Thigh Gap: Worth Starving For?
Thigh gap: When a woman’s legs are so thin that her thighs don’t touch. Right now it’s all the rage on social media with Twitterers and Tumblers sharing photos anxiously captioned, “Three inches to go.”
It’s all fueling a mass obsession and deemed a universal “ideal” instead of a crazy trend.
Not so long ago the “perfect woman,” embodied in Miss Universe, was one whose thighs touched. Look at how the thigh gap (figure 6) was seen then, compared with 1950’s “perfection” (figure 7).
Text: (6) Legs irregular, with spaces at calves, knees, thighs. (7) The form divine, needs only a beautiful face.
Years before, “plump” was the ideal, embodied in these erotic dancers:
In some parts of West Africa today women are force-fed in hopes of achieving the longed-for obese look.
It’s all craziness when women and girls are pressured to fit an ideal that is unnatural to their bodies, and we all need to know this.
Young teens are just developing their bodies and their identities and look to each other to figure out who they should be and how they stack up. Right now the thigh-gap is the measuring rod.
On some girls it is perfectly natural, on others it is not. Depends on things like bone structure and genetic tendencies toward weight gain and fat distribution. Actually, young women should be gaining weight in their adolescent years. It’s healthy.
Lucie Hemmen, a Santa Cruz psychologist, says parents should teach their daughters about things like Photoshop and help girls to understand that the media doesn’t care a whit about their health and well-being.
She says we need girls who will rebel against nutty media images. Sometimes a little teen rebellion is a good thing.
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