The Unhealthy Quest for a Thigh Gap

Thigh Gap (Image Credit: Rui Santos)
Thigh Gap (Image Credit: Rui Santos)

It’s becoming more and more apparent that “the gap” is the root of all evil in the beauty industry. Not the clothing store Gap (although some may actually feel that way), but rather, the absolutely insane new obsession with having a “thigh gap”. For those unfamiliar, a “thigh gap” refers to exactly what it sounds like, a gap or space between your inner thighs.

Back in my day (I’m 21), girls got braces to fix gapped teeth and cursed their bowlegged thighs because they walked like an old school western cowboy.  Fast-forward to the present, and these same girls want to surgically separate their teeth and have rail-thin legs all for the sake of a gap.

Victoria's Secret Models (Image Credit: Victoria's Secret)
Victoria’s Secret Models (Image Credit: Victoria’s Secret)

Excuse me, but when did this become acceptable?  And why is it even a thing? When is the last time you heard someone say, “Yeah man, I love a girl with a nice ‘thigh gap’.”? The whole idea seems totally irrelevant to what makes someone attractive or not.

The most celebrated women in the world don’t even come close to having a space between their legs (think: Beyoncè, Christina Hendricks, Sofia Vergara), and it doesn’t stop anyone from calling them “beautiful”.  To those who have a natural “thigh gap”, that’s fantastic.  If you are like most of the female population that experiences the occasional thigh chaffing, who cares?  You’ll work a space into your thighs only to find that next season’s trend will be something equally ridiculous like “thigh friction”. You’ll be screwed then, huh?

The feminist in me wants to try and relate the “thigh gap” to the idea of a woman having her “legs open”, but it’s fairly apparent that this isn’t the case.  Instead, the “thigh gap” seems to be a satanic child of designers like Victoria’s Secret and Chanel who limit their runway models to women with a space down the center of their bodies…from their teeth to their thighs.

Beyonce (Image Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Gucci)
Beyonce (Image Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Gucci)

Maybe you’re thinking that guys have similar predicaments, what with the ideal of a “six-pack” and all that.  The difference here is that for a man to be in shape (by society’s standards), they need to be healthy.  “Six pack abs” don’t magically appear unless Photoshop is involved. They are actually a reward for having proper nutrition and exercise ethic.  Women, on the other hand, are pressured to have ridiculous features like “thigh gaps” which usually come with physical malnourishment and mental stress.  Just like there are tons of men who aren’t meant to have a six pack, there are millions of women who were not put on this earth to have a “thigh gap”. Add in the fact that a good majority of women, no matter how much they diet or work out, are physically incapable of having a “thigh gap” due to their anatomical structure and the ideal becomes even more ludicrous.

It’s a relief knowing that the “thigh gap” obsession will likely pass, along with the Sir Mix A lot-induced booty infatuation and the Pamela Anderson-esque breast fixation.  We know by now that when the fashion industry, or pop culture in general, focus on one part of the female anatomy… it’s likely to explode into an international plague of copycatting.  I suggest rubbing your thighs together loud and proud, because in reality…no one cares about a stupid space between your legs unless it’s a guy or girl trying to get in it and even then, if they’re not happy with what you’ve got, screw them (not literally, kick them to curb and find someone who appreciates your beauty).

Originally posted August 29, 2013.

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I’m Gina, and I’m majoring in Media Studies at Quinnipiac University ’14. I love working out, eating peanut butter, jewelry shopping, and the smell

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