The thigh gap. The thigh gap is up there as with the ab crack, bikini bridge, thigh brows, and Rachel’s bob as a beauty ideal. (Although I do fully support that bob).
Because it seems that apparently having one, two or all of these things proves your talents, life purpose, your strength, your love, and what your future holds.
The thigh gap (and the rest) are widely criticised for promoting unrealistic body standards for women, and look there is bloody good reason for it.
Back when I was in high school, I remember standing next to a good friend in the mirror *shudder* comparing our thighs. I would have been about fifteen at the time. We stood there and I remember noticing my thighs were thinner than hers, but out of the two of us, she had a thigh gap. She also wore the next size up in pants. Why didn’t I have a thigh gap?
Well, I have small hips. That’s point one.
Your thigh gap reflects the width of your hips compared to the length of your femoral head (translation: highest part of the thigh bone). Therefore, your skeleton is going to play a large determinant in whether or not you have a thigh gap.
But what if you lose weight?
While losing weight or partaking in strength training to tone up may help reduce fat mass (if necessary), you won’t necessarily get a thigh gap. Because, point one.
Sometime last year, I was out for breakfast (naturally) with a group of dietitian friends. We were speaking about our bodies, neutrally. One friend spoke of how she has her mother’s stocky legs. This reminded me of the time I walked into my grandparents house and on the fridge was my Grandma sporting some short shorts, just covering the tops of my legs.
Which brings me to my last point,
Your parents (and their parents) are probably the reason you don’t have a thigh gap, because, genetics.
Thanks Mum & Dad, childbirth (if that is the plan) is going to be so much fun.
Genetics determine how your bones are structured, and no amount of exercise or cutting out sugar or drinking kale smoothies or starving yourself is going to change that.
While there is nothing wrong with having a thigh gap, there is nothing wrong with not having one either. It doesn’t provide any health benefit. It doesn’t make your more beautiful. It doesn’t make you run faster. It doesn’t make you stronger. It is just a gap that has something to do with your hips and femoral head.
Channel your precious energy somewhere else. Whether that be a career goal or a fitness goal or simply spending less time working out and more time with the people you love. Your overall health and wellbeing is far more important than being able to stand in front of the mirror, with your feet together, looking between your thighs.