There’s a dangerous trend among teen girls that’s being glorified and shared on social media that all parents of young girls should know about.
The concept of the “thigh gap” and pictures of this often unhealthy, unattainable physique are cropping up all over social media sites like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest — and young girls are obsessing over it. The “thigh gap” refers to a space that is visible between the thighs of women when they are standing with their feet touching.
Teens are using websites and social media sites to view and post pictures of very thin girls and women as motivation to keep them on track in their quest to obtain this “ideal.”
Here’s an example of a Pinterest board dedicated to the “thigh gap.”
Young girls are going to dieting extremes that can lead to eating disorders trying to achieve this ultra-thin body shape that social media is telling them is the new “standard” of beauty for women. This makes me so very sad for my daughter. Every woman knows the internal struggles we all have about body image and now we can thank social media for making it really easy for our teen girls to find another way to feel self-conscious about their appearance and pressure to lose weight.
Here’s a recent news story from ABC News discussing this trend and the dangers to young girls:
What Parents Can Do
Ask your daughters if they have heard of this trend and talk to them about how unhealthy it is to aspire to this unrealistic body type. Discuss the dangers of extreme dieting and how it can often lead to eating disorders that are extremely difficult to overcome.
If you haven’t already, talk to your daughters about the many forms beauty can take and point out how the media glorifies a narrow view of what makes a woman truly beautiful. Kids are naïve and believe what they see and read on the internet, so it’s important to teach them to be skeptical of everything they see on social media sites.