This morning I watched the new Gok Wan show, focusing on teens and their bodies. In particular one girl's story struck me with sadness, a slim and very pretty girl who was obsessed with looking at online images of girls she wanted to look like. Her main focus was that she wanted (or felt she needed) her thighs not to touch when she stood up. She looked at normal fashion sites, as well as pro-ana sites (which included mentions of 'that' gap).
The idea that thighs should not touch in the middle is an odd one, and surely quite a modern one? I am very aware that some naturally slim women have 'the gap' which is absolutely just as valid as not, but it seems a weird obsession many women (and teens) to have (if they do not have it naturally).
What exactly will happen to their lives if their thighs no longer touch? Do the become happier? Richer? Sexier?
In my experience, most female thighs are soft, sometimes squishy and wobbly, and yet many of us are taught quite early that it is somehow 'disgusting' that they squash down when we sit, or if there is no gap between them when we stand. When did it become normal for the thighs we see that are deemed beautiful not to meet in the middle?
These pictures are what happened when I asked twitter to send me pictures of their real thighs today. Aren't they all awesome?
Some are firm, some soft, some have dimples, and some touch in the middle. Some hold children, some enjoy showing off with tattoos or stockings while some are more shy than others.
Yet aren't they all awesome? Aren't they all sexy and fabulous and do their job pretty well (to hold us up and let us sit down?).
On the Rockalily facebook group a discussion of thighs ensued.
Sadly many women there saying they hated their thighs, too fat, too big, too wobbly. I certainly used to hate mine too, and it probably took the rather extreme action of getting a tattoo for me to start seeing them differently. I now work hard to remember that my thighs are just fine the way they are. They are meant to look different when I sit down, and they are allowed to have a few stretch marks and dimples.
When will we start seeing more 'real' bodies - thinner, fatter, rounder, firmer, all real and valid body shapes, so that we can realise that our own bodies are ok too?
If we are concerned about what the other sex think of our thighs, I like to consider what I enjoy about men's bodies. I like the elements that make theirs different to mine. They have firmer thighs, I have yummy squishy ones. They may have a firmer stomach than my soft one, but they can both be pretty sexy in different ways. I would like to imagine that many men also enjoy our differences in bodies too.
How do you feel about your thighs? Are we subjected to too much pressure to look a certain way? To be a certain size and shape? What can we do to help our teen girls to accept their bodies as pretty awesome?
A massive thank you to all the ladies who sent me their thighs today ;-)
Can you spot mine?
If you sent me your thighs and they are not published here, they may have been swallowed into my computer. Please nudge me, as I will be adding anymore that get sent to me. All thighs welcome and accepted!