Suddenly, the internet seems to be running rampant with debates over the notorious "thigh gap." Tumblr is full of "how-to"'s that will guide you to supposed perfection, a Twitter hashtag explodes with a plethora of new 140-character musings each second, and now even models can't escape ridicule if their thighs aren't in possession (or lack thereof) of the perfect amount of flesh.
In case you are just tuning in, a "thigh gap" is a triangular area at the top of the thighs where the skin does not touch, even when one is standing with their feet together. And everyone in the world wants to look like this because girls won't stop re-blogging pictures of nicely-curated crotch areas with the "Rise" filter overlaid. Yes, yet another thing completely beyond anyone's physical control is the latest beauty standard with which the masses are obsessed.
When you put it in black and white like that, it seems completely asinine, right? But the reality is, a lot of us have been there--I know I have: standing in front of the mirror, re-angling my feet and sticking my butt out just so; gleefully tapping my fingers together a la Mr. Burns when a glimpse of the back wall becomes visible between my legs.
But for what? Why do we all fantasize about having legs so thin that they can't support us as we are naturally are? Why do we perpetuate beauty standards that infantilize and weaken us both physically and mentally? Why do we allow ourselves to be considered inferior if our body doesn't--and never will--adhere to certain standards?
It's not a matter of saying "down with thigh gaps!" or "shaming" those who are naturally prone to such an appearance--it's a matter of recognizing that there is more than one path to feeling beautiful and being healthy.
Though...I can guarantee that no path to beauty and health involves doing 800 squats every hour while simultaneously scrolling through a "thinspiration" blog. That's just a path to one tired butt.