The thigh gap…….it’s the body trend that’s launched hundreds of Facebook pages, Twitter IDs, blogs and “how to” pages on the internet since the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in December 2012. The show received widespread media coverage and featured many models with thin and highly toned bodies that appeared to have a “thigh gap”. Since then is has snowballed in to an a growing media phenomenon targeting women and girls with the notion that if you don’t have a “thigh gap” then you are more likely to be seen as overweight and less physically attractive. The sad thing is it’s something that women and girls have valued for decades. They make this their fitness goal often going to extreme lengths to try to achieve it. It is becoming an obsessive goal and pathway to body image issues like anorexia and body dysmorphia. What many of us don’t understand is that it is often unachievable and not physically possible for most.
What is a “thigh gap”?
A thigh gap is a space between the inner thighs when standing upright with knees touching and feet together. It is based mainly on genetics and bone structure and no matter how much you diet and exercise you are not going to be able to change your make-up or skeleton! (It would be very painful if you could!)
Pelvic Bone Structure
Most women have pointed pelvic bones whereas some are more rounded which creates a separator between the legs giving a “thigh gap”. The differences in pelvic structures and more specifically in femoral neck angulation can predispose someone to having more of a gap than others. Essentially, the wider the pelvis and the closer the femoral neck angle is to 90 degrees, the greater the spacing between the thighs will be. This is irrespective to length of legs, muscle mass and body fat etc.
Your Muscles & Tendons
Another factor is the positioning of the thickest part of the muscles in your inner thigh (adductor muscles) in relation to your tendon. Some women are born with the thicker part of the adductor muscles in a higher relative position on their thigh than others. This would limit the amount of spacing in between the thighs. If you are born with a longer tendon length compared to your adductor muscles, you will show a “thigh gap” much easier than someone with a shorter tendon length. This is completely irrespective of an individual’s fitness level, body composition or exercise history.
Of course there is nothing wrong with having a “thigh gap” if this is how you are built. Those who naturally have one are not always unhealthily thin either. There is, however, something wrong with over exercising, drastically dieting to the point of starvation and generally making yourself mentally and physically unhealthy trying to reach an unrealistic goal that is literally just not possible for your body. Striving for something that’s mostly unobtainable will only drive you crazy and lead to very unhealthy habits. No-one wants that so start being happy with who you are and what you’ve got because YOU are beautiful. Embrace your image and celebrate your body. Being fit and healthy is what’s important here, not what’s between or not between your legs.
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