Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Thigh Gap Tragedy

Dear Gretchen, 

In my friend group there is one girl with a thigh gap and the rest of us are kind of just a little bit chubbier. Since she's the only one with a thigh gap, can we ask her to stop wearing skinny jeans and standing next to us?

-Uncomfortable in Leggings #firstworldproblems

Dear Leggings,

Oh dear, where do I even begin? First of all, in all honesty, it makes me so sad that this insane/unattainable/downright stupid idea has snuck its way into your and your friends' heads. So let's do it-let's talk about thigh gap. I know your generation grew up on a television personality that you fell in love with, and could never live up to this individual's expectations. Yes, I'm talking about Sponge Bob Square Pants. I mean, how horrible would you feel about yourself if he came to your school and stood in your group? Even your friend with the skinny jeans would feel uncomfortable!

Okay okay, I'm just joking with poor old Sponge Bob. We as women will forever be cursed with that little voice that says, "You're not skinny enough!" What's crazy about this voice is that no matter your weight or life circumstances, it's always there in the back of your mind. My sweet little grandma, at the age of 85, went to the public pool every week to do water aerobics. She was active, fit, and a hoot to be around and yet even she worried about the size of her thighs in her little saggy bottom bathing suit. When I heard her complain about her weight, it threw me for a loop because I was certain that was something that I would grow out of someday. And I never have shaken that voice that attacks those certain "problem areas" and how they bulge in all the wrong places. When I was in high school, I too jumped in (or probably started) the whole thing where I'd stand in front of the mirror and say, "I look fat in these pants," while I waited for my friends to chime in and say, "No! You're so pretty and skinny and..." If I could go back and roll my eyes at my teenage self I would. That's such a dumb game that we girls play!

Here's the thing. You and your friends are the worst critics and judges of yourselves. Seriously, if you asked any guy what they think about the whole thigh gap thing, they will first ask you what you're talking about and then they will tell you that it's stupid. Guys like a little junk in the trunk, or so I'm told. So the only person that cares about the gap in your thighs is you, and that's such a weird part of your body to equate with beauty anyway. Who looks there anyway?

I really want to shake you by your shoulders and beg you to name some of your female role models, then ask you if you've ever thought of her thighs before. To go further, when I think of women like Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Emily Dickinson, Michelle Obama, Melinda Gates, Jane Goodall, Tina Fey, Maya Angelou,  or Mother Theresa, I see women who changed the world; who avenged injustices, explored new ideas, spread love to the people who needed it the most. I see artists and activists and writers and actors, and not once do I wonder how many inches apart their thighs were when their feet were together.

Next time the thought enters your head and creeps its way into your conversations with your friends, chase it away by asking yourself what you are doing to change the world or help those around you. Because your thoughts are precious and you don't want to waste them on something as insignificant as the size of your thighs. And besides, thigh gap looks ridiculous and our cafeteria is awesome so go make a sandwich and get over yourself!

If you're still convinced that you need to attain the perfect gap, here are some tips to help get you there.


  1. Awesome, and very well said, Rika. I really think you have a future as an advice columnist! And, despite all your sound and wonderfully insightful advice in this column, I have to disagree with you on one thing...I think Sponge Bob should be a role model for all of us!

  2. This column is very funny because it's so true! Every girl thinks that or has thought that, and it's so incredibly silly. You have excellent advice and I love how you can bring humor into the situation.