Looking back on my old blogs and journals, it’s clear that having no thigh gap has been an issue for me, and not for the reasons you might think. It mostly comes down to friction: When my thighs touch, they rub together in displeasing ways. Here’s my favorite episode:
I had to walk home from the supermarket the other day, carrying heavy groceries in high summer. I had to carry jugs of milk, and gourds, and detergent in square boxes with pointed corners that poke through the bag to spear my legs. Given the circumstances, I walked slowly with very little intention.I instructed my innards and outards to push away the heat and maintain an imaginary shell of cool air in orbit around my person. Yet a familiar voice rose from my undercarriage.“SMOODGE SKWONK SMOSH,” my thighs said to me. “SMOOSH SMOAG.”I’ve since figured out plenty of ways to beat thigh rub, including using BodyGlide and wearing fun microfiber shorts that double as enormous underwear when you’re feeling lazy. I’ve also realized that for all the hassle caused by my thighs rubbing together, there are also some perks to having a lack of space between them as well. Here are my reasons why you shouldn’t worry about a thigh gap this summer.
1. The patriarchy wants you to have a thigh gap.
And anything the patriarchy wants, you most certainly should not. Think about it: Patriarchal beauty standards were created to exercise control over women and manipulate their mobility. Thigh gaps are often created by rigorous diet and exercise, and the diet and exercise industry makes billions of dollars every year by telling women that their bodies aren’t good enough.
The patriarchy cashes in on your thigh gap fears and gets you to think you’re doing something wrong. You’re not. You and your thighs are doing just fine. And if you’ve got a natural thigh gap, remember: That gap is yours and yours alone. Don’t let anyone use your thigh gap as a weapon against other women.
2. Speaking of patriarchy, it also wants you to be infantilized.
The idea behind a thigh gap is that your legs are spaced far enough apart to look gamine and young. Don’t think this is a coincidence. Our patriarchal society encourages women to infantilize themselves for sexual and social gain. When women relinquish their womanhood, they relinquish control over their bodies.
You and your thighs can take back control. And, if you’ve got that natural thigh gap, claim your gap, and your womanhood, as your own.
3. Alright, enough with the serious stuff. You can also use your thigh gap to hold in your pee.
For some reason, every time I return home, no matter how long I’ve been gone or how much water (coughbeercough) I’ve drunk, I always, always have to pee. I’m not talking about the slight urge to casually urinate when I have time: I’m talking about a full-blown, scream-at-someone-to-open-the-door-and-tumble-like-a-baby-giraffe-to-the-bathroom kind of pee.
During those moments, I’m so thankful for the fleshy fortress of my thighs, because without them, my pee would almost certainly find its way to the floor. I’m sure my neighbor Miguel is thankful as well. For those of you with that naturally occurring thigh gap, well, I just hope your urethra is strong enough to do the work itself.
4. Your thigh gap is great for catching food, which will in turn help your thighs grow big and strong.
When it comes to fat on any part of a woman’s body, people would have you believe that food is the enemy. Of course, we all know that not to be true. Food is the heart and soul of existence, and we need it to nourish and delight our bodies just as much as we need sex and Netflix marathons.
Of course, for some of us, more food means more thighs, and when you drop food on your lap, the two work together in a wonderful symbiosis. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thanked my thighs for allowing me to have a second chance at my sandwich. If you’ve got a thigh gap, I hope your reflexes serve you well. If not, I’m sorry for your sandwich loss.
5. There are a lot more things to worry about in summer than two pleasant mounds of fat attached to your inner thighs.
For me, summer is basically three months of constant worry: Worry about how many Slushies I’m going to be able to fit down my gullet, worry about my credit card taking a hit when I buy too many bathing suits, worry about the pint of ice cream in my fridge, worry about how many times I’ll be able to do a cannonball before my body gives out, worry that I’ll get yelled at for leaving a pool of sweat on a subway seat.
The list goes on and on. There’s really no time for me to worry about what life might be like with a thigh gap. For me, it’s akin to worrying about what life might be like with an extra arm growing out of my head. It’s just not going to happen. So with a mouth stained with Slushies and a heart full of hope, I have decided to simply let it go. And no matter if you’ve got a lovely natural thigh gap, a pair of thick, juicy thighs, or anything in between, why not consider doing the same?
Images: Amanda Richards; Giphy (5)