By DIANA ZHANG
Social media has young teens convinced of achieving unrealistic goals, such as the thigh gap. The thigh gap is what people call the gap that appears between your thighs when you stand up straight with your feet together. In order to create that gap, they must have a specific body structure, pelvic structure, tendon length and hip width. Scientifically, the people that are ecotomorphs–ones who are naturally thin and do not easily put on muscle or fat-are the most prone to having a thigh gap. However, these people only fill up a small percentage of the population. Yet, girls all over the nation are dieting and starving themselves to create that “model-like” physique.
On Twitter, the girls now can admire supermodel Cara Delevingne’s thigh gap at the account, @CarasThighGap. Olivia Dinh (Fr.), after seeing those photos, said, “My initial thoughts were like ‘wow they look so good!’ and ‘I wish my legs were that skinny.’ But then I realize that girls should just embrace their image and their body and accept who they are.”
Likewise, Anne Iwata (Fr.) said, “I think a lot of girls are self conscious about their bodies and they try to achieve these unrealistic goals shown in the TV or magazines. Sometimes, I believe that they don’t even realize that those photos are photoshopped.”
The vast number of photos that the media provides just convinces girls even more to achieve that seemingly impossible body figure. Dorothy Xu (So.), who has frequently seen these images, said, “To be honest, yes, I have wanted one and I still do want one. At first, my mind set was ‘Oh, she has one and people say she’s pretty. Maybe if I get one I’ll be pretty too.'”
With teenage girls becoming more susceptible to dislike their body figures and their tendency to over share these photos, thousands have become even more vulnerable to the media’s portrayal of the perfect body. Many have even resorted to surgical procedures such as Cool Sculpting, where the girls’ fat cells are frozen to create the highly desired thigh gap.
After hearing of what the girls are doing to themselves, Christian Zaragoza (Jr.) said, “I think it’s quite frightening how the way the media is portraying idealistic figures. The models of people are directly detrimental to the mind sets of the teenagers as it is causing them to go through such extreme measures to make themselves look like the photoshopped pictures that they compare themselves to.”
Not only have social media sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest contributed to this ongoing trend, but celebrities have as well. This has brought concern within the community as many young girls look to celebrities as role models. Beyoncé was accused of slimming down her thighs on a recent Twitter photo, as the image appeared to have been edited. In a recent interview with Cosmopolitan, Meghan Trainor, the “All About that Bass” singer, praised Ariana Grande’s thigh gap, claiming that she had good legs.
The media has changed young teens’ perspective of true beauty, especially when most believe that the thigh gap appears to be the key to the perfect body. The body issues that young girls go through appears only to be a girl thing; something that mirrors her confidence of herself.
Stella Shuai (Fr.) said, “The girls need to calm down. We all need to realize what’s really important: that it’s the inside that counts. “