Losing weight is a topic of great interest for people these days. There are a lot of leg-slimming YouTube videos and books out there. People go crazy for photos that show long legs at the beach, and admire the gap between those legs…
This “thigh-gap” trend makes me wonder…
Why would we want a gap between our thighs in the first place?
When did it start, and whose words triggered you to start chasing the thigh gap?
Where did the idea come from that the definition of a “beautiful” body is one with a gap between the thighs?
The structure of our body
The thigh gap is misunderstood as a "symbol of beauty" all over the world. I use the word “misunderstood” because it is not a gap that should exist in a healthy human body.
Let’s have a look at the body’s bone structure first. It is true that there is a large space between the legs if you look only at the bones.
Looking at this space between the leg bones, you may think “hey, how come you say there shouldn’t be a gap there?” But take a look at what this area looks like when the inner thigh muscles are added to the structure.
The muscles of the inner thigh run straight down from the pubic bone to around the knee. As you can see, with standard-sized muscles, the gap between the legs is already almost gone.
In addition to these muscles, there is also fat and skin that fill that gap too.
You may be thinking, "But if I lose those muscles and that fat with a diet, the gap will get bigger.” Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
There is a good reason why there are so many muscles in the inner thigh. The hip joint has one of the widest ranges of motion of all joints in the human body, and was developed a long time ago for climbing, swimming, and supporting the body’s weight.
Without these muscles, you would not be able to correctly perform the movements you need to function as a human being. To live a healthy life, having strong leg muscles is a higher priority than having a thigh gap.
In addition to the muscle mass argument, I want to highlight that the fat mass around the thighs is closely related to female hormones, and trying to lose weight from this area is very difficult to do even for professionals. Having leaner legs is more than just a weight-loss matter.
And please don’t forget:
We’ve been looking at images of legs that aren’t even closed...!
If you stand with your ankles together, the gap between your thighs will be filled all the way down to the knees.
Let me be clear about this again. The thigh gap is a gap that shouldn't exist!
The Gap Principle
If you’ve been chasing the thigh gap until now, you might be thinking “But there are people who have gaps. I’ve seen them on Instagram!”
Yes, you are right. There are thigh gaps on Instagram. There are tricks to make it look like there’s a space there without photoshop. Here's how it works:
Most photos that show a thigh gap can be categorised into the following five.
(1) They are standing with their legs open.
(2) The photo does not show their legs below the knees, making it difficult to tell if their legs are open or not.
(3) They pose to make their legs look slimmer. e.g; putting one leg in front of the other
(4) they have bow-legs (their ankles are touching each other, but knees are not)
(5) they are extremely/unhealthily thin.
(1), (2), and (4) are very commonly used as the “after” portion of before-after photos for fitness services and ads. (3) is very very common on Instagram and in magazines.
When you next look at leggy images, keep an eye out for these tricks, you'll be amazed by how often they are used. It will change the way you see the world!
Think twice about chasing the thigh gap
Having been in the fitness industry for nearly a decade, I can tell you with confidence that this thigh gap trend was not made by someone who knows very much about the human body. It was not made for a human to live a healthy and happy life, but purely for the sense of “beauty” that has somehow developed in this world.
That’s why I want to encourage you to think twice about chasing the thigh gap.
Why would we want a gap between our thighs in the first place? Who told you that a thigh gap is the definition of a “good” body?
I Hope this article helps you find what works best for you, rather than chasing the wrong body image! :)