THE THIGH GAP IS NOTHING BUT A TRAP

Stand up straight, knees together and see whether you have a gap between your thighs? If you do, then you have the thigh gap that is right at the center of a current debate that has exploded all over social media. If you have the gap, naturally, then so be it—it’s your body type and you should be proud of your body no matter what. However, in the event that you don’t have it, and most of us don’t, again, we’d like to congratulate you on a fabulous body and hope that you are happy just the way you are.

The problem starts when the fashion world goes out of its way to promote exceptionally skinny models, where that gap is highly emphasized in their photo campaigns, and then droves of young shoppers get the wrong idea—that this is the only way to look good in the same clothes, and that this is the ideal look/standard of beauty!

There’s no escaping the fact that our body image is something that takes center stage in our private lives; it’s true, there is not one person who does not concern themselves with the way they look. Although this obsession, obviously varies in degree and importance, for the most part there is no arguing with the fact that women care about what they wear, how they do their hair and what their body looks like. Now that we’ve established the fact that we’re all pretty much the same, it’ll be easier to take a look at the newest debate to stir up controversy among women of all ages across the globe, the “Thigh Gap Debate.”

The popular clothing company Urban Outfitters has been accused of promoting the thigh gap in its latest modeling campaign. The model in question shows a prominent gap between her thighs; she also looks exceptionally skinny that a complaint was filed with the UK Advertising Standards to remove the image of “a model with an unhealthy gap.” The complaint said that the model was very much underweight and this could potentially have a very negative impact on young customers. The ASA agreed that the use of a waif-like model was irresponsible, specifically because the company’s target audience is young girls who would be influenced by those images, thinking that this is what they should aspire for, in terms of looking good in Urban Outfitters’ clothing. Urban Outfitters disagreed with this conclusion, stating that using skinny models has always been an industry standard.

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Target was also entangled in a thigh gap controversy, but this time involving a massive photoshop failure.

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What’s taken this controversy to a whole other level, more so than when anorexic-looking models, or wasted, drugged up-looking models were all the rage, is the fact that today social media instantly brings the latest fads before millions of people. Social media, with all of its advantages, has a way of fueling those obsessions; it becomes something that an entire community talks about and wants to follow.

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Skinny models are an industry standard, and the higher the fashion, the skinnier the girls it seems, but the question that we pose is whether it’s moral and ethical to uphold an industry standard when there is a high cost involved. Why should this false ideal of a “perfect thigh gap” continue to rein, when it has proven to promote a negative body image in young girls and encourage them to abuse their body in order to get that manufactured industry look that a company has chosen to promote? Where is the social responsibility here? The fashion world and media, in all of its facets, has a huge impact on how we feel about our body. Many young women, especially girls, envision themselves in those ads, thinking that it’s the look they must aspire to achieve no matter what. Physiologically, achieving the thigh gap means having to drop significant weight, because not everyone is built in such a way that a gap is a guarantee, even when skinny, so when a teen drops weight, this may also affect their skeletal growth.

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Beyonce in her very controversial thigh gap photo.

Another important point to note, is that plenty of celebrities have allowed their images on the covers of magazines to be photoshopped, in order to adhere to those idealistic industry standards. Although some have spoken out against this practice, and will not allow such a false image of themselves to ever be published, there are still enough celebrities who don’t give a damn.

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1950s pinup girl Marie Mcdonald, no thigh gap whatsoever.

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Marilyn Monroe’s beauty will live forever even without the thigh gap.

At ABAD this is how we feel about the debate: although we’re continuously bombarded with unrealistic images of beauty, we strongly encourage each and every one of you to embrace the body that you have. We strive for a healthy existence, but one that has absolutely nothing to do with industry standards of beauty. Neither one of us at has a very skinny body, and yet we have been successfully modeling bathing suits for many different brands that also don’t seem to mind that we are not your typical waif-like models. If enough women embrace this idea of a healthy body instead of a waif-like body, then we think that our voices will be heard, eventually.  Something else for you to consider is that when we think of classic beauties, the very women whose images are still relevant today, even though they have long gone—we see beautiful women with bodies that do not adhere to any of our modern-day ideals. This can only mean one thing: a classic beauty is not defined by industry standards one bit, but rather by the voice of the majority. If we turn a blind eye to those manufactured standards of beauty, we will eventually succeed in our plight to include all body types. Only then we would have taken a significant step forward as a human race.

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11 Comments

  1. I love reading this article!! Thank you!!

    xx Jenelle

    https://www.inspiringwit.com/

  2. This is an awesome article! there are so many girls OBSESSED about unreal and idealized beauty standards out there, and this is the way to change it, and to help heal ourselves.

  3. Grace Reply

    BUuuut doesnt tash and dev have Thigh gaps? Or so 90% of their pics on ig dePict thAt (whether its STRATEGICALLY posed or natural). Hmm.. Ok. Thats like taking advice from a millionaire on how to Be poor.

  4. I love you for this article! Thank you so much for taking this stance. It sets such a good example for every girl who doesn’t fit the criteria set by the media.
    Happy Summer!
    xx Lane

  5. Thank you for this post to comprehend the (un)importance of the phenonemon thighgap-envy. I actually have a thighgap these days as a result of workout/training. I’m nowhere thin/skinny, as I am a strong american size 8. my legs have always been the focus of my training because I have a natural pearshaped figure and, before the Jlo/beyonce approval era, thighs needed to be skinny.
    But that brings me to the new fitspiration phenonemon as well: I love training & having strong thighs but I disagree on every person having to go into the fitspiration trend either. I’m happy a stronger body like myself is getting more approval these days, but somehow I feel the sadness of girls that used to be ‘all that’ because they were thin and now they have more pressure to build up muscle-tone that not every body is capable off. Oh well, trends come and go…

  6. Sol Reply

    I am naturally skinny and i exercise a lot but this is just the way that my body is i haber thw tigh gap and i like my body and i hate that people think that is ugly and ridiculous so just accept your body the way it is and thats it ok?

  7. Thank you so much for your nice article.this is what role models everywhere should adhere to.i am very pleased for your article.

  8. O. Reply

    This thigh gap thing is just ridiculous. I don’t understand how anyone can think that is attractive. I’m naturally very skinny and i have a thigh gap and let me tell you something, it’s the thing i hate the most about my body. All my life i’ve been very insecure about it, never wanting to wear short skirts or shorts. it just looks weird… My biggest wish was and still is to have thicker legs. But hey that’s just the way I am. I just don’t understand why people would starve themselves to be very skinny, come on, everybody thinks that curvy women look better, just ask a boy.. I would just want people to look at the other side of the story. What about girls who are naturally skinny and are not able to gain weight? How do you think that they feel when all everybody has to say is ‘Real woman have curves’ and al those sort of things. It is really hurtful. When someone calls somebody else fat it is looked upon as mean, DISRESPECTFUL etc. But when someone calls a girl ‘too skinny’, ‘anorexic’ etc. no one blinks an eye. But let me tell you something, it is equally as hurtful!! And I should know, I’ve heard things like that all my teenage years. YES I am skinny and NO I don’t starve myself! I eat like a normal person and all i would ever want is to have some more curves but unfortunately we do not get to choose our body types. It’s not because there are models who starve themselves that all skinny models do, it can just be the way they’re built. And honestly the model from urban outfitters doesn’t look Anorexic or drugged up to me. We actually resemble a lot body wise so that means that I look anorexic and drugged up? Wow, great for my self-esteem.. It is just sad that in order to praise one body type that another has to be brought down. It just makes me so sad and posts like this make me hate my body even more. I’m sorry for this super long comment, I just had to get this off my chest. I really love you guys, Tash and Dev, but Come on, you know well enough that everybody (girl or boy) would choose your body over the body of a skinny girl (with a stupid thigh gap) like me anyday. I know I would.

  9. Karolyne Reply

    It is so refreshing to See models Who are actually Healthy and fit. i’m an athlete so my body is fit but muscular and i will never have a “skinny” body like most of the modern Models do. so, thank you for Being my inspiration and Showing me That strong is beautiful!

  10. Courtney Reply

    You girls are a dead set inspiration. So gorgeous, fit and healthy inside and out. this is what role models everywhere should adhere to.

    Thank you on behalf of all young girls xx

  11. great article. I think this is an important issue to discuss, especially the fact that there is so much pressure today with instagram models being especially popular.

    http://WWW.AFACETOTHESUN.COM

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