Quick. Here's a test: Stand-up straight with your feet together in front of a mirror and look for a space between your upper thighs. If you see a gap, you have the latest body image obsession teen girls are starving themselves to achieve.
The 'thigh gap', as it is known, is a new teen girl obsession with a huge following on social media sites like Tumblr, YouTube and Instagram.
The trend is fueled by digital media and magazines that feature celebrities with the elusive 'thigh gap'---which is, in most cases, the work of a highly skilled Photoshop guru and not so much based on reality.
Exposure to this dangerous body image trend is just an app click away---girls can read tweets from Supermodel Cara Delevingne about her thigh gap on Twitter or scroll through thousands of thigh gaps on Tumblr with images of ultrathin women in bikinis, super short skirts, and lingerie, all baring thighs so thin they don't touch.
Whether or not this is a widespread trend or just a blip across teen culture is yet to be seen. However, this is another example of where parents, teachers and youth pastors need to step-in and faciliate a discussion about body image, social media and celebrity culture with their kids.
And remember, body image issues aren't just a 'teen girl' issue.
While there has been lots of media coverage and press about young girls/women regarding body image & eating disorders, there has been very little devoted to how the media effects boys. In many cases, boys are an understudied group with regard to body issues (dysmorphia, bigorexia).
Even as the media continues its obsession (yes, Twilight I’m looking at you) for the almighty 'six pack', boys have been gaining on girls in eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
- Boys and Body Image: Eating Disorders Don't Discriminate
- Packaging Boyhood
- Instagram Beauty Contests Worry Parents
Photo Credit: @ready_for_thynspo on Instagram