Never mind the gap


Brooke Purves and Brooke Purves

The quest for beauty is a rough one for us women. I’m told that while I want my breasts to squish together and pour out of my shirt, I want my thighs as far apart from each other as possible. This “thigh gap,” the space between your femora when you stand with your feet touching, is said to be the new cleavage. It’s what’s ‘in.’ It’s what’s cool. It’s what’s making me gag.

The attention to the thigh gap reminds me of the fourth grade boobie test: If a girl’s breasts were big enough to hold a pencil under them unassisted, she needed a bra.

I say we devise a thigh gap test: If you can pass a Mack truck between your legs when your feet are touching, you need a cheeseburger.

All this external focus on a gal’s gams isn’t good for her self-esteem. Besides, you can’t give yourself a thigh gap if you aren’t genetically programmed to have it. You need the correct architecture for the gap. Even as a welterweight with a healthy dose of thigh fat, I can fake a gap thanks to what my midwife calls a “very ample pelvis.”

Whether you have a gap or not doesn’t seem to be of importance to anyone other than the person with the thighs. “I think it’s kind of sad how everyone makes such a huge deal (about it),” said Micah Smith, music major at American River College. “I’ve met girls who have worked as hard as they can to get that and I don’t really think it’s necessary.”

Not only is the gap not necessary, it is sometimes difficult or even impossible to achieve.

“(Exercises) will help them (thighs) get stronger, but not necessarily smaller,” said Lisa Delgado, ARC softball coach and core conditioning instructor. “You can’t really spot reduce.”

We aren’t doing the species any favors when we fall for this stuff, either. According to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, women are designed to carry fat in their thighs to nourish themselves and their babies during pregnancy and after childbirth, and women who tend to carry fat in their thighs are more fertile than their thinner counterparts. Maybe Mother Nature is trying to tell you something here.

No more beating ourselves up if we can hold a pencil under our breasts or one between our thighs. Given that thigh fat is evolutionarily designed to keep humans around, I say it should be celebrated!