Beware new teen trend: The Thigh Gap

USA Today reports that the new scary teen diet trend is for girls to try to create a gap between their thighs so their thighs do not touch at all.

Girls Tweet and post photos on social media sites of their thighs not touching. There’s even a Twitter account for one girl’s thigh gap.

The expert in the video says that some girls’ bodies are naturally structured that way but most are not. And they worry the goal of the thigh gap will lead to eating disorders.

Have you seen this trend? Have your teens mentioned girls trying to achieve this?

32 comments Add your comment


August 2nd, 2013
5:40 am

The interview would have been better if the expert had shown us hers for comparison.


August 2nd, 2013
6:50 am

Ugh…..another thing for Theresa to worry about. Best keep an eye on Rose. Make sure her thighs are touching at all times!!


August 2nd, 2013
7:15 am

And women why: there aren’t more women leaders in most any field (politics, science, journalism, etc. etc.)

One only has to look at this topic and this blog to get an answer why.

Mother of 2

August 2nd, 2013
7:26 am

This was a trend when I was in high school. I remember adults explaining that not all bodies can actually achieve this. I also remember a family of girls with eating disorders who desperately tried to have that gap. I think that it’s very important to instill in your children that appearances are superficial. It’s important to be presentable, but substance is the most important part of who you are.

mystery poster

August 2nd, 2013
7:49 am

I remember my aunt telling me this in the late 60s.


August 2nd, 2013
7:50 am

What is really sad is that most girls compete like this not to impress the boys, but to impress other girls. Many of the fashion fads and body alterations are not sex based, but are status based competition instead.


August 2nd, 2013
8:10 am

@LeeH1 – SPOT ON!!!!


August 2nd, 2013
8:12 am

hmm seems like the easiest way to achieve this gap is exercise (toned legs are not straight, thus “gaps” are inevitable). Perhaps we should demand girls be couch potatoes until they are married?

I will say, some of those girls in the video look emaciated and deathly.


August 2nd, 2013
8:31 am

Honestly I feel like girls were way more into dieting when I was in HS than they are now (I graduated in 1997- 16 years ago). Although we had our fair share of overweight and obese girls, it almost seems common place now for girls to have a muffin top. (Yes, there is still a segment who are totally body-obsessed.)

There’s a tough balance in not wanting girls to be extreme dieting and knowing that they should be eating better and exercising more. I look at a lot of these girls and can’t help but think what they’re going to look like in 10-15 years after they’ve had a couple of kids. That doesn’t mean they should be rail thin, that’s not my point, but I think there’s been almost a total flip in our attitudes b/c we don’t want girls to develop eating disorders so it’s become acceptable to be overweight.


August 2nd, 2013
8:56 am

Oh well. It looks much better than fat girl legs.

Old Fart

August 2nd, 2013
8:59 am

We used to call gals in jeans with a gap like described above as easy.


August 2nd, 2013
9:06 am

This trend has been around a while, and yes, it’s sad. Techmom, you may be right about more overweight girls, but I’m not sure I’d base it on muffin tops. I think that’s may be due more to a trend of poorly fitting (1-2 sizes too small) pants with lower waistbands than in the past than the actual size of the girl, so even fairly thin girls end of having muffin tops. In the past, too tight jeans at least hit closer to the actual waist — less overhang.


August 2nd, 2013
9:10 am

You’re right HG, the super-tight clothing doesn’t help hide any extra weight, even if it’s not much.


August 2nd, 2013
9:11 am

We always used to call that 2 by 4. Still do. As if you could put a 2 x 4 piece of wood between their legs. And it wasn’t a compliment.


August 2nd, 2013
9:36 am

I’ve been trying to achieve that thigh gap for 44 years…


August 2nd, 2013
10:09 am

Exercise and/or diet won’t achieve that gap if you don’t have the right bone structure. I run 5 days a week and I bike to work, 14 miles a day, and my thighs touch from knee to crotch. It’s because I have a very small Q-angle for a women (Google it). If you have a small Q-angle then your thigh bone (femur) is straighter. And if your femur is straightish then you’re NEVER going to have thigh gap.

Even back in high school, when I weighed 115lbs (at 5′5″) I didn’t have thigh gap.

But this desire for it was present back then (’89 – ‘93).

K's Mom

August 2nd, 2013
10:41 am

Techmom, I think you are right about more overweight girls. We live in a college town and I am shooocked at the number of girls who are much larger than I am at 38yo (after 2 kids) and much, much larger than I was when I started school 20 years ago. And the too tight clothes drive me bananas. No one knows (or cares) what size you wear, go up a size or even 2.

hockey goalie

August 2nd, 2013
11:02 am

I know I’m kind of missing the point, but this “thigh gap” isn’t even attractive. It makes the girl LOOK like she has an eating disorder; I think that’s a major turn-off.

If you are bow-legged...

August 2nd, 2013
11:07 am

…you have nothing to worry about…

I have two sisters...

August 2nd, 2013
11:16 am

…one is bow-legged, the other is knock-kneed. When my mother used to take their picture I cannot remember whether they spelled OX or OK…

david c

August 2nd, 2013
11:29 am

Just tell your daughter they look like a boy with breasts.


August 2nd, 2013
1:22 pm

Bring back the camel toe!

JF McNamara

August 2nd, 2013
1:54 pm

This is not attractive. Who is dating these women?

OMG JamVet.


August 2nd, 2013
5:27 pm

We have a teacher at our school who, on Friday, wears jeans that disclose way too much, including her “thigh gap?” Reminds me of Biafra.


August 2nd, 2013
8:25 pm

Soooo, it’s feminine to try and achieve the type of body that a prepubescent boy would have?

Sk8ing Momma

August 3rd, 2013
10:37 am

Standards of beauty are certainly different, and this is not one that is aspired to in the A-A community. I’m thankful that this is not one trend A-A’s didn’t start or is a non-issue in the A-A community.

1. No, I haven’t noticed this trend.

2. No, my teen daughter has not mentioned this trend, let alone trying to achieve it.

Thankfully, body image is not an issue @ our house. We are HUGE proponents of fitness in our house, and my husband and I work out regularly (5-6x/week). We encourage our children to do the same for health reasons.

Molly B

August 3rd, 2013
6:48 pm

When I was in HS mid 70s I was told if girls had gaps like that it just meant they screwed around alot. Not a very flattering description. I weighed 105 all the way through HS and I didn’t have that gap only because I was not built that way and I ran track, softball, and was a cheerleader not to mention tennis, I was very active and thin but did not have the gap. I cannot believe kids these days wanting that, its ugly and looks like someone out of death camp during WW2.


August 3rd, 2013
10:11 pm

This is an idiotic trend. When will women finally figure out that being super skinny isn’t attractive?


August 4th, 2013
9:09 am

Funny….when I was in high school, I SUFFERED from this thigh gap thingy. Still do.

Now it’s fashionable?

Finally….I HAVE arrived!


August 4th, 2013
10:43 am

@JFera: Oh, puh-leeze — have you looked at the sports blogs where the guys hang out? Yes, indeed, the epitomy of taste, culture and deep, intelligent, divergent thinking. *cough*

I haven’t heard of this as a “new” trend — it seems to be something that always got mentioned, as far as being “fit” or “skinny enough.” Whatever — my legs will never do that, and that’s ok by me.

I agree with HB — many, many girls have no idea of what “fits” their body type. It used to drive me crazy to go shopping with my daughter and her friends, because one would consistently buy two sizes too small because she just couldn’t “bear” to be over a size 4. I had to point out that a) clothes too small made her look fat because they didn’t fit properly, and b) she could always clip out the size tag, if she was that vain. These girls have no idea how a bra is supposed to fit, etc.


August 4th, 2013
4:26 pm

Those fat girls in too-small, too-thin stretchy tops look poor and trashy. At their age my friends and I would have stayed in rather than flop around town with bulging, bouncing stomachs. Back then the fat girls wore clothes that minimized their rolls, not exaggerated and displayed them.


August 5th, 2013
7:46 am

Have we really gone so far downhill in justifying our poor eating habits as Americans to arrive here, chastising girls who are thin, or striving to be in better shape? I understand that anorexia is dangerous, but it is rare, while childhood obesity is rampant. Not speaking up about the extra weight is far more of a concern – sentencing our kids to a lifetime of health problems. Where is the balance?