Thinking Out Loud: 1/23

I’m linking up again with the lovely Spoons for Thinking Out Loud; however, this is a bit different from previous weeks. Instead of dumping a whole bunch of random thoughts on the blog – I’m being topical today – and it’s a bit of a heavy topic, so please bear with me if it’s turned ranty and makes little sense….

Thinking-Out-Loud

When you hear “mind the gap” do you think of this:

Bakerloo_line_-_Waterloo_-_Mind_the_gap

Or this?

thigh-gap-mind-the-gap-sign

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a “thigh gap” picture that isn’t totally porn-like?!

If I were to bet, I’d say the majority of people would actually be in the second camp, especially with the popularity of sites like The Chive and their frequent “mind the gap” posts.

Now, before I start getting ranty (and I probably will) I do have to say I quite enjoy the Cat Saturday and Best of Tapiture posts on The Chive, even the Daily Awesomeness/Randomness posts are enjoyable at times, so I’m not a Chive hater, m’kay?

My problem with the “mind the gap” type posts is the implication that you must have a thigh gap in order to be attractive. Comments made by Chip Wilson, and the American Apparel dude (I’m far to lazy to Google his name and honestly, IDGAF what is it) only help to exacerbate the issue.

While I recognize the majority of the photos submitted to The Chive are user submitted, I still feel having an entire category dedicated to thigh gap is only perpetuating the ideal that in order to be attractive and worthy women must have a thigh gap and, well, that makes me a bit ragey.

It turns out when you Google “women thigh gap physiology” you get a lot of ranty posts about it – this made me smile. Here’s a sampling of a few of the articles:

The problem with thigh gaps isn’t that some people have them, it’s the fact that they’re being fetishised as some sort of physical ideal (as opposed to just one of many body types).

I could probably link for days to all the posts speaking out against this thigh gap ideology, but the truth is, linking to posts isn’t going to change that there are websites and sections of websites entirely dedicated to glorify the thigh gap.

I don’t have much profound to say on this topic other than we need to stop feeling less than and believing we are less than. We are not. We are good and beautiful and worthy just as we are. We don’t need a thigh gap, or to fit into a certain size, or to have our hip bones sticking out (gross) in order to justify our self-worth.

photo (30)

The most beautiful people I know are the ones whose beauty radiates from the outside. I’m sure you’ve met that kind of person, the one where you notice something different about them, but you really aren’t certain what is it. That, my friends, is confidence.

photo (31)

Being confident makes you a rock star! Forget about these stupid messages, we are good enough. I mean, if these people are stupid enough to Photoshop Jennifer Lawrence, they have no idea what beauty even is.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-3903-1387060575-6

Morons.

I remember when I swam, I’d walk in such a way so my thighs didn’t touch when I walked down the pool deck. I was a teenager training 15-20 hours a week – let me tell you – I was in shape there was nothing to indicate a non-thigh gap meant I wasn’t fit or healthy, and yet, even then, I felt I needed a thigh gap to be considered attractive (thus leading into disordered eating). I even remember a time after going through one of my disordered eating bouts when my thighs didn’t touch and I felt worthy.

Seriously. How sad is that?! I received self-worth from my thighs. Awful.

photo (32)

Now, as a runner, if my thighs touch it’s because they’re muscled. Muscled enough to push my body to run marathons and do squats and lunges (I actually wrote lunches here – it’s obvious I’m highly focused on food!) and keep me healthy.

Tell me: What are your thoughts on this fixation with “thigh gap”? Do you think sites like The Chive help to intensify the unhealthy ideal?

29 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud: 1/23

  1. Whenever I go through tumblr, I see multiple posts about the thigh gap and how it should be something that we should all try to achieve. It makes me sick. Many of our bodies don’t have the structure to have a thigh gap no matter how fit and healthy we are. It makes me mad that sites promote this ideal, leading many to go to unhealthy extremes to try to fit this ideal. I love posts like yours that promote a healthy body image and a healthy lifestyle- it beats having a thigh gap any day!

    • Yes! That’s exactly what bugs me about “thigh gap” all the other nonsense. My body type doesn’t do that well. I have to be underweight for my body type in order to achieve that – and that’s just so, so unhealthy. So what if my thighs touch?! I run marathons – I’ll take that over a thigh gap any day!

  2. What I don’t like about the thigh gap nonsense is that the thin standard just keeps getting pushed to another unattainable attribute. Back in the day it was a flat stomach. Then you were supposed to have a flat stomach, but still have a curvy bum and a big rack. Now you need all that and a gap between your thighs. It’s like society doesn’t want the standard to be achievable, so we start thinking of more ridiculous attributes that are “the thing”. I mean, really-what’s next? What is left to make women make sure they’re obsessing over before we all just throw up our hands and quit caring? I’m past caring, but it’s gotta be scary and so intimidating for a young teen to get all these messages and not know how to process them. 15 year old Laura would have had 12 nervous breakdowns by now trying to look like barbie.

    • Yes! I look at pictures of people from 10-15 years ago that were “skinny” and they aren’t skinny by today’s standards. Why do we have this belief people should look like a stick?!
      Like you, I’m past caring, but what message are we sending to teens? Ugh. It makes me sick.

  3. Oh, now you’ve gone and done it! This is one of my rantiest of ranting topics! Growing up I was SKINNY! Long and lanky! There was not an ounce of fat on my body. I was athletic and strong and in shape and my thighs TOUCHED!!! When I even hear the term “thigh gap” I go completely stabby!

    Now give me a minute while I calm down!! Grr.

    • That’s what pisses me off about it. Some people have big boobs, some don’t. Some people’s thighs touch, some don’t. It’s the SAME DAMN THING.

  4. Jesus, this is even a thing? I have wide-set hips, but I’m knock-kneed. I’m also an endurance runner. My thighs are going to touch until several weeks after I’ve died and start decomposing. I’m so glad I never had any idea I was “supposed” to be worrying about this.

    • Wide hips, and knock kneed? Yup. That’s me too (it makes skiing an absolute bitch) so yeah, my thighs don’t touch when I’m emaciated and….gross.

  5. Hm. These topics are always weird for me, because I don’t think my hip bones are gross. They are what they are, like the gap between my thighs. I’ve seen a meme saying “real women don’t have a thigh gap” reposted on Instagram a bunch of times, with thousands of likes, and while I don’t think you can compare that with society’s idolization of skinny, it’s still swinging too far in the other direction. I hope that eventually no one talks about other women’s bodies, ever.

    A “mind the gap” section on a website is mind-boggling to me. Society has a long way to go.

    • To me, what it comes down to, is body type. My body type is such that if my hip bones stick out and my thighs don’t touch, then I’m FAR too skinny for my body type. I know many people who have hip bones and thigh gap and I don’t think they’re “too skinny” or “gross” because it’s what works for their body type. That’s why I have such a problem with FitPro and the like because everyone is different and why can’t we just accept that?

  6. I live in London, If I hear someone say ‘mind the gap’, we’re on the Tube! As for the thigh gap, I’m never going to have a flat stomach, my thighs are always going to meet and everything else is between me and the doctor. What concerns me, is this is pressure that women seem to put on each other. Most men I know like women in whatever shape they come and the ones that don’t generally have some issues around control. So what we have (I think) is a bunch of people with disordered thinking and the internet, which is toxic. The only thing you can do is be yourself, avoid comment on other peoples bodies and not allow any form of that nonsense around you. Real woman have curves AND angles and all sort of other shapes..

    • I completely agree that most men don’t care – and don’t notice! It really is the pressure we put on ourselves. We come in all shapes and sizes, let’s just accept that and celebrate that. How boring would it be if we all looked the same?!

  7. So I actually DO think of the train/subway thing first when I hear “mind the gap,” but I’m well aware of the thigh gap trend and it drives.me.in.sane. Like… way to get fixated on something that, in a lot of instances, you just can’t change. I wish people would stop being at war with their bodies and start rocking what they’ve got. Confidence looks good on EVERYONE, no matter what size or shape… and that’s something that doesn’t necessarily come with a smaller pair of jeans. If we spent even half the time trying to learn to love our bodies the way they are rather than working on changing what we think is wrong, we’d be a whole lot better off.

    • If we spent even half the time trying to learn to love our bodies the way they are rather than working on changing what we think is wrong, we’d be a whole lot better off. <– This! Times one million!

      And confidence is soooo sexy. The people that I view as "beautiful" in my world, are the ones who are confident, not the ones who fit into a size "xx" pair of jeans.

    • Ugh. Me too! I think there are some great posts there (and on The Berry) but I super strongly dislike all the posts of half naked people – even on The Berry! I HATE it when women (or men!) are objectified.

  8. Great post. I think you wrote what many of us are thinking. I hate that the thigh gap has become fad mostly because of how unattainable and unhealthy it is for women to strive for it. People with ‘thigh gap’ have wide hips… guess what, no matter how much you diet and exercise your never going to be able to change the bone structure of your hips!

    • It really is a body type/structure issue. I’m certainly not going to judge someone with a thigh gap. I have a problem with it when people feel they NEED to have it. It’s like if being flat chested became “in” and we started starving ourself to get rid of our boobs. That’s a bit of an extreme (and hopefully unlikely) example, but it’s the same desire to change our bodies.

  9. Awesome post!!! I think the thigh gap obsession is sad! First of all some people body just won’t ever get one and so many just don’t know that! As much as I hate hearing my thighs clap lol when I run, having a thigh gap is not even a thought in my head! Thigh gap doesn’t equal healthy and I wish so many young women realize that!

    • Gah. I’m so torn about Lululemon. I love their products, but feel like such a hypocrite and a fraud for continuing to support them, especially after Chip’s comments. *sigh*
      (And, as I type this, I’m one of the thousands of people trying to register for SeaWheeze for the past 90 minutes and counting…)

  10. Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve ranted to many people and on forums about this one. I’ve thought about it while out running before and laughed to myself while my thighs brush eachother here and there…. something that took me a very long time to realize is its about your health first, take care of yourself and your body starts to match.

  11. Pingback: Link Love: 1/25 | Cowgirl Runs

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