Desire to be perfect

An unrealistic standard of beauty has arose as thigh gaps in young girls are being encouraged. Though a naturally thin body is nothing to be ashamed of, this new body trend is glorifying a feature many girls do not have naturally, and can result negative body image.

Thigh gaps, though heavily glamorized, can be an unhealthy fixation and misleading to young girls. Health teacher Katherine Gross said, “Thigh gaps are bad and disempowering to young girls because often times, girls see them in the media where the pictures have been altered. This gives an illusion or an idea that “average” girls look like this. Instead, teens need to learn the importance of eating the right foods and getting their daily exercise which will keep them healthy.”

This new trend is idolizing a space between the thighs, usually portraying an image of a “perfect” body with overall thinness. With social media now being a common aspect of adolescent life, teens are now able to share, reblog and retweet pictures that promote thigh gaps on sites such as Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

“I go online and sometimes I see pictures of thigh gaps and collarbones or thinspiration blogs a�� blogs dedicated to becoming skinny, often in obsessive ways. It’s all over the internet and it can truly harm some girls,” senior Clarissa Libertelli said.

Though most teens are self conscious during adolescence, girls are known to struggle more. In a study conducted with 48 RHS students, 38 students considered girls to struggle more with body image while 10 students considered both boys and girls to struggle equally. This trend creates another ideal body standard for girls to fulfill, making positive body image more difficult to obtain and negative body image much easier to develop.

Senior Mary-Kate Barrett said, “Girls are so self conscious because of all the expectations we have to live up to with our bodies, which I think we have more than boys, especially because of ads, the internet a�� the media in general. Thigh gaps are making it harder for girls to be happy with themselves because it’s desired by what seems like everyone.”

Thigh gaps follow in the footsteps of other thin fads such as over accentuated collarbones, back dimples and hipbones, which all are glamorized since they are traits of very thin girls, though they also indicate and promote low body fat.

In a Photoshop error by the retailing company Target, a model in a juniors’ swimsuit ad has a thigh gap that extends to her pelvis, as well as missing parts of her hip and rib cage. The picture received backlash, as the product was aimed to young girls and provided an unrealistic example of the girl’s body. Though this picture was singled out, many ads exist that depict uncommonly thin bodies.

Senior Jessica Fritz said, “Being girls, we feel a pressure to fit society’s standards of the perfect body. Thigh gaps have become a new standard that girls are trying to fit, when in reality not many of us have them.”