THE BLOG

Does #NoThighGap Really Celebrate All Bodies?

05/05/2015 12:00 BST | Updated 04/05/2016 10:12 BST

Last week, the thigh gap debate sparked its ugly head again when the #NoThighGap hashtag started trending on Twitter. It started when Lena Dunham posted a picture of her thighs on Instagram using the hashtag. In the days that followed, hundreds of other women were sharing photos of their own legs online.

While it was great that women wanted to show the world their photos, those of us with a thigh gap were left feeling excluded like the new kid in school. Surely we shouldn't be made to feel like there's something wrong with our bodies just because we happen to have a gap between our thighs?

It's been a few years since we first heard of the thigh gap craze. Lots of young girls were sharing their diet tips online in order to try and create a space between their legs. It wasn't helped by the fact some high street companies were using very thin girls in their advertising, and celebrities like Beyonce seemed to be editing their own photos to make their gap more prominent.

And while none of this is okay, we shouldn't forget that some people do just happen to have a natural thigh gap. I've had one for as long as I can remember, and it's not something I've had to starve myself to achieve.

Despite it's name, the #NoThighGap campaign does claim it celebrates all shapes and sizes, but there seems to be an increasing number of articles online which are very much in the anti-thigh gap camp.

Elite published this article last week on why bigger thighs are best. It started by saying women with thigh gaps are also beautiful, but then went on to list reasons why bigger thighs are better. I came away from the article having been told I won't be able to dance as long as my friends in clubs and I'm at an increased risk of heart disease. The article also told me that I won't be able to do crazy sex moves like the cowgirl (which isn't even that crazy) because I don't have thick strong thighs.

I very aware not to believe everything I read online, but articles like this aren't exactly celebrating all body types. Instead, it's listing lots of reason why having thin thighs is wrong, even if some of the reasons are completely ridiculous.

I don't want to sound like I'm against women being confident and proud of their bodies. I think it's a wonderful thing that doesn't happen often enough. However, maybe we should come up with a new hashtag that allows us all to take part, whether we have a gap between our thighs or not.