The Newest (Dangerous) Social Media Obsession

When I first heard of the thigh gap, I thought that it was a part of the rotisserie chicken that I would eat at my grandmother’s house every Sunday. The alarming reality is much less witty than that. The thigh gap, a new social media obsession among young girls and teens, is when you are so thin that when you stand with your feet together, your thighs don’t touch.

After discovering what the thigh gap is, I took to social media to see what the hype was all about. I was shocked by the images that I was looking at. I couldn’t believe that the thigh gap was something to be lusted over! I scrolled through images on Instagram, feeds on Twitter, and pins on Pinterest; and all the photos seemed like they were photo shopped. I thought to myself: could someone really look like that?

For me, it was hard to not lose myself in the images, but for someone with a negative body image, it could mean something much worse. The young girls and teenagers who desire thigh gaps could be putting themselves at risk. From the looks of it, social media has all different kinds of people going to extreme lengths just to get that unrealistic hollow cavity in between their legs. The reality is that the thigh gap is physically impossible to achieve for most human beings, due to bone structure and genetics. Yet, the compulsive craze is the newest weight-loss motivation for girls around the world.

After doing some research and reading about how unrealistic the thigh gap really is, I feel grief for the girls who hunger over this new obsession. Not only do they compare their bodies to other girls at school, but they liken their bodies to these photo shopped images flooding social media. In my eyes, obsessing over your body is not worth it. Love yourself and be yourself: that is worth it.

About the author: Jessica Jacobs is a Marketing & Community Relations Associate at Walden Behavioral Care. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. She is responsible for marketing Walden’s South Windsor, CT and Northampton, MA clinics. Ms. Jacobs is passionate about releasing the stigma associated with mental health by spreading the word through her marketing initiatives. In her spare time, Ms. Jacobs enjoys cooking and traveling.