Back in college, I remember listening to two guys debate whether or not the “thigh gap” was sexy. One guy thought it showed that women were in great shape and, in his words, “took care of themselves.” The other argued that this space between the upper legs was “gross” and made a woman look unhealthily thin. It was a stupid debate because a couple inches between a woman’s thighs does not indicate how healthy or unhealthy she is. She could have it and run marathons. She could also not have it and also run marathons. And yet, there may be a growing obsession with the appearance of the thigh gap, with more of the public trying to attain it.
While there has always been a demand for surgeries to decrease the size of women’s thighs, a clinic called Lovelite (uh, nice name, guys) reported to The Daily Mail that it had seen a 240% increase in the number of lipoglaze procedures done to create the thigh gap. Lipoglaze involves freezing up fat cells so they “die and disappear.”
One model is being cited as part of the “thigh look” people are attempting to emulate: Cara Delevingne (pictured above). The 20-year-old size 2 model has seen her career blow up in the past year, suddenly becoming one of the most sought-after females in the business. There are actual Twitter accounts devoted to her thighs (no, really), one of which has a profile that reads, “@Caradelevingne works me out every day, so I can stay this perfect.” The thing about thighs (say that five times fast) is that there is no such thing as “perfect,” and it’s ridiculous to consider one standard of thigh shape to be the pinnacle of excellence. Your thighs are your thighs, and they do not need to look like anybody else’s to be perfect. But I digress.
According to Huffington Post, this is actually not a huge deal, and women have been seeking upper-thigh-thinning surgeries for ages. Dr. Robert Murphy, American Society of Plastic Surgeons president-elect, said,” So ‘heroin chic’ has been replaced by thigh gap, huh?” In Murphy’s, these procedures haven’t noticeably increased in demand.
That said, there doesn’t need to be a big bump in surgeries for there to be a growing obsession with thinner thighs. People have been dealing with eating disorders for far too long, and they don’t require any money or medical procedures, so I don’t think statistics from doctors are the only way to assess this. With the advent of pro-ana websites, blogs, Twitter, and Tumblr, the incredible preoccupation with thinner bodies, including the “thigh gap,” has unfortunately become a social bonding source that can be easily shared.
Whatever your body type, keep in mind that you are not the absence or appearance of a few inches between your thighs. Whether it’s fat, muscle, or air, those inches are irrelevant to what kind of person you are, so don’t let them sum you up, not even for a moment.