So apparently there has been controversy over something called “thigh gap” and I’ve totally been out of the loop. I didn’t even really understand what it meant. I’ve seen it talked about in various places and now I kinda get it. I read this post, Thigh Gap Obsession – Not Again! , and learned even more.
“A new body trend is apparently becoming an obsession among teenage girls. It’s the thigh gap — a clear space, or gap, that can be seen between the thighs when a girl is standing with her knees together. Some runway models have it, and teen girls want it.”
Oh…so that’s what it means. And it dawned on me that I’d been guilty of desiring the same thing without even knowing it. I don’t think this topic is solely for teenage girls. I think it’s relevant to anyone who is trying to lose weight or wishes their body type was just a little bit different.
When I was obese, my thighs rubbed together. I sometimes had “chub rub” which could be incredibly painful. Basically my thighs just rubbed together and it made my skin red. Thankfully it never got infected or became truly horrible like some people have experienced.
I was always self-conscious about my thighs. They were my FIRST source of body image hatred. I distinctly remember being about nine years old and some mean girl on the playground called me “thunder thighs.” That was the birth of my body image issues. I didn’t have fat thighs, I wasn’t even a little overweight at 9 (not until I was in my late teens, really). And yet that comment stuck with me and made me self-conscious of my thighs forever after that. I also had a birthmark on my thigh that I was embarrassed about–which is weird because it’s tiny and hardly noticeable.
While I was losing 100 pounds my body was transformed in front of me and while some things weren’t always noticeable, other things were very noticeable. The first thing I noticed after significant loss was that I had a collarbone and I could actually SEE it. It was crazy! I’d never really seen it–or my ribs for that matter. The other thing I noticed and loved was the fact that my thighs no longer rubbed together.
As my body shrank, I definitely became enamored with how great my legs looked. All of the running, cycling and swimming I did toned my legs nicely. I still admire my legs in the mirror often. I don’t think it’s vanity–I think it’s finally accepting and loving my body as it is and being proud of my hard work.
This “thigh gap” is a ridiculous standard and it’s probably causing young girls (and adults I’m sure) to develop eating disorders in order to attain this weird beauty fad. Yet at the same time, it’s something I’ve noticed that I sometimes have and feel proud of. For me it is NOT about being skinny, it’s about having toned legs that are the reward of my vigorous work to be fit.
I will never be “skinny” and long ago I came to terms with that. My body type is short, stocky, muscular–probably classified as “athletic”. I know that the skinny twig legs aren’t something I can attain, neither are they something I desire. But I understand the desire to see certain body parts change.
So as you can see, I have some mixed feelings about this. While I’ve noticed too-skinny women with legs that look like sticks and wondered if they were sick; I’ve also noticed really healthy looking women with toned legs that made me wonder if they were a runner! There’s a difference between unhealthy skinny obsession and healthy toned and athletic figures.
What do you think about this new obsession?