Have you heard of a teen girl obsession over “thigh gap” — the space between the upper thighs when you stand with your feet together? I never had one, even when I was 12, and for most girls it’s not physically attainable regardless of how little they eat or how many calories they burn.
But that hasn’t stopped them from posting and sharing thousands of thigh gap photos on social media sites like Tumblr and Pinterest. There’s even a wikihow website with outrageous tips on getting a thigh gap, which includes stretches and recommendations to take birth control pills.
Psychologists worry that the thin thigh obsession could be spurring a rise in eating disorders and extreme exercise.
“It’s definitely something that’s been sort of a barometer, if you will — it’s sort of a barometer in the anorexic’s mind, or in the eating disordered person’s mind. It’s another indicator of ‘success,’ ” psychologist Mia Holland told Today.com.
But psychologists emphasize that parents can be positive role models by avoiding words such as diet, thin, and ripped and emphasizing the importance of eating well and exercising for being healthy and physically fit.
Parents may also want to join the same social media sites their teens are on to see the images their children are exposed to.