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Monday, March 24, 2014

Fuck the 'Thigh Gap', You're Beautiful!

Today, I'd like to rant talk about an issue very important to me; body image.
Young women are constantly being fed impossible body image expectations and I blame social media.

Nowadays, you don’t have to be a body double in Los Angeles to be constantly worried about how you look, and as images of super skinny women spread, the expectations for your average woman are becoming more and more extreme and unrealistic. The more time you spend online, the more likely you are to be unhappy with your body.

In a world of selfies, it’s easy to compare yourself not just to women in your English class or your office building but to every other female on the Internet, making self-esteem issues more equal opportunity than ever before. A healthy secretary from Adelaide can be made to feel badly about herself in half a second just by checking Instagram. A fitness instructor in Perth can instantly hate her amazing, strong, toned figure just by clicking on a photo on Tumblr. Thank you, technology!

After seeing an influx of nasty statuses from boys directed at women's "No Make-up Selfies" for cancer awareness, I wanted to go on a murderous rampage:
'Girls who were 10/10 have suddenly just dropped to 5/10'
 'I've seen how ugly some girls really are'

and the girls weren't any fucking better:
'Put your ugly, pasty faces away, we don't want to see them'.

The people who were writing things like this are quite frankly, vile and clearly have issues of their own, we know that boys will be boys and that girls can be extremely nasty, but shit like this really gets to a girl.

But I digress, this post isn't about the braver-than-I, bare-faced ladies, this is about the 'Thigh Gap' obsession. Ugh, thigh gap. I hate typing that stupid phrase. I hate that I even know the expression.

Having a thigh gap has become a status symbol. We want it because it’s hard to get, but we see it everywhere so we think it must be attainable. We want it despite the fact that most of us aren't built that way. We want it even though we’ll have to resort to unhealthy habits to get it. And we all need to stop it already! Stop looking at those blogs. Stop relentlessly comparing ourselves to filtered-to-hell strangers we’ll never meet. Stop bashing our bodies. Stop obsessing over an inch of space between our legs. Why should we waste our time on an inch of negative space? Just the phrase “thigh gap” is nuts. What’s next, toe divide? Elbow point? Kidney sparkle? Why don’t we just go back to foot-binding or neck-lengthening?

 This rant has been bought to you thanks to Target.
Their online catalogue had uploaded an advertisment for a two-piece Midkini early last week with a disturbing Photoshop post-production fail.

 Thanks to some overzealous editing, a model wearing this "Xhilaration" swimsuit is literally missing part of her vagina. Understandably, people were pretty upset about this — the resulting figure unrealistic, and sets an impossible standard. With the whole thigh gap phenomenon considered aspirational by many, it's a dangerous precedent.
BAM!


In what can only be described as a Photoshop hack job, someone has taken an eraser to the crotch and has lost all control. There's also something terrifying going on with her right arm — in that it's oddly elongated and there's a portion missing (presumably collateral damage when the thigh was scaled down).


The bodge-job is so bad that, where they've attempted to create a 'thigh-gap', they've crudely chopped into the crotch area and actually removed part of the bikini, as well as the model's uterus. I'm calling this 'vagina gap' and I think it's going to be THE NEXT BIG THING.

But wait! There's more! This image can be delightfully found in Target's 'Junior' section. That's right, the Photoshopper was busy slimming down already slim teenage models and sending out a terrible message regarding body image to the most vulnerable market.

 As you can imagine, the whole debacle has caused outrage, mostly on Twitter.
Rumours are that the artworker responsible was rebelling against being forced to slim down already thin girls. Whether this be the case, or the design intern is actually a 4-year-old let loose on Microsoft Paint, I don't know.

Target swiftly removed the swimsuit in full from the site, or at least, the web pages are mysteriously 'unavailable'. Instead, only the "midkini swim top" is available. They also promptly issued an 'apology' for the image:“It was an unfortunate error on our part and we apologize”, Target spokesman, Evan Miller told ABCNews.com. “We removed the image from the site and we’re working to get a new image up there.”

Is that it? So not really a proper apology, then. I was sort of expecting something a bit more, if I'm honest.

This obsession with a thigh gap needs to stop immediately.
The term has since become almost as mainstream as “selfie.”
I remember when I first heard the it. A beautiful girl in tight yoga pants at the gym told another beautiful girl in tight yoga pants that her body looked “amazing.” The first girl responded, “Thanks, but I still can’t seem to get a thigh gap. No matter what I do my legs still touch. I’m so depressed about it.”

Dedicated Tumblr blogs popped up: pages and pages of artfully posed sets of skinny legs. Skinny legs on a highway, skinny legs in an alley, skinny legs with the sunrise peeking through the space between a pair of emaciated thighs. Girls began posting full-length selfies in front of mirrors with the hashtag #thighgap. A friend of mine put a “Thigh Gap Workout” on her Facebook page with the caption “Can’t wait for my legs to look like THIS!” and it kind of made me want to punch her in the face. I even saw a tweet that said, “Starving myself until I get a thigh gap LOL!” Oh, yeah, that is totally laugh-out-loud hilarious, girl! Hi-5!

True, when you search for “thigh gap” or “thinspo” on Tumblr, you get a pop-up ad for their eating disorder counseling page, but all you have to do is click “dismiss” to see the photos, many of them very disturbing. (One particularly terrible quote I found said, “Feet together, thighs apart, this is called the starving art.”) While the ban on pro-ana content on sites like Tumblr and Pinterest is a step in the right direction, negative body image content still slips through.


Look, we all have different body types. True, some healthy girls naturally have a space between their thighs. But most of us don’t and never will without drastic measures. I’m calling it, ladies. Thigh gaps are bullshit. They’re just another stupid reason for us to feel badly about ourselves. And it’s up to us to stop the cult of the thigh gap. So the next time you see a #thighgap post, keep scrolling. Don’t “like” it, don’t “heart” it, don’t reblog it, don’t retweet it. Don’t give it any attention whatsoever. It doesn’t deserve any. Because if we’re going to obsess over other women’s body parts, why not make it something like brains? You want something to aspire to? How about a big beautiful brain? There’s no shortage of smart witty women to look up to. Who cares what their thighs look like? Do you really think women like Tina Fey or BeyoncĂ© care one single bit about a thigh gap? I bet they don’t. I bet they’re too busy being cool, talented and incredible.

#Fuckthethighgap
Get this shit trending!

2 comments:

  1. Wow. Christie... this was ridiculously inspiring and so true. Well done for speaking out and for taking a stance. I hope this post is read by everyone.... because it is incredible. Thank you!!!

    PS.. hop on over to my little blog.... there's a little surprise for you over there xx

    www.bohemianmuses.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That means a lit, Jade. Thank you.
      Body image, to me, is a really important issue and I just get so passionate. I'm so glad others feel the same way and I hope I can touch at least one person with what I have to say.

      Hopping on over now. ;)
      xx

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