A new extreme body image fad has me blogging again. There is a new body image trend with teenagers that I am sure most of you have heard about. Yup, you guessed it: the dreaded thigh gap. ABC News reported on this crazy idea that teenage girls have become obsessed over for the past few months. In the report, several high school girls explain this “thigh gap” obsession, and what triggered it all. One of the girls states that a thigh gap is literally a gap between a girls thighs when her legs and knees are together. Another girls adds that girls who don’t have this gap between their legs consider themselves fat, or unattractive.
First off, I find this idea very troubling. As someone who obsessed over her weight and body image as a teenager, I can relate to the idea of feeling subpar because of not being a size zero. I only wanted to be that size because some of the prettiest girls looked like that. The problem is, not every girl can be a size zero and be healthy at the same time, and I was one of them. This is why fads like the thigh gap and size zero trends oftentimes result in anorexia or bulimia. Not every girl has the metabolism or immune system to allow them to be that size and healthy.
The video goes on to explain that social media sites exacerbate the issue by posting pictures of beautiful girls with “motivational” subtitles such as “Cake or thigh gap?”
What girls today face that I did not have to deal with when I was going through this phase was the social media bullies, and pressures from the unknown online. Teenage girls are already at an unfair advantage because of the emotions that accompany hormonal and body image changes naturally. By adding social media to the mix, it is a recipe for low self esteem.
If there is one thing that I could tell my teenage self then that I know now is that image is only a small part in the grand scheme of things. Here is a piece of advice for the girls out there suffering with these pressures:
If there is one thing that people notice more than anything, it is self confidence. It doesn’t matter if you are on a date or hanging out with friends, people will only notice what you emit. If you are surrounded by people who truly love you for you, then they could care less about what you look like. Men don’t notice thigh gaps, or jean sizes. Trust me, if they can’t notice when you get a hair cut, they won’t notice what your legs look like. Lastly, if you are surrounded by people who do emphasize unhealthy habits such as these, then you are surrounded by the wrong people. As a person, you deserve friends who lift you up and celebrate you for who you are. If they focus on the bad, chances are they are suffering from insecurity too.
If you are having trouble with low self esteem triggered by body image pressures, visit this site for tips on how to manage this kind of stress.
If you are suffering from an eating disorder triggered by body image pressures, visit this site for help.
For information about a healthy weight for your body type, visit this site.