Prepare to be angry/annoyed/offended, readers. There's a new short video that was just released addressing the thigh-gap problem and it didn't turn out the way any of us hoped it would. According to Nowness, fashion photographer and director Guy Aroch wanted to take an "abstracted look" on the world's thigh-gap obsession for the site's weekly #DefineBeauty series. But even only seconds into watching the 1:42 video, it's absolutely clear that this so-called "abstract" commentary was nothing but a glorification of the ridiculous body image trend.
First of all, Aroch decides to call it "The Magic Gap." Unless it's black or Voo Doo magic, most of the time, that term has a positive connotation — even evil witches are kind of cool. And it's clear that's how Aroch intended it to be in his short video. But even beyond the name of the video is the content: Famous (stick thin) models (including Chanel Iman) rollerblading, sunbathing and walking around the streets of Manhattan in slow-motion with the camera focused on their "magic gap."
According to Nowness, Aroch wanted to “diffuse the controversial topic" with his video and thought he'd do that by "applying his romanticized, sun-kissed filter" that we're so used to seeing on the pages of fashion magazines. I think diffuse would be the incorrect term here. I think sexualizing, glorifying or praising would be more accurate. The focus remains almost entirely on the thigh-gap of his models, barely even turning the camera towards any of the subjects' faces or anything else really. It's almost worse than any "thinspo" Pinterest Page or pro-ana website I've ever seen because these aren't just still photos — this is essentially a commercial for the thigh-gap.
Outraged readers took to the video's page to share their comments on the short. One reader said,"The commentary [is] neither enlightening or entertaining, and the imagery is more ***** of the sorts we're trying to get rid of in the fashion industry. And then the hashtag? If this is how you define beauty, you need to quit. I am sick of this pseudointellectual ***** in fashion and i'm not going to be nice about it anymore." Another angry viewer's comment read, "Why do women keep doing this to themselves? And don't tell me it is empowering. What are these models thinking? It isn't even funny or tongue in cheek, just stupid." Others even mocked Aroch, saying, "The gap is that between the director's ears. But it hasn't got any magic."
How does Aroch defend himself? “It was more a comment on the mysterious fixation women have because as a male, I didn’t even know it was a thing,” he tells Nowness. Well, for someone who didn't even know what it was, it's crystal clear where he stands on the topic now. I don't care how artistic Aroch and Nowness think this video is, I strongly encourage them to take it down because as part of a series that's supposed to put a positive spotlight on body image, they're really only becoming a bigger part of the problem.