By Elyse Breeze, @ElyseBreeze
“New year, new me!” becomes a common mantra amongst most teenage girls when proclaiming the most recent fads of 2014 have become their newest lifestyle choice. Whether it be that obscure trend of becoming a Spiritualist and buying a bag of rocks at Walmart and calling them healing stones, taking up a weekly yoga class, or deciding to stop drinking so much during the week and buckling down for a semester, they’re out there.
While these are a few of the most typical resolutions I’ve seen crowding my Facebook newsfeed, I’d say the most common New Years’ resolution seems to be to lose weight.
The thigh gap phenomenon has taken the internet by storm this past year one blog at a time. When I first heard the term, I was a sophomore in high school sitting outside my local gym waiting for my mom to pick me up. Two thin girls in Victoria’s Secret yoga pants and tank tops complimented each other on their slim tummies and slender arms.
“I’m just trying to work on finally getting that thigh gap!” one of the women said, gently slapping herself on the side of her thigh. Okay, what the hell is a thigh gap?
Women are able to achieve the thigh gap simply because of their genetics. Women who naturally have a wide-set hip structure are able to obtain this silly “trend.” After that day, I began to recognize the term “thigh gap” more and more in daily life. By early 2013, the term became universally known by teenage girls everywhere… and they wanted to have it.
Tumblr blogs, Pinterest feeds, and twitter pages have dedicated themselves to the unrealistic image of the thigh gap. Soon, pages and pages of artsy-and-aesthetically-pleasing-to-the-eye-kind-of-legs began popping up everywhere. The pictures are taken everywhere from a bedroom edited in black and white, to posed, evidently malnourished legs on the beach with the sunlight peeking through — but let’s not forget those hilarious “hot dogs or legs” twitters bashing the thigh gap trend.
Young girls everywhere are starving themselves and striving to reach this unattainable reality of the thigh gap. The newest trend, however, the “bikini bridge,” may be just as terrifying. The bikini bridge is the space separated by a woman’s hipbones and her underwear when she lies flat. I’ve witnessed too many girls dedicating their resolutions to gaining these two unrealistic attributes.
I blame social media for these alarming new “trends.” The expectations for the average woman are becoming more and more unrealistic. A study conducted in 2011 by the University of Haifi concluded that 50 percent of girls between the ages of 12 and 19 explained that they are terrified of gaining weight. How does this seem right? While most social media sites have done their best to filter out the disturbing images, some still seem to slip through. One, in particular, which sticks with me, is one that reads, “Feet together, legs apart. This is called the starving art.”
What happened to admiring people for their humor, intelligence, or their taste in music? I’ve never witnessed anyone look at a girl and say, “Ew, she doesn’t have a thigh gap!” because that would be silly. So, ladies, set realistic goals for the New Year! Eat healthy, take up a hobby, or go to the gym more often. Do you honestly believe that women like Tina Fey or Beyonce care about having a thigh gap? No, probably not. They’re too busy being cool and talented. So, just a suggestion: Ignore the newest fads springing up in 2014 and do something great.
And, by the way, whoever said pizza doesn’t taste as good as skinny feels has obviously never had pizza. So, just keep that in mind.