The Stupid Thigh Gap Ideal.

The other day I was mindlessly surfing the internet and I came across a statement made by lululemon founder Chip Wilson in regards to some of their pants being too sheer and/or pilling, and it really got my goat.

“They don’t work for some women’s bodies. It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time and how much they use it.”

So basically if your thighs rub together, lululemon pants may not be for you. Also? Reading between the lines? You’re probably fat.

I have two pairs of lululemon pants (both bought when I had a gift card because I cannot routinely spend $100 on pants), one regular flared yoga pant, and one pair of cropped tights. I’ve had them both for a couple years, and the tights have not pilled at all. They’re great. But the pants have pilled ALL OVER. Not just the thighs, all over. Pretty sure my entire legs are not rubbing together, but anyway. I have had similar pants from less expensive brands (Joe Fresh, for example) that have not pilled or worn out at all, and I’ve had them for the same amount of time.

Just pointing that out. The problem may not actually be with me. It may be with the pants.

But the pants are not really why I’m writing this. This general thigh rubbing statement was just the tipping point for me. All pants wear out in certain places – thighs, knees, bum, wherever. It’s expected. But what Mr. Wilson is saying here is that lulu’s pants specifically do not work for the body type of SOME women. It’s not the pants, it’s the women whose thighs rub together. So to me this comes back to that stupid “thigh gap” ideal that I keep hearing so much about. That if you are fit, your thighs don’t touch.

This is not brand new information. I have been progressively hearing this ridiculous thigh gap argument for years and this was the final breaking point for me. The point that made me cave and decide that I finally need to say something. Whether or not your thighs touch has NOTHING to do with your size, your weight, or how healthy you are. Nothing. The thigh gap is a stupid ideal that not everyone can achieve.

I’ll use myself as an example. My thighs touch. True, I’m not incredibly fit. But guess what? My thighs will always touch. That is the way my body is. I’ll never have a gap. The only way I could ever get my thighs to not touch is if I was at an extremely unhealthy body weight. It’s not natural for me. My thighs were built for touching!

thigh-gap

It took me a long time to realize this and accept this fact, and I blame YOU for that, society. For making the “thigh gap” the new way of measuring whether or not you’re fat. IT’S NOT. I have even heard my own friends say something along the lines of “My thighs touch, I’m fat,” or “It’s my goal to have a gap between my thighs.” Why?! Why is this your goal? Who says this is the ideal? Seriously, who came up with this idea? Because I would like to punch them a few inches above their thigh gap.

Years ago an ex boyfriend offhandedly mentioned to me that he really enjoyed a nice “thigh gap,” on a woman. The thigh gap that I did not have, and that he knew I did not have (it was probably a dig at me, and I said ex boyfriend, current boyfriend would never, ever say something like this to me). I would like to say that comment didn’t affect me at all, but this was a long time ago and I can remember him saying it to me like it was yesterday, so clearly it stuck with me. And I remember lamenting my own thighs for touching. Why do my thighs touch? Maybe he would like me more if my thighs didn’t touch? Maybe I would be more attractive if my thighs didn’t touch? What can I do to make my thighs not touch?

NO. These are not healthy thoughts because they are things about my body that I cannot change. My thighs touch because THAT IS MY BODY TYPE.

Also a few years ago, I was at an appointment with my doctor and we were talking about weight, and he said that yes, I was around the top of my weight for my height, but not to put too much stock into that, because I was fit, and I am always going to weigh a lot because I am tall and big boned. He then put his fingers around my wrist and said “See? I can’t touch my fingers. You are big boned.”

At the time I was all “Thanks a lot for calling me big boned, ya big jerk,” but he was right. I am big boned. It’s better that I accept this than to be in denial. The size of my bones is not something I can ever change about myself. I’ll always be big boned, and my thighs will always touch, and maybe I’ll always have a bit of a double chin. And you know what I have to say about that? GOOD. Who cares. I am happy, healthy, life is good, and that’s all that matters.

It’s one thing to want to lose weight, be more fit, gain muscle, eat healthier, whatever your goal is. But to want to achieve the impossible, to obsess and obsess over something that may not ever happen for you, this is not fair to your body. And it’s especially not fair to your mind. Because we all know there are more important things in life than obsessing over whether or not your thighs touch, how much you weigh, or generally what you look like. Right? Don’t we all know this? These things are not the things that define who we are!

Don’t eat all the crap all the time, and be active. I think that’s all we can do. Enjoy your life! That’s my goal, to enjoy my life. And if my thighs touch, so be it. And if lululemon pants aren’t for me because of my thunder thighs, that’s fine. I’ll squeeze my giant touching thighs into several pairs of pants that I got elsewhere, for the same amount of money as one of the fancy pairs. Pants that will ACCEPT and LOVE my thighs for what they are.

And if I weigh a little more because I enjoy spending time out with my friends eating pizza, drinking wine, not thinking about calories, and LIVING MY LIFE, fabulous. To me it’s worth it.

(Edit: Just want to add, if you naturally have a thigh gap that’s totally cool, no judgment here. My point is don’t stress over something that’s unrealistic for you. So in your case, don’t obsess and obsess over getting your thighs to touch, it might not ever happen.)

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63 responses to “The Stupid Thigh Gap Ideal.

  1. Word to this.
    I actually didn’t know the thigh gap thing was something to achieve until I saw the news about two months ago where people are having SURGERY to get the thigh gaps. I LOLed to that story because it seemed so ridiculous to me.
    Even at my lowest weight, when people told me I was too thin, I never had that. I’d rather have nice, toned arms to lift my beers with. 🙂

  2. Thank you for this!!! I also read that lulumeon article and it infuriated me! I also don’t understand where the thigh gap obsession came from, but it needs to be gone! Its by far the stupidest measure for thinness people have come up with.

  3. I hate the thigh gap thing too (but I would like to point out that some women naturally have a thigh gap and I wouldnt judge them for that either- we are ALL built differently). I dont think I will ever have a thigh gap, but I love my legs anyway. They are strong and curvy and I can’t shame em on that!

    The weird thing is I remember watching one of the earliest seasons of America’s or Canada’s Next Top Model and in the audition stage one of the judges shone a laser pointer between a girl’s thighs and pointed out there wasnt ENOUGH fat. He kept telling her to get her thighs to touch and she couldnt. Now, that is pretty rude too, but I found it weird when I started hearing that this thigh gap was “in”. I was all, “wait, the judge made FUN of that girl on ANTM for one!”.

    I guess fashions come in and out in regards to what is sexy. But being confident in yourself will ALWAYS be sexiest!

    • That’s a good point, perhaps I should write an edit about if you do have a thigh gap, ’cause that’s cool too. We ARE all built differently. And yes, being confident in yourself is the sexiest for sure!!!

      I saw that ANTM episode! Pretty sure it was Nigel who did that. And yes, also rude. Whatever your body does it what your body does, just embrace it and roll with it.

  4. Becky @ Jubar Sharing

    ZOMG I totally forgot about this, but I remember some years ago (when I was in college) a friend told me she was fat (she is still so damn skinny) because her thighs touched. And, well, at the time, I thought I looked damn good…but yet, my thighs touched. I can’t ever remember a time when they didn’t. I just can’t. But, due to her comment, oh I remember I kept trying to see if my thighs wouldn’t touch. I’d pull at them to see what I’d look like…sheesh…society sure does a number on us. I just can’t believe an article said some women shouldn’t wear their brand…wait…wait…yes, I can.

    Anyway, thanks so much for this! For the love of touching thighs!

    • You are welcome. THIGH TOUCHERS UNITE!
      I can’t remember a time when my thighs didn’t touch either. I’d like to know where this silly notion came from, because it is especially damaging to young girls.
      And yeah, Abercrombie and lulu should go into business together.

  5. Lululemon dude is just defensive because his pants are overpriced.My thighs have always touched, even at my very thinnest. I never gave it a second thought. As an artist whose favorite subject is people, I firmly believe we’re all beautiful.

  6. Great blog today Lindsey! I love how you are so confident and comfortable with your body 🙂

  7. Preach on! I’m really starting to deal with the fact that I’ll always have cellulite. After reading 500000000 articles on it, I realize that it’s just how my body is — it’s genetic. I would have to be basically without fat to not have cellulite. Thus, I’ll take my cottage cheese thighs elsewhere because they’ll def cause the “not sexy” for thigh standards for Lulu. 😉

    Great post. 😀

    • Good call on genetics. My mom’s thighs touch. And so do the thighs of every woman in my family I am sure. And if I am ever pregnant I am in big trouble on the stretch mark front, because as far as I’ve seen from the rest of my family, they are going to be very unavoidable.
      Cellulite is sexy, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  8. I don’t even like that this term exists. And seriously, with the whole ‘twerking’ phenomenon obviously a thigh gap is not where it’s at. You can’t twerk without a thick set of trunks and a booty, so whatever. The ‘thigh-gap’ can GTFOH.
    I do have to give it to Lululemon on the pregnancy front though. Their pants seriously fit you at any size. Most of my other clothes have definitely decided I’m too fat to wear but my Lulus just keep on trucking. Ironic considering ol’ Chippy’s comments.

  9. Until the last 8 – 10 years (maybe?) I was a possessor of the much adored Thigh Gap. And I hated it. Hated. It. It was so pronounced that, when I was in college, guys would make really crude comments to me. My ‘favorite’ (ha) was the guy who asked me if my gap was “man made”. I told him no, but if it was, he sure wouldn’t be the man who made it. His buddies laughed so hard, and dude was PISSED! So, now my thighs touch & I am oh so ok with it.

    • It’s nice to hear from someone on the other side. So basically, people are going to harass us no matter what our thighs are doing. Ya just can’t win.
      By the way, that is the best comeback ever and I would have done a slow clap for you if I had witnessed it.

  10. HALLE-motherlovin- LUJAH!!

    PREACH IT GIRL!

    Thigh gaps are mainly about hip bone and leg alignment. I have one at my heaviest and my lowest.

  11. I always assumed thighs were supposed to touch… this whole thigh gap thing strikes me as something else society has found to use for criticizing women’s bodies.

  12. I loved this post, and I agree with everything you’ve said including the fact that you should love your thigh gap if you have one naturally. I personally have NEVER had a thigh gap (not even close) and would not unless I was dangerously thin. BUT, I don’t WANT one! I actually like how it looks when thighs touch. Am I only one? Here is a good article from a similar-minded personal trainer:

    http://www.jensinkler.com/close-thigh-gap/

  13. Also, if businesses would simply use a little more fabric and cater to the plus sized world, maybe their sales would skyrocket. For some reason, companies can’t just make the same styles bigger. They have to put f*cking animals or jewels on everything plus-sized. It would be nice to wear workout wear that isn’t in the men’s section. A women’s XL fits a size, what…16? So anyone resembling Queen Latifah or bigger won’t be working out? Bitch please. I’ve never stepped inside a Lululemon and likely won’t. I don’t have a gap in between any body part and I am fine with that.

    • This is a whole other argument, but why do we even have “plus” sizes? Why can’t we just have sizes? Why does everything over a certain size have to be plus? I just feel like this is another thing further designed to make people feel bad about themselves. Some women will not ever be under a size 14. Anyway, I hear ya.
      You already know this but “I don’t have a gap in between any body part” killed me.

  14. I also didn’t realize this was such a huge thing until recently. I talked with one of my guy friends & he just stared at me, “what are you talking about-who cares” when I explained this whole concept to him. He then went on to talk about how men’s thighs touch too. I feel this whole deal is crazy & I appreciate your rant

  15. Ugh, ugh,ugh. Lulu, you PR nightmare of a company. I’m a Crossfitter and guess what? My coach wants my thighs to be LARGER because I am building muscle and being fit for myself. My thighs were made to be strong. I wonder what good old Chip would say since many, many Crossfitters wear LuLu pants and our thighs are definitely touching.

  16. I love love love this post. Funny, smart, and really hit home for me. I have to admit, I really connect with this line, “Don’t eat all the crap all the time, and be active.” Sometimes I go the other way from health, and just let myself eat everything and feeling physically (not just mentally) like crap. It all goes to loving your body.

    • I do that too. Or the “Well I’ve already been eating like crap all day, so this day is shot, no point in being healthy now!” which is no good, but ehh it happens to everyone. As long as you don’t do that every day, and love your body MOST of the time, I think it’s okay. We all have our moments.

  17. Great post! My thighs touch, not something I worry about either. I personally would be worried if yet didn’t, I feel like that would be way too thin for me! I’ve got different materials in Lulu & some do pill all over, totally a fabric thing, not a “wearer error”! The whole “thigh gap epedemic” is beyond me!

  18. I never, ever comment on a blog post, but I just had to say – this is the best thing I have read in a long time (or maybe ever). Life is way too short to be worried about thigh gap.

  19. LoL who cares about a thigh gap! Like you said it’s all about your body type. I am totally petite and not overweight….and my thighs touch! I carry my weight in my butt and thighs and I love it!! P.S My lulu’s pill all over as well!

  20. Great post 🙂

    I read an article a while ago that said the only way to achieve a thigh gap if your body doesn’t naturally have one is to become malnourished. To get the gap if it wasn’t already there would mean your body was wasting its muscle. Someone who is more science-brained than me can decide how true that is, but it’s not good to be seeking an ideal of malnutrition.

    There’s something insidious that the ideal male bodies in he media are always more (bigger muscles) and the ideal female bodies are always less (space between your thighs).

    I am destined to forever have big thighs that touch. I had them even when I was super skinny in my early teens, and I have them now.

    • I am not science-y at all, but I will say that sounds like it would be correct. Interestingly some would say the ideal male body would include broad shoulders, which Mr. Chip Wilson himself certainly does not have.
      I was born with touching thighs!

  21. Love you for this post! I just recently even realized that society wanted us to have a thigh gap. Sure, it looks good on some women but not all of us are built for that, I know I am not and like you I will NEVER have one and that is more than OK!

    So sad that some women feel this is yet another unachievable goal they need to meet. Like you said, we all have different bone structure and body types..not everyone can have a thigh gap and not everyone can have touching thighs. UGH, all this is crazy and I fear for my almost 11 year old growing up feeling like she has to look like a supermodel. (not in our genes unfortunately)

    Great post!

  22. preach it! i have suuuuch mixed feelings about lululemon because of bullshit like this! and you’re absolutely right about the thigh gap–it’s about how your hips fit into your pelvic as well as your natural body type. healthy is more than just the thigh gap!

  23. Well written, Lindsey! I think it all goes back to our society’s obsession with youth. The fact is that, other than women who are born naturally very thin, thigh gaps are primarily the domain of pre-teen and teen girls. Women are constantly being told that everything about how we age – our wrinkles, our hair, our bodies – makes us unattractive. The thigh gap is just the latest way of reminding us of that.

  24. I’ve lost about 60 pounds from when I was my heaviest and guess what? Thighs still touch. When I was at my thinnest, they may have rubbed together a little less, but there was never a space in there. Never has been, never will be. I would literally have to starve myself, and even then who knows? It still might not happen. It’s just how I’m built; I’ll never be long and and lean, and I’ll never be “skinny.”. I’m still a ways off from being all I’M SO HAPPY TO BE ME!! but I try and remind myself that I am really lucky, and there are so many other terrible things in the world. In the grand scheme, thighs touching is just a drop in the bucket. Besides, I like food too much. And beer. and wine. And chocolate.

  25. My thighs touch – I absolutely hate it. They rub together and make my thighs discolored. I know for sure I can get a thigh gap because my sister has narrow hips and got one after she bought a book that taught you specifically how to lean out the thighs (the book was ‘The Thigh Gap Hack’ for those of you wondering)

    So now, I’m doing their thigh gap challenge and gosh darn it, I am determined to get ‘dat gap’ if it’s the last thing I do!

  26. Hmm.. tried to link it above but didn’t come out – the book is http://www.thighgaphack.com. I’d love to take the challenge with a buddy if anyone is down

  27. YUP written by a fat chick. I like how you declare “this is normal” .. you’re overweight, if you were in an shape hot chick you wouldn’t be wasting your time complaining.

    • Hey Josh, I’m sure I’m not the one who needs to break this to you, but there are far more important things in life than how much you weigh. Once you turn 14 I’m sure you’ll realize this.

    • Josh, were you raised to believe offensive comments are normal? Does it make you feel good to put others down? What a great personality you have!! Can we please be friends?? Pretty please!!

      If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.

    • Actually, Josh… Thigh gaps have nothing to do with weight, and everything to do with hip shape. You can be emaciated and still have no thigh gap because your hips ride low and are narrow, forcing your knees to slope inwards. Likewise, you can carry a few extra pounds and still have a thigh gap because your hips start higher and are wide, pushing your legs slightly apart. Educate yourself.

  28. Josh, unfortunately you clearly have not had the opportunity to meet Lindsey, if you had you would realize she is hot! I find your post very interesting. Lindsey is one of the kindest and accepting women I know, yet you felt it necessary to insult her without having any knowledge of her. Clearly you are very angry with someone at the moment. Perhaps you should discuss your feelings with that person in a mature healthy way instead of attacking a beautiful and wonderful girl. Also,please realize if you talk to women or about women that way you are going to be a very lonely man when you grow up. No respectable mature woman will want to be involved with a man who refers to her as a chick. Good luck with working through your issues. Knowing Lindsey as I do, I am sure she will accept your apology when you are ready.

  29. Oh Josh. With 4 inches comes great anger, eh little buddy?

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  31. Can I just say that even though in your blog entry you say you “way a lot for your height” I think you look great and I agree with you that thigh gaps are ridiculous and unrealistic.

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