Dear Internet: My Thighs Have Had Enough

Raise your hand if you have felt personally victimized by the internet’s obsession with thighs over the past few years.

First, it was the thigh gap: the ridiculous trend that set the unrealistic and, for most, unhealthy standard that women should have a gap between their legs if they want to be perceived as beautiful, dainty, and desirable. You couldn’t scroll through Instagram or Tumblr without being bombarded by the image of the thigh gap. Not fast enough, the trend died off. The science side of Tumblr, as well as many other thigh-gapless women, piped up and explained that some women’s legs, no matter how slim and trimmed, would never have a gaping hole between them.

I have vivid memories of standing in front of my mirror and pulling my muscle, fat and skin back in order to see what I would look like if I had a thigh gap. Being exposed to picture after picture of adorable girls on social media sporting this trend, I felt like I needed to have one in order to be successful and loved. Back then I thought I was the only one who felt this way; now I realize I definitely wasn’t.

At the moment, social media has taken a turn in the opposite direction with “thick thighs save lives.” As a former athlete and non-supporter of the thigh gap, you’d think I would be ecstatic about this new trend, but I’m not. By internet standards, yeah, I have thick thighs. I could probably be a poster girl for the new trend to be frank. Does it sometimes give me a confidence boost? How could it not? But is it really saving lives? I think it’s doing the opposite.

Although a “healthier” image for girls to obsess over, why should there be an “ideal” image for us to obsess over in the first place? Why should there be a hashtag telling us how a specific part of our bodies should look? Why is there constantly a niche in the social market aiming to make women feel insecure?

Here’s why “thick thighs save lives” doesn’t do what it should. The movement, if you will, inadvertently divides women into those who fit the trend, and those who don’t. What about the girls who don’t have thick thighs? You may be thinking, “they had their turn with the thigh gap,” but why did we have to take turns? Why are we allowing ourselves to continue to think that beauty is isolated to one body part?

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing girls post pictures with evident self-confidence—it’s a feeling we should all experience. But there shouldn’t have to be exclusive trends that allow only certain girls, at certain times, to love themselves. We should be celebrating all beauty all the time, not in phases. So rock your thigh gap, rock your thick thighs, and just do you always. There’s enough self-confidence out there for all of us to share, and it’s about time we start realizing that.