This morning I was scrolling through my newsfeed and for the second time in a couple of weeks, one of those meaningful and life changing posts from Elite Daily popped up. You know the ones, with a photo of a smokin’ couple doing something cute, accompanied by 10 WAYS TO KNOW IF HE’S THE MAN FOR YOU.
It was one of those posts, but this time it was a photo of the lower body of a female fitness fanatic proclaiming ‘F*@k A Thigh Gap – 11 Reasons Why I Want My Thighs Thick’
On reading the article, the majority of the ’11 Reasons’ are fairly harmless and pathetic – No. 6 for example: “Your phone won’t fall in the toilet if you drop it while playing with it.” I told you, life changing stuff.
Then you’ve got No. 11, which is a little more #girlpower #lovetheskinyou’rein “You’ll feel better if you embrace your natural body type than if you aspire for another one.”
I agree, Alexia Lafata (the Elite Daily staff member responsible for this philosophical piece of literature). It is SO important to ‘love the skin you’re in’ and ’embrace your natural body type’, you are correct. But on deeper inspection this apparently body positive post is only perpetuating societies ever changing beauty standards.
Can we have a moments silence for all the girls who hit the gym circa 2013-2014, working on that oh-so-desirable thigh gap. Now, I won’t sit here and pretend to be all high and mighty, like I’ve never been effected by the media – that was around the time that I wore my Lorna Jane’s to uni everyday whether I was working out or not. Most of the time I was working out and I loved it because it made me feel and look better, but I didn’t do it for the purpose of having a thigh gap. However, although it was never my intention, I was secretly satisfied knowing I fitted into a least one of societies beauty standards.
But that’s the problem. What happens when society changes its standards? Which it does, ALL the time. This Elite Daily article may seem like ‘love your body’ propaganda but it’s simply jumping on the bandwagon of another of societies trends – thick thighs.
Let’s take a look at reason No.11 shall we: “The big booty movement, by default, loves big thighs. In 2014, we experienced the booty movement. Big butts were everywhere – The best part about all of this is if you have a big booty, you probably have thick thighs anyway, so there’s no better time than right now to embrace them.”
Again, I agree with Alexia in part. Please, embrace them. Embrace what you have. But I’m sorry – calling it a ‘big booty movement’ doesn’t make it any less a fad, a phase, another one of societies ever changing beauty standards.
Every time I hear Meghan Trainor singing about bringing booty back, ‘Go ‘head and tell them skinny bitches that’ I want to scream. She then follows with ‘No, I’m just playing, I know you think you’re fat. But I’m here to tell you…Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.’
Well that’s a backhanded compliment if ever I heard one. Hey girls, you’re a bitch if your skinny. But wait, lol JK! You’re perfect the way you are.
With all these mixed messages it’s no wonder girls are rarely happy with the way they are. The social media pages, songs, videoclips, everything we are exposed to on a daily basis, while often disguised as empowering and body positive, are only perpetuating the cycle.
Unfortunately I can’t see this body image bandwagon breaking down anytime soon, the best we can do is try not to be taken for a ride. Be fit if you want to be, be healthy if you want to be, but whatever you choose to be, be happy. Make sure it’s for your own happiness and not to impress society, because that indecisive character changes its mind all the time.
Well, I’m off to work on closing that gap between my big toe and second toe, I hear webbed feet are the next big thing. If anyone asks, you heard it from Hannah.