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Let's Rant with Leesha: Thigh-gaps.

Today, my post will be somewhat of a rant. Which means that, typical of an Alisha-rant, my language will probably become pretty formal, because that just tends to happen when I'm ranting.
Anyway, as the title of this post states, the topic today is 'thigh-gaps'.

Honestly, I don't really feel that I have to explain what they are, because they're so notorious when you have the interests that I have, that pretty much anyone reading this blog will probably already know what they are... However, just for the sake of those who don't:
A thigh-gap is, quite simply, having a gap between your thighs when you're standing up normally, with your feet together. That's all it is, just a gap.

Now, the reason for my rant is that I stumbled across a YouTube video the other day, that was covering the relationship between teenage girls using the internet and the 'thigh-gap phenomenon'... I thought 'Hey, this might be interesting' and straight away it became exactly what I was hoping it wouldn't be. It was one of those highly biased videos that's very much anti-thigh-gap. Which, I understand that they're not to everybody's taste, but their reason for being 'anti-thigh-gap' was this:

The makers of this video were saying that thigh-gaps create eating disorders, because teenage girls see these thigh-gaps, want one for themselves and choose to starve themselves in order to achieve it. This is, sadly, very much true. The reality is that these thigh-gaps that young girls see really are a goal to reach for, and in a hurry to try to achieve it as fast as possible, many girls do try to crash-diet or stop eating altogether, it's terrible and yet it's true. I have no problem with this video sharing that fact because I feel that more young girls should be wary of turning to eating disorders due to thigh-gaps.

My problem lies a little further into the video... Because, it also went on to say that eating an unhealthy amount of food (i.e. not enough) was the only way to achieve a thigh-gap, and that those who have a thigh-gap should be ashamed of themselves, because it's disgusting, unhealthy, and it's encouraging more young girls to do the same. This video completely dismissed the idea that some people (myself included) have a thigh-gap completely naturally. In fact, the whole video was ridiculous, because when it comes down to it, it's not even a weight-related thing. It's your HIP STRUCTURE.

I understand that we live in a society where people want to tell young girls to stay far away from eating disorders, and I know that there is a relationship between thigh-gaps and eating disorders in young girls, but the way that this was depicted just made anyone who has a thigh-gap seem shameful, and as someone who eats enough per day, probably more than I should in fact, this was actually both upsetting and highly frustrating. I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way, and it's not even just this video that I've noticed having this opinion...
You take a look at runway shows, with models that have a gap between their thighs and instantly you see people commenting telling them to 'eat more' or 'go eat a sandwich' or saying it's 'disgusting' because they 'look like a corpse'. No. No. No. No.
Has it ever occurred to people that write these things that maybe these models are actually eating enough? That maybe, just maybe, this thigh-gap was caused by their hip structure? Or even, exercise? Because I can assure you, not every single model in the world has an eating disorder.

Whilst I'm finding it hard to understand why this thigh-gap thing is such a major deal these days, to the extent that people will starve themselves, at the same time, I don't exactly have to tolerate size-shaming. Because, this is pretty much what it comes down to with people that believe that anyone with a thigh-gap has an eating disorder and should go 'eat a sandwich'. That's the same as calling someone fat just because they're not a size-zero. It's wrong. Society knows it's wrong. So why is it okay to criticize somebody who has an aspect of their body that is beyond their control? As I said before, it's not weight-related. I eat a lot of food. A LOT of food, and I still have a thigh-gap. It's just part of who I am, and I don't see why I should be ashamed of it, just because some girls are being lead down the wrong path of eating disorders to achieve it. Mine came naturally, so why is that a crime? The same way my eyes are blue and I'm overly-tall for my age, my thigh-gap is something I cannot help, nor should I feel obliged to change. It's mine, I'm happy with it, and so it shouldn't bring criticism.

To the girls that want a thigh-gap and are really considering cutting down on food, this is a serious message: Please, don't. Because it really won't help you. I'm sure you're already eating healthy amounts of food for your height and age as it is, and it's really not a weight-related thing. So please, spare yourself the suffering and think twice about your actions. Is it really worth it, just to have a gap between your thighs? I believe most of you will find it isn't worth it.
And I know, some people will read this and think 'that's easy for her to say, since she has a thigh-gap'. I've had one my entire life, so to me, it's really nothing special. I didn't even realize that kind of thing was popular until a few weeks ago, when I noticed it was coming up on tumblr a lot. (I'd like to point out that each thigh-gap post I saw was of an Asian girl, because they mostly naturally have them, so that's another thing to consider. It's also a race-related thing, some races are just not built for a thigh-gap and that's just how it is.) So whilst it seems somewhat hypocritical that I'm writing this, honestly, they're not that much of a big deal. There's nothing to be ashamed of if you have one, but don't ruin your body if you don't have one.

To conclude:
Thigh-gaps are fine. It's not the thigh-gap itself that causes eating disorders. What causes them is the pressure that's being put on girls to have this thigh-gap which is seen as so perfect. Honestly, and this is the bitter truth, if you don't have one already, chances are you won't get one. The main cause of a thigh-gap is having bowed-legs, meaning that the bones in your legs bend outwards, away from each-other. So, even if you don't have a thigh-gap, just be you. Everyone's different, and you should never feel pressured to have something about your body different from the way it is naturally.

Just a note though... If you see somebody with a thigh-gap, please don't just assume that it's because that person isn't eating enough, or they're going to extreme measures to keep those thighs apart. Because really, by going and telling that person to 'eat something' or 'put on some weight' you're actually doing more damage than good, since you're guaranteed to be knocking down their self-esteem. Luckily for me, after watching this video, I was able to calm down and realize that not everyone will realize that it's not all eating disorders since eating disorders and publicized so frequently, but not everyone will be as understanding, and that's not a self-praise for myself, but more a warning that you don't know how people are going to react to what you say.

Really though, it's just a gap in between your thighs, it's really not that amazing.