Dangerous body fads are driving many young girls to starvation. Nirva Vira elaborates on what and how unhealthy they actually are
The obsession with staying in shape has been hitting new levels with trends like the thigh gap, bikini bridge, visible ribs and protruding collar bones coming to the fore. Trends that gained leeway in the online space have in the last one year become mainstream with tons of dedicated websites and Facebook pages going live. Along with being excessively unhealthy, these so called ‘trends’ – that young girls are hopelessly falling prey to – are a far cry from appealing.
The Gap Trap
Trending big time on social networking sites, thigh gaps have become one of the latest trends teenagers are considering necessary in order to look desirable. So, how do you know if you have what silly teenage girls all over the globe are vying for? Simple. Stand straight with your back upright and feet together. If you see space between your thighs, congratulations! You’ve got yourself a thigh gap.
Though the thigh gap is not very popular in India, it has spread like wildfire in the west. The movement began in early 2013 and gained momentum through sites like Tumbler on which it began trending under the #ITG or #innerthighgap tags. Cara Delevinge, a 21-year-old supermodel, is believed to be the inspiration behind this crazy trend. There are also several Twitter accounts that are dedicated to Delevinge’s thigh gap which shockingly have thousands of followers, most of whom are vulnerable teenage girls.
Can everyone get a thigh gap?
The answer is no! A person’s genes determine hip and bone structure, thus making it is impossible to make the pelvic girdle wider or narrower even through intense workouts. Women with wide hips have a chance of having that gap between their thighs, but that too is just a chance. You cannot workout and undertake crazy diets and expect them to do what your genes could not either.
Bridges We’d Rather Not Build
A bikini bridge is a hollow space that is created between a person’s bikini bottom and hip bones when lying down. Started off as an internet hoax, the bikini bridge has somehow found its way into the wish lists of thousands of young girls across the globe. A mere prank pulled off by a 4chan user – an image based site where users post and comment on a number of topics – was enough to create an online stir which has now come to witness mass participation in this unhealthy fixation.
Once the trend caught pace, what ensued were an increased number of fake tumbler accounts, photoshopped bikini bridge pictures shared on Instagram and fiery tweets both for and against this new body fad.
How is one supposed to achieve a Bikini Bridge?
The Bikini Bridge has so far affected thousands of girls who are either posting pictures of their bikini bridges online or are busy starving themselves to achieve one. Crazy diets, strenuous workouts, starvation and unrealistic and unhealthy fitness goals are all being used to build bikini bridges. Young girls are also readily succumbing to substance abuse to lose what they deem as being unnecessary weight.
Protruding Collar Bones And Visible Ribs
Protruding collar bones and visible ribs are not as big as the thigh gap and bikini bridge, but they are equally unhealthy. An increasing number of women think it is okay to try to have prominent collar bones, as they think it is sexy. Well, of course, some women have it naturally irrespective of their weight, but for those who don’t, it has become some kind of fitness goal. Visible ribs too are known to be present naturally in even the healthiest of women, but there are comparatively lesser such cases.
How much are prominent collar bones and visible ribs trending?
The visible ribs became a talking point when an advertisement in the United Kingdom was banned for showcasing a model who had highly visible ribs and a very evident clavicle. The model was probably healthy but the response it generated and trend it augmented wasn’t. Visible ribs that were originally regarded as a sign of malnutrition are being regarded as desirable now. Protruding collar bones, on the other hand, are something that women have been regarding sensuous for quite a long time, even before social media took over our lives. It has only become more infamous today with several teenage girls aping models and harming their bodies.
WHERE EXACTLY ARE WE HEADING?
It is a known fact that women are extremely conscious about their bodies. Although smart and strong, when it comes to their appearance and body, women often find themselves in vulnerable spots.
Unhealthy fads such as the thigh gap, bikini bridge, visible collar bone and ribs make women feel like their missing something, or that they will never really have ‘perfect’ bodies until they have a thigh gap or a bikini bridge to flaunt.
The want for these trends ultimately leads to diets that do not meet the body’s required calorie count and rigorous workouts that suck out all remaining energy left in a person. Obviously, the combination of a bad diet and excess workout lead to detrimental results and a series of health issues.
Young girls should respect their bodies and stop subjecting themselves to physical and mental agony. Let’s start healthier trends. Let’s make social media friendly. And more importantly, let’s make women feel proud and happy in their own skin.