Pins of women with twelve-pack abs, insane workout routines that promise only the firmest of butts, and diets comprised purely of kale chips make up this sanitized and slightly more palatable version of pro-eating disorder propaganda. They build up these impossible and entirely arbitrary goals of “beauty” and “health” that must be achieved for total life happiness. They seem to serve as a roadmap to perfection, saying that if and only if you just achieve that perfectly jiggle-free ass, your entire life will finally fall into place. You’ll score the perfect husband, have a dreamy Pinterest-inspired wedding, and everything in your world will be seen through Instagram’s Valencia filter.
Among these many strange and specific goals, the most coveted of all is currently the famed “thigh gap.” A thigh gap is defined as an open space between a woman’s inner thighs when standing normally… aka you have to be skinny enough so that your thighs can’t touch. It’s apparently pretty rare for these to appear in most women, and therefore scarcity creates desire. Those skinny bitches can have it, then dammit I want it too, the Pinterest masses seem to silently scream from behind their computer screens. Despite the completely arbitrary nature of this specific body qualification, it has quickly become the gold standard of drool-worthy Pinterest thinspiration. The worst part of all of this though? Yes, I am in fact the not-so-proud owner of the famed thigh gap.
Now I’m sure at this point many people would ask, “But wait, if the magical unicorn of body specifications known as the thigh gap is in fact so truly covetable, why would you not be posting yours all over the world wide web??” The answer to me is simple: it doesn’t fucking matter. Hell, I didn’t even notice or realize I had one until I read a few articles online completely rejecting the trend as a whole. And more importantly, once I realized I had one I wasn’t excited. Being proud of the pocket of air between your thighs is about as ridiculous as saying you’re proud that your big toe is longer than the toe next to it: some people’s are, some people’s aren’t, and no one cares either way. Do I honestly think I could attribute anything positive in my life to the fact that I possess a thigh gap? No, I don’t think I could. While I’m certainly a very happy and lucky girl and have been naturally given what most would probably call a “good” body, I don’t believe I’ve achieved any of my academic successes, life opportunities, or loving boyfriend due to my possession of a thigh gap… or a big toe that is any length longer or shorter than my other toes. Need I make the comparison a third time to illustrate how much these arbitrary standards of beauty don’t matter? Let’s hope not.
Now that the point is across, I want to make it clear that I’m not attacking the thigh gap obsession. I’m attacking the way our culture handles standards of beauty, health, and fitness. I won’t dwell because it’s been said before and it will be said again, probably in much more eloquent terms, but for now let me say this. There are as many definitions of beauty as there are people on this planet, and health and fitness are not synonymous with skinny. Now excuse me while I go eat a muffin and hope it goes straight to my thigh gap.