The other day I was at the gym with a group of girls and, as a lot of gym conversations do, the topic turned to our bodies and what we wished was different (hence the trip to the gym). Normally this sort of topic doesn’t bother me too much because it turns into everyone complimenting each other, “oh please, you are so gorgeous,” “you are great just how you are,” etc, etc. and there is a boost in self-esteem. This is good because it pushes the conversation away from ‘I’m at the gym because I am fat’ and back to the ‘I’m at the gym because I want to lead a healthy and happy life’ vibe. However, on this day the thigh gap was brought up and instead of the normal pick each other up routine there was just an air of negativity and depression. Smiles melted, motions slowed, I’m talking black veil of tears hung over this conversation. Everyone was quiet because there is no denying that most of our thighs touch when we stand with our feet together. There was no “oh don’t be silly” or “you’re imagining things” because there was no imagining going on. It is a fact that most of us do not have a thigh gap.
So this is where I stopped and thought “is this for real?!” The fact that this is a common topic of conversation in a group of athletic and fit girls disturbs me. This obsession with shrinking ourselves down and making sure our legs don’t touch each other is poisonous and dangerous both physically and mentally. Some females are built like that and for them it’s natural and they are beautiful just how they are, but for others, they will struggle for a lifetime and never have that body type and they are just as beautiful.
This obsession is allowing females to dwell on something that is unattainable for most and ridiculous for all. It is so important to live a healthy life, to exercise and eat well and take care of ourselves but doing those things means knowing what ‘body trends’ to ignore. We can’t change our bodies like we change our clothes, so why do we try to follow ‘body trends’ like fashion trends? I could go on a long rant about societal pressures and media portrayals of women negatively influencing todays youth (too late) and we would be here for days. Instead I want one message to ring through. BE SMART. Yes, love yourself, be healthy, those are take home messages as well but being smart about your body, your health and your life is the most important thing. Be smart and let these obsessions wash over you because you are beautiful just the way you are. Be smart and #liveactive.