What’s in a thigh gap?

After receiving a lot of compliments recently surrounding my weight, I’m starting to seriously question what it’s all worth…

I went out with a group of girls (and one boy) on a night out last week that went something like this, drinks-dinner-drinks: you know the drill. One of the girls is one of my best friends and the others I hadn’t seen for ages. Since the last time I saw the majority of them, I’ve finally followed through with plans of working and living in London and am independent in a way I never have been before. To put it another way, I’m happy. I’ve also lost weight- which in my humble opinion is because I’m happy, but we’ll save that for another time. The simple fact is, I’m smaller than I was the last time I saw this particular group. And that, that was the thing that was commented on. Not my new, sunny exterior, but the size of my arms, legs and waist. And the worst part? I loved hearing it.

As someone who claims to be so very anti-diet and so pro-eating and working out in a way that makes you happy (not that makes you thin), I was lapping up the compliments surrounding my weight and felt spurred on by their congratulations to go forth and lose yet more. My high, of course, was short-lived and afterwards, I found myself feeling incredibly frustrated at how easily I got swept up in something so superficial. After all, it goes against almost everything I believe about diets and food in general. So, how and why did these comments – all said with benevolent intentions – have such a big impact on me? And why is thinness still so desirable?

It seems far too simplistic to say that the media – women’s magazines in particular – are to blame because I think it’s high time we took responsibility for believing the utter drivel that we’re sold. The very drivel that tells us that thinner is better because I’m sure that there are plenty of skinny people who are miserable. Imagine that! In an effort to not get quite so caught up in the ever so seductive ‘must-lose-weight’ mentality again, I’m going to start questioning those saying that thinness makes you happy in the same way I doubt every word spoken by politicians or disregard an email telling me I’ve won a free iPad. I’m going to do what I can to re-focus on being happy, not on being thin, because they are just so far from being the same thing.

I have a sneaky suspicion it’s far easier said than done, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a thigh gap?

  1. Thinness is “celebrated” due to the lack of scarcity we see in society. At one time, people celebrated being larger, why? Because it displayed wealth and prosperity. You were a little hefty because you had the ability to eat when others around you starved. Nowadays, it’s easy for most people – at least in the developed world – to eat at will, so when people are in shape it is subconsciously viewed by others as an individual who possesses self-control. Put simply, we are social beings and our environment impacts what we deem socially relevant. There are of course other things worth mentioning in the fat-thin debate, but this is one I feel like people overlook a lot.

    1. That’s definitely something I overlooked and something I’d love to look into more. What, if any, cultures still celebrate being larger? Do you think that’s something that we should aspire to, despite the health implications?

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