From volunteer contributor Caitlyn Rosellini
So, lets talk about thigh gaps. Lets chat about how the media perpetuates a feeling of worthlessness based on the bone structure of one’s hipbones. I’ll be honest, in the beginning of my eating disorder I had no idea what a thigh gap was, but for some reason it becomes something to attain- something ED tells you is worth pursuing. I vividly remember last year during my fall semester hearing my Women in Politics professor mention how someone was criticized for not having a thigh gap. At that point in my recovery journey, I could think logically about what was happening, and the simple fact that an eating disordered behavior had become a commonplace goal, influenced by media and technology alike, made me physically ill.
For the most part, I have disassociated from this “ideal” because to be blunt, this body type we are striving for is literally in how a person is built. The bone structure of an individual with the coveted “thigh gap” is anatomically different than those without; it is simply the way in which a persons hipbones are set. Trying to achieve this any way but naturally is extremely dangerous, and can become, quite realistically, deadly.
I recently watched a video mocking this ideal, posted below. It made me laugh because it puts a sarcastic spin on the critique it offers to those magazines, tumblrs, and media at large who push this onto women everywhere. Anyone who knows me, and believe me if you read my posts religiously we will be very very good friends, knows that I enjoy my daily dose of sarcasm. Sometimes we just need a good laugh, and after all of the stress this ideal has caused us, I think it is a well-deserved break to laugh at the idea of a thigh gap. Because guess what? IT IS LAUGHABLE. To think that we, limitless humans, can base our worth off of the space between our thighs is simply humorous.
This ideal becomes as unrealistic as telling people: if you have a longer middle toe than big toe than you’re more beautiful. It is something that is holistically dependent on a persons genes; biology is the main component in this argument and it is simply futile to view it as anything other than that.
I am Caitlyn Rosellini, I am striving to be a healthy and fulfilled person, and the space between my thighs means absolutely nothing. The capacity of my intelligence, the broadening of my boundaries, and the ability I have to understand people are the aspects of myself I care to nurture and measure, not the arbitrary space between two body parts.
I think it is about time that we, as people of all genders, reclaim our bodies. We have been allowing so many impersonal outlets dictate who we should be and what we should look like. Why do we do that? Well, it is quite difficult not to in a sense, because we are constantly swimming within these images and ideals. However, that is all they are; words, pictures, and “shoulds” realistically cannot dictate who we are and what we care to cultivate within ourselves. As soon as we recognize that these things are simply fake the sooner we begin to move into what we are meant to be, not what society tells us to be.
Overall, humanity cannot be measured in waist width, or in the space between a person’s thighs, or their weight. Humanity proves capability far beyond what we are currently subscribing to. We need to measure insight, creativity, and holistic understanding. Those are the aspects of humanity that matter, those are the things that deserve to be hallmarked.
So screw you, thigh gap, because you’re just about real as my chances of becoming Hilary Duff.