While the advent of social media has brought with it much good, it has also resulted in unrealistic and unhealthy body obsessions, one of which is the infamous thigh gap. Not only does this bizarre body obsession promote terrible body confidence, but trying to shape your body into something it’s not, goes against biology.
Women, and especially young girls are led to believe that anyone can get a thigh gap if they get skinny enough. But the thing is that that’s not true. We are each born with a specific body type and frame, which we can work with, but we can’t flat out change it. How we are shaped and where our body naturally carries the most weight is controlled by our genetics.
If you are not aware of the thigh-gap obsession, then here is a quick summary to get you up to date: a thigh gap is the narrow oval of space left between your inner thighs when you stand with your feet together. Basically, if your thighs don’t touch, you have thigh gap. If you don’t, apparently you’re supposed to do everything in your power to get it.
There are even websites and books that claim to give you all the secrets for how exactly to eat and exercise so that you too can flaunt your thigh gap on Instagram, and even incorrect statements like “the truth is, technically, any woman can get a thigh gap if they lower their body fat and get skinny enough,” when the reality is that you can’t.
And as far as exercise is concerned, you absolutely cannot “spot reduce” fat anywhere on your body. No amount of squats, lunges, and running will increase the space between your thighs, because targeted exercises help you tone muscle, not burn fat.
So at the end of the day, we have to accept the fact that we look the way we look because of genetics. Accept that and work with it. Those few women out there with thigh gaps were probably born that way (or had liposuction), but for the rest of the population, it isn’t a look we should be striving for.