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July 19, 2014

It’s Our Space, Let’s Take It. ~ Erica Gottlieb

Bernard Goldbach/Flickr Creative Commons

About a year ago, I overheard the term “thigh gap” while in line behind a gaggle of teenage girls at Starbucks.

I quickly surmised that this “thigh gap” must be the latest trend.

As it turns out, the “thigh gap” is not a new store or the latest workout craze. Wikipedia states that the now infamous (and almost) collective goal of young women to create a void between their thighs followed the Victoria’s Secret fashion show in December 2012.

Within hours of the show, hundreds of blogs, twitter feeds and other socially driven media sources inundated the Internet, spawning an obsession with empty space.

An entry to Urban Dictionary in 2009 defines it as “the gap between a woman’s thighs directly below the vagina, often diamond shaped when the thighs are together.”

So, it seems the “thigh gap” existed well before the angels sashayed down the catwalk wearing Vicky’s lingerie in 2012.

Anatomically speaking, the presence of this “thigh gap” is largely dependent on the size of one’s pelvic girdle and for the most part, it is genetically predetermined (barring, of course, those who are extremely underweight and/or lacking body fat).

Is this mindset truly about creating space between our appendages or is it more indicative of women’s fear to take up space in this world?

What is so wrong with filling out some space? Surely, we are entitled to it!  Why would we want to be any less than we are?

I am an observer. I will never cease to be fascinated by people, especially women.

As a female, I have a natural and unspoken connection to the sisterhood. I have collected many observations and insights, and through these have made some interesting (though rarely conclusive) interpretations about the behavior of the female species.

Women seem especially prone to providing explanations when none are truly necessary. This social behavior is representative of an endemic lack of self-esteem among women.

Why can’t we just say, “thank you” upon receiving a compliment instead of rationalizing it away?

Or ask for something directly without first excusing the request with, “I’m sorry, but…?”

This near constant subliminal request for validation, approval and permission to take up space chips away at self-esteem and confidence and can breed competition between women.

Lakshmi, the benign aspect of the Ultimate in its feminine form is the Goddess of fortune. She represents artistry, refinement, beauty, abundance and personifies the quality with which we infuse our actions.

Were Lakshmi more than an ancient spiritual manifestation and a modern times identity, I highly doubt she would want to be any less than she is. Her energy is purely organic and expansive; it emanates from the core and extends to the periphery.

Going back to those young, impressionable teenage girls that triggered my inquiry into this whole “thigh gap” business, I can’t help but be afraid for them.

The assault of messages they receive from all directions will more than likely lead to worsening dissatisfaction with their natural bodies and may result in subsequent extreme measures to alter them.

I would love to see the next generation of women take up all the space they are entitled to without asking permission or apologizing for doing so.

 

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Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Bernard Goldbach/Flickr Creative Commons

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Erica Gottlieb