The close relationship between young women and dangerous dietary objectives is nothing new, but apparently simply being “skinny” is no longer the ultimate goal for a lot of girls. The newest way of showcasing one’s health, beauty and fitness is by having a visible “thigh gap.”
A thigh gap is just what it sounds like: space between one’s upper thighs so that the legs don’t touch. Countless images, work-out plans, and inspirational quotes have been popping up all over the Internet –– largely on youth-oriented sites like Tumblr and Pinterest –– with the thigh gap appearing as a symbol of body perfection. For example, Cara’s Thigh Gap is a Twitter account devoted to 2012’s Model Of The Year at the British Fashion Awards Cara Delevingne, and while it teeters on parody, the fact that it even exists under that name is somewhat frightening.
Recently, the always honorable Daily Mail reported that the cosmetic clinic LoveLite has seen a 240% rise in the demand for Lipogaze, a new “fat freezing treatment” that is offered to help women to achieve a thigh gap by killing fat cells.
The non-invasive procedure is quick and harmless, according to LoveLite, but the company capitalizing on poor self-image in young women by maintaining that their purpose is to give women confidence is not. The desire to look smaller and/or more fit is seemingly felt by all women at one point or another, and the thought of spending money on a procedure that’s been tied to a trend that helps you to look skeletal is incredibly scary.
As long as the media is powerful and models/celebrities are skinny, there will be an issue with young women and body image. But rather than by offering “confidence” in the form of change, shouldn’t we be focusing on acceptance and body positivity? Especially now, since the Internet makes it so easy for groups of young girls to come together and discuss their collective desire for something as unobtainable as a thigh gap? Young women have had unhealthy bodily expectations for a long time, and there is something disturbing about wanting a feature that is usually associated with the dangers of eating disorders. Here’s to hoping that this “trend” is quickly replaced by something that involves actual substance or material.
Written by Nicole Woszczyna