Mind the gap

I just read this article – Feeling bad about your weight is making you fat – on Jezebel and this paragraph leapt out at me:

Almost every woman I know has their moment looking at something in pop culture and thinking “Holy shit! I’m a land whale!” A coworker noted that when she was growing up, beer commercials and sex comedies always featured women wearing high-cut swimsuits that showed off the hips. Another coworker recalls looking at Kate Moss and feeling conflicted over the fact that she thought Moss, in all of her heroin chic glory, looked amazing. When the British press characterized Baby Spice as the “chubby” one. The Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera/Mandy Moore/Jessica Simpson bonerwars of the nineties.

I was thinking about that just the other day. I’m pretty sure it was when I read (in Jackie? I think it must have been) that your legs are only supposed to touch at two points (your knees and calves, I assume), that there should be a gap between your thighs (I’m fairly sure there was also a diagram, just in case you didn’t quite get it). There was no gap between my thighs. That photo of me was taken in 1986. I kept the t-shirt on all holiday, because I thought I was fat. Looking at it now, it makes me sad. And not just because the t-shirt is so hideous.

Do we really all have these moments? What was yours? 

15 thoughts on “Mind the gap

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Remember ‘Callesthetics’ (sp?) that awful workout video where you did tiny movements a thousand times? She showed the thigh gap thing. I’ve never had that, not even when I was eight and the rest of me was whippet thin!

  2. Oh, yes. I haven’t seen that space at the top of my thighs since I was about 10, I think.

    I recently read Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone which is about a woman who is so fat that she’s compared to a whale and feels affinity with a whale the whole way through the book (it is actually a great book so don’t let this put you off). Basically, she’s too fat to live. In real life, my real life, I weigh more than she does!

    *slits wrists*

  3. Jeez… look at that photo and then look at your avatar top right. You’ve hardly changed.

    I can’t look at women’s magazines. I haven’t bought one for years because one day in my late teens I realised how truly, truly awful they all were – I mean the content alone, never mind the horrible body image issues – but any time I catch a glimpse in a newsstand I just think, “I will NEVER EVER EVER look like that”. Then I have to remind myself that neither will the women in the photographs who have been airbrushed to within an inch of their lives.

    1. I always remember Cindy Crawford saying “Even I don’t look like Cindy Crawford” which was kind of comforting and kind of annoying that they continue to peddle such bullshit.

  4. Is it any consolation to anyone that we have all thought that about ourselves? I thought I was elephantine when I was younger. I wasn’t. There has never been a gap between my thighs either. In that photo above though, you look lovely, and it’s all about your smile.

    1. Not at all, I’m afraid, no. It just means that women everywhere are growing up feeling self-conscious and unattractive thanks to the media.

      But thanks for saying nice things about the photo. 🙂

  5. I’m not sure I’ve ever had that gap (although apparently it does exist). Nowadays I’m just excited when I only have one chin, let alone worrying about all the other bits.

    Is it the media which makes us think this way or is it just the way women are or, are women like that because of the media? I think it’s one big hate spiral. In some instances, a bit of outside pressure is no bad thing – losing a couple of extra pounds can do wonders for your health (and your self-esteem). That said, I’d much rather women were happy with themselves, bumps and all.

    (not a very coherent comment – sorry)

    1. It’s absolutely the media. There’s been research (that I’m too lazy to look up) about how women rate their looks lower after looking at women’s magazines.

  6. You look so, so lovely in that picture! Thats so sad that you thought you looked fat! 😦

    I didn’t realise that my thighs weren’t meant to touch… quick get me into surgery, I don’t think they have since I was little!!

Comments are closed.