The Bigger the ‘Thigh Gap’ the Bigger Your Popularity Status

Often the Thigh Gap is camouflaged to being motivation for exercise and fitness. Image from the Thigh Gap Tumblr

Often the Thigh Gap is camouflaged to being motivation for exercise and fitness. Image from the Thigh Gap Tumblr

OK so the first I heard of this new body image obsession was on The Kane Show, the morning radio show I listen to make my hour or longer commute bearable. You should listen. The DJs are an entertaining bunch.

So what the hell is a “Thigh Gap?”

According to the NJ high school juniors interviewed by GMA reporter JuJu Chang it’s when you’re standing with your feet and knees together and there is a space between your thighs that is viewed as the “ideal body shape.” Yup don’t have one, not sure I ever did.

Why is this a new and dangerous obsession? Well besides that fact that it’s predominately runway or severely photoshopped models that sport this new “trend,” it’s damn near impossible to achieve this “gap.” Teen psychologist Barbara Greenburg called it an “unattainable goal.”  Agreed. Personally the closest I ever got to a “gap” was between my teeth during my adolescences for which slllooowwwly corrected, we’re talking 5 years people, by braces due to my over bite and a whole mess of other dental problems. Thanks genetics.

No really, genetics plays a huge role in how we’re built. I like to call it the 50/50. Half is genetics and half is the lifestyle we lead, which means what we eat, how often we exercise and being overall happy campers. Also side note these genetics mean some of these images on Tumblr and walking up and down a runway have bow’d legs which can look just like a Thigh Gap.

I went on Tumblr to just see how many pictures were focused on the Thigh Gap. It’s a proper noun at this point. And I was just completely… just— I don’t even know if shocked is the right word. I was angry, upset, disheartened and just plain pissed off that girls are promoting and supporting an unrealistic standard of beauty.

So why again does a Thigh Gap matter to teen girls? A Thigh Gap is like an accessory that makes clothing like “tight jeans and leggings look better” according to the high school juniors. The Thigh Gap is a status symbol. The girls don’t want to achieve it to impress the boys the boys “don’t even know what it is!” But instead girls do it to compete with other girls in achieve the top of the popularity ladder. “It’s a girl thing,” said Hailee Perez.  The wider the Thigh Gap the higher your popularity status.

What do you think about this crazy, crazy dangerous body image trend among teen girls? Agree, disagree? Outraged? I love comments!

8 thoughts on “The Bigger the ‘Thigh Gap’ the Bigger Your Popularity Status

  1. Anteah J

    Great coverage over this ridiculous “accessory.” I had never heard of it until now…. And I, too have never had one nor do I seek to achieve this socially pleasing appearance. Thigh gap….. Pure mess that is psychologically damaging the minds of our young girls and destroying their confidence and strength. Thanks for sharing and spreading the message. Awareness helps us stand up to this mess! Great coverage, doll face.

  2. Sitting Witty (@sittingwitty)

    I actually did have a thigh gap a while back. However, it was gained accidentally due to very bad eating habits combined with an already naturally slim frame. I was well aware it was due to the fact I was in severely poor health and hadn’t been eating well. It was a sign of deficiency and I hated it. Very good post.

  3. Sarah

    It worries me that so many of them seem to have actually managed it. The only way for most people to do that is to literally starve themselves. I person has to have a lot of issues to be able to keep that up. And I would imagine pretty neglectful parents for them not to have noticed their child’s dangerous relationship with food.

    1. Shattered Slipper

      It is quite scary and could definitely lead to poor eating or lack-of-eating habits. A lot of those girls who are viewing those images thinking that “goal” is attainable forget that we are individuals and genetics have a lot to do with how we are built! Thanks for your comment Sarah!

  4. Kara

    I think you’re right, that it can be dangerous to obsess over or idealize certain body types. Thigh Gap is just the latest reincarnation. And, it is dangerous and unhealthy that it is used as a popularity or status symbol. While it certainly is unobtainable for most women (due to genetics, etc.), it is natural for some women (again, genetics) so I think it’s important to avoid shaming women for their body, whether or not they have thigh gap.


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