Mind the Gap

There is a new craze sweeping fashion magazines and stores across the nation: the thigh gap. This latest trend has women everywhere walking bow-legged and knock-kneed in attempt to avoid the dreaded rubbing together of their thighs. 

The thigh gap phenomenon only recently appeared on scene and yet it has already joined the dreaded and hallowed ranks of other impossibly-high beauty expectations set for women. It sits right up there on the shelf along with "look fabulous without make-up at all times" and "have a flat stomach but large breasts." And the worst part is that we only have ourselves to blame. 

Every year, in so many new ways, beauty standards for women fluctuate and another requirement is tacked on to the already towering stack of expectations. The objective remains the same—beauty—but the requisites vary. New colors come into style, new ways of dressing and doing one's hair. Old fashion trends become stylish again, and then by the next season everything has changed and the clothes you just bought aren't "in" anymore. Breakthrough products hits the shelves, only to be recalled and replaced. 

Two years ago, no one cared about the thigh gap. Now, marketers are actually photoshopping models' legs further apart, and the latest gimmicks splashed across magazines all promise "slimmer legs in five minutes" and "blast that thigh fat overnight!"

We all want these results fast. Now. Instantaneously. No matter how the media tells us to look or dress or be, we are all to willing to comply. We eat up these fabrications of beauty even while we starve ourselves to slim. 

But we shouldn't have to starve ourselves to beautiful. It should be the culture who is made to change, not us, especially by the media's means. These magazine headlines promise skinny, but they don't actually promote health. In our culture, it's better to be tiny than healthy or in shape. Only a rare few recognize these get-skinny-fast ads as the hoaxes they are, and even fewer understand that some women  who are in great shape and are healthy may not have a thigh gap themselves! 

So never mind that your thighs touch. Forget about the media's obsession with overdone make-up and it's degradation of natural beauty. Don't feed the cycle, break it. Defy it. Change it.  Redefine "beauty" to call for health over slimness. It's much better to be a healthy, strong woman than a bow-legged, starving mess.