should be. I’ve met girls who have been bullied because of their appearance but they can make a whole room of people laugh faster than anyone. I’ve learned that it’s not your perfect skin and your muscular arms and your thigh gap that determine your ranking in society, but rather your honesty, your compassion, your understanding, your humor, and your outlook on the people around you that measure you.
So how did having a thigh gap change my life? Well it didn’t. Beauty is something that is reflected in your very core. I don’t want to be another member on the campaign bandwagon of “beauty is on the inside” but I am a firm believer in the idea that imperfections create beauty, so stop letting the idea of a thigh gap determine how beautiful you are because you are so much more.
Besides, people without thigh gaps are closer to being mermaids, so who’s the real winner?