July 25, 2014

The Thigh Gap Manifesto. ~ A.B. Chesler

Bernard Goldbach/Flickr Creative Commons

Warning: f-bombs ahead 

I was twelve years old, chunky and painfully awkward.

I was at a friend’s house and we were standing in front of her full-length mirror, tweezing our eyebrows. Out of nowhere, my friend turned to me and said matter-of-factly,

“My mom says that you’re only the right weight if you can see three triangles when you close your legs.”

At that point, my girlfriend pinned her ankles together and exhibited what she meant.

Lo and behold, with her legs pushed together, she had a triangle in between her ankles, above her calves, and (gulp) in between her thighs.

I sat down immediately, shameful because I knew that my thighs were meatier than hers.

Fast forward seventeen years.

I am a happily married, mother of one gorgeous daughter (who I hope never worries about something as trivial as a missing pocket of air between her limbs). I have experienced pregnancy and, in turn, have come to understand the absolute beauty of the feminine body.

Yet still, typing this I am that same twelve year old girl.

And now, my Facebook feed (my link to the outside world) has been filled to the brim with “Thigh Gap” mumbo jumbo.

And it pisses me off!

Twelve-year-old and twenty-nine-year-old Amy are furious. I’m angry because society has minimized women to a list of parts: T & A, thigh gaps, legs.

We’ve allowed ourselves to become obsessed with the vain and insignificant.

I am convinced that my daughter, and the rest of today’s young women, deserve to know their worth transcends anything physical.

Thus, I propose The Thigh Gap Manifesto.

It’s really pretty simple. Just STFU (Shut the F*#k Up).

Seriously, shut your mouth. No one’s weight (or looks for that matter), should be any concern of ours. Agreed that celebrities place themselves in the public eye, allowing them to face some scrutiny. But if Jessica gains a couple pounds, who the hell cares?

If a friend or family member seems truly unhappy, I agree that offering your support and help is valuable. But, I also believe we must stop creating obsessions that lead to eating disorders in over 50 percent of our country’s teenagers.

So, just shut the hell up.

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Photo: Bernard Goldbach/Flickr Creative Commons


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A.B. Chesler Jul 31, 2014 12:53pm

Thank you for reading my post and responding to it. I appreciate the feedback! David, I appreciate your kind words. I also fully agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and yes, they should absolutely share it if they feel so inclined. What I'm opposed to is society's degradation of people because of physical qualities. I guess underneath it all, I'm asking those who have malicious intent or a tainted lens with which they see the world to kindly stop judging. And shut their traps. 🙂

David Maloney Jul 30, 2014 5:05am

I am attracted to brunettes. This does not mean that blonds, redheads or women with black hair should feel unattractive. It also does not mean that I need to be quiet about my attraction to brunettes in order to protect the delicate sensibilities of women with other colored hair. If a woman with a "thigh gap" finds a man that appreciates a "thigh gap" then good for them. There are myriad men who exclusively seek women who have the opposite of a "thigh gap" as is outlined by Sir Mix-a-lot in his timeless classic "Baby Got Back". Personally, Ms. Chesler, I think you look gorgeous.

Christina Robohm Jul 29, 2014 11:09am

Thank you beautiful! My first thought it of the ankle, knee and hip bone alignment and inner/out muscle spiral for health. I see beauty in alignment and a healthy functioning body of any size. I had never heard of this gap principal and I'm glad you shared it so that I am not misleading students. I wrote about those Anusara Yoga principals here: http://www.yogainyourworkplace.com/workplace-well

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A.B. Chesler

A.B. Chesler is a writer and educator from Southern California. Her callings include motherhood and remaining true to herself. Please feel free to follow her blog.