Em-URGE-ing Voices

Your urgent thoughts, urging action

Please, Let’s Not Make “Thigh Gap” a Thing

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November 6, 2013

I’m 22 which means I’m an old and therefore no longer cool or privy to trends. Actually I’ve never been cool but that’s another blog post. As an old, I learn about trends the only way olds learn about new trends: overhearing the kids and then later googling whatever it is you overheard. I wish this one time I hadn’t  let my curiosity get the better of me, because I had the misfortune of learning about a phenomenon called  “thigh gap.” I say misfortune because it was one of those situations where ignorance really is bliss. If you aren’t aware of “the thigh gap,” I apologize for what I’m about to do.

So, thigh gap. What is it? According to google, “A thigh gap is a space between your inner thighs when you stand with your feet together.” Before we make “thigh gap” into a thing a few questions:

  • Can I still knock him out with my American thighs if I have a thigh gap?

  • Does having a thigh gap get in the way of birthing hips?.

  • Are women only going to get 77% of the praise for a thigh gap as opposed to 100% enjoyed by men? Will white women get slightly more praise for their thigh gaps than black women?

  • Is it a  legitimate thigh gap even though I was born with it?

  • If I have a thigh gap, will I be the last one to get killed in a horror movie? What if I’m also black? I’d like some answers to these questions before I start whittling down my legs.

I won’t tell you that evaluating a woman based on physical attributes is wrong, you already know that. Neither will I tell you that basing a woman’s value solely on what’s on the outside is dehumanizing and sexist, (It’s dehumanizing to all people) because you already know that too. I won’t tell you that the girls and women who try to achieve a thigh gap are stupid or dumb because I don’t support victim blaming. Yes, they are victims, victims of the White Supremacist Cis-heterosexual Capitalist Patriarchy world we live in in which women are caricatures and stereotypes and the only way women (white, cis, thin) can outearn men is by selling their body. (Yes, I’m aware of feminist porn, I have my favorites. But in a post-misogynist world, we wouldn’t need feminist porn is all I’m saying.)

Plenty of “digital ink” has been spilled on how damaging a trend thigh gap is. Models have spoken out about it, so have hilarious comedians  on youtube. I wish I had some new insight to add but I’m just fucking tired. I’m tired of all the numerous ways we manage to make women and girls feel terrible about their bodies. I’m tired of the system that necessitates that female pop stars go naked if they plan to be commercially successful and stay relevant in pop culture.  I’m tired of it all but I can’t tune out because I  know that all of this relates to the larger issue of women’s bodily autonomy. The fight to reclaim our bodies from anti-choice legislation, forced sterilization and medicalization is not divorced from the the thigh gap phenomenon. I can’t even shrug and say I’m  too old but I’m not. The bullying and body policing of women’s bodies doesn’t get better, it gets worse. Way worse as we get older.

*sigh*  This is why we can’t have nice things.


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