I Mind the Gap
October 23, 2013 by surikors
As our fat bodies studies took full swing and we were pushed to think about some examples of how the fat body is devalued, my mind also drifted to the obvious counterpart; the thin body. I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering to a website called The Chive… more specifically, an album called “mind the gap”. What gap you ask? No, not the Gap Store… Not the ominous warning at the London Underground, heeding people to be wary of the gap between the train and platform (yes, that’s a thing)… This gap…
***WARNING: thin bodies, thin pictures, thin-talk***
This image is one of the first that popped up in my Google image search of “thigh gap”. Let’s start from the beginning…
My friend first introduced me to The Chive by showing me a pretty funny picture, so I thought it would be a neat website to roam around in. As I clicked around, I stumbled upon “mind the gap”. I was amazed at the thousands of user submitted pictures, usually from behind, bent over in underwear, showing off their socially acclaimed thigh gap! Hooray! My friend, let’s call him Brian, is a source for much of my arguments that misogyny and sexism is still alive and well. Brian claims that if a woman doesn’t have a gap between her legs, she is far too “fat” for his liking.
This is where it changed for me… As a woman who has struggled with body image issues, I became painfully aware of my own (quickly fading) thigh gap. More importantly, I became aware of the body structure of the women around me. My observations weren’t necessarily grounded in judgement, but much more curiosity. Do most women have this gap? How was I so blind to this “gap”? When did a thigh gap become a trait that some men (boys, if we’re being serious) actually looked for in the opposite sex?
What I found, and still find, is that this gap, has… wait for it.... NOTHING to do with how heavy or skinny someone is. It is actually a much bigger indication of the SKELETAL SHAPE. Shocking! Let me explain…
This obsession with the gap in between your thighs has little to do with your weight. What a concept. The sad part is, most girls and women who strive for this ideal are blindly unaware of this. Picture after picture in the thigh gap image search showed these extra thin bodies quotes tossed over them. “Do it for the thigh gap”, “Keep calm and remember thigh gap”, and “push push push till your thighs don’t touch”.
I am certainly not exempt from the nagging notion that thinness equal acceptance in all forms. I think it’s extraordinarily hard, often seemingly impossible to break free of the norms and ideas that plague our society today. The Chive and countless other websites similar to it, reinforce this constructed ideal that really does kills people every day. I for one, love my body in the presence or absence of a thigh gap.
Well, on a lighter note….