Can we just take a moment to think about how awesome Robyn Lawley is? Faced with brutal online criticism of her body, instead of staying silent she directly challenged the people judging and objectifying her body, and wrote an angry article against the trend on The Daily Beast.
She wrote: “It’s just another tool of manipulation that other people are trying to use to keep me from loving my body.”
Not including photoshop, there are actually two ways to get a thigh gap, so – dear Concerned Media – let’s not turn this in to another alarmist stick to beat skinny girls with. Yes, you can get a thigh gap from being dangerously underweight. But mostly you get there by that dumb old lottery called genetics – simply by the arrangement of your skeleton. I know – I am a healthy, non-underweight thigh-gapper myself. Check it out at the bottom. Feet pressed together, there is always light from top to (front) bottom – but I’m definitely not about to appear on any pro-ana websites any time soon. I don’t congratulate myself on it: it’s just the way I was made. It would be as absurd as congratulating myself on my thumbs, or my red wine allergy.
Which brings me to my next point of why Robyn Lawley is so excellent. When she appeared on Ellen to discuss the thigh gap, she actually spoke honestly about her relationship with her body…. she said she loved it. It’s inspiring. I’ve written about this before, but when women who are held up as examples of aspirational beauty (not to mention get paid for it…) play the “I wish my boobs were better” etc etc card to appear ‘normal’, it makes it even harder for regular women struggling with their body image to believe in themselves. Lawley is very open about her first forays in to modelling and how she tried to control her weight to fit in – but acknowledges that (via a move to France and becoming a food blogger – seriously, I love this girl) by embracing food and accepting who she naturally was she became much happier and more self-accepting. Not to mention an extremely successful model/icon and total babe in the process.
Anyway. Thigh gaps, ugly armpits, whatever – these “issues” are all insane fabrications that either make us buy stuff or keep us muted. It’s time for women to fight back against the bollocks and stop being accessories to cultural structure rigged to keep us compliant and distracted from stuff that actually matters. Follow the Caitlin Moran rule: when faced with anything as “do men have to put up with this shit?” If the answer is no, then it’s sexist – and you can and should ignore it and concentrate your energy on something that matters. I know it’s hard – I still have days of self-loathing (although mercifully fewer than in my early twenties, ironically when my body was closest to what would technically be described as “slamming” as it ever will be). But we have to try.
As Robyn says, just start by saying you love your body. Over time, you’ll start believing it.
Go get em, tiger.