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Forget The ‘Thigh Gap’ — We're Here For ‘Mermaid Thighs’

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If you’re a woman who exists in the world, you're probably aware of society’s obsession with the “thigh gap.” In case you aren’t, we’re sorry to fill you in: the “thigh gap” is the space that some thin women have between their thighs when they’re standing with their knees together. It’s presented as a highly covetable beauty ideal, especially over the past several years, and it’s heavily featured on pro-eating disorder “thinspiration” blogs. The thigh gap is so harmful that some social media sites, including Instagram, have banned the hashtag #thighgap — but the image is still inescapable.

unnamed copy copy copy copyA look at the #thighgab hashtag on Instagram (#thighgap is banned)

Now, some women are fighting against the “thigh gap” obsession with a new hashtag: #mermaidthighs. It celebrates thighs that touch, comparing the look to a mermaid’s fin.

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It seems like the trend may have been kicked off in part by this graphic by Emma Jewell of theseglitteryhands.com, which is being widely shared in the hashtag.

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We’re especially loving the women who are showing off their mermaid leggings! (We want some!!)

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And here are just a few more of the many body positive "mermaid thigh" pics women are sharing on Instagram:

 

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Because I know we’ll be getting comments about it, let me make something clear: Celebrating “mermaid thighs” is not “skinny shaming.” It’s reclaiming the very body part that society is trying to force women to hate and be ashamed of — thighs that touch. It’s showing that a “thigh gap” is not the only way to be beautiful or confident or happy.

It’s showing that all bodies can be beautiful — and we want to be part of that world.

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Top image: chubbymermaid.tumblr.com

This post was published on August 22, 2016

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Erika W. Smith is BUST's digital editorial director. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erikawynn and email her at erikawsmith@bust.com.

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