I recently had the most interesting conversation with my beautiful 14 year old step-daughter. Besides being very intelligent and a pretty girl, she is proportionate, active and health conscious. She was telling me that some of her friends are jealous of her for having a ‘thigh gap’. “A what?” I asked. Apparently, having an abnormal gap between your thighs is the new desired physical attribute which young girls aspire to. She is quite wise and stated how ridiculous this ‘quality’ was since it is just the way her legs sit on her hips. She is upset that some of her friends have begun to diet in order to achieve this ‘look’.
If you have a teenage daughter, ask her about a ‘thigh gap’ and ask her what that is. Then ask her what her friends are thinking. Are some of her friends dieting to try and ‘get there’? What other body image issues do they talk about? If you have a teenage son, ask him what he thinks of this too. Engaging our children in these dialogues is so important. Especially when they are talking about these obsessions which can lead to mental illnesses such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder or Eating Disorders such as Bulimia or Anorexia. Eating disorders are the number 1 killer of all mental illnesses and these perceived physical defects can quickly spiral into something life threatening. We don’t talk about it enough and we are drowned out by misleading messages from the media, fashion and entertainment industries.(I wonder what the girls with this obsession would think about the Chinese binding their babies’ feet?)
My step-daughter forwarded this piece; that she had posted on her Facebook. Share it with the people you love to start a conversation.
Every female needs to read this:
- Most human beings do not naturally have a thigh gap.
- A thigh gap is not an indication of weight.
- Thigh gaps are not dependent on weight, they are dependent on how wide your hips are.
- Ribs and hipbones aren’t meant to be visible in a female human being who is at a healthy weight.
- Collarbones are not meant to jut out.
- It’s normal to have rolls on your stomach when you sit down or bend over.
- It is normal to have a stomach that curves out.
- Most girls have stretch marks on their bodies, they come with growing.
- Stretch marks are not a sign of being fat, they are a sign of growing.
- BMI charts are not accurate at all.
- Six-pack abs are not necessary to be healthy, be fit, or look good.
- Eating whenever you are hungry is perfectly fine.
- The best way to get a bikini body is by putting a bikini on your body.
YOU’RE PERFECT THE WAY YOU ARE SO SHUT UP AND GO EAT SOME CHOCOLATE WITHOUT FEELING FAT CAUSE YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL OK.
For information or help, contact your local health care center, doctor or check out the following websites on eating disorders:
- In Toronto: National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDI)
- In Quebec: Anorexia and Bulimia Quebec (ANEB)
- In the United States: National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
- In the UK: A useful guide explaining the dangers of trivializing bulimia by Oliver Clark (Rehab Recovery)
Let’s protect our young people. Join the conversation. Share this with your friends.