Living in a sorority house for most of my college life has desensitized me to the unending conversations centered upon weight loss and poor body image. Over time, we became admirers of girls who only eat an apple in a day, allowing them to show off a thigh gap at the next fraternity social.
It saddens me to admit that I have the occasional “I look so fat” moment, but it makes me even sadder to remember all of the times when my friends compared themselves to the Victoria’s Secret models with seemingly perfect bodies.
All of these comparisons sickened me because I (and the countless guys who hit on them nightly) find them to be beautiful, hilarious and completely mesmerizing. And they were not hit on because of their “thigh gaps,” but instead because of their confidence, kindness and accessibility. But, despite the number of guys who would hit on them night after night, these wonderful girls were still focused on perfecting their bodies and earning their way to the “thigh gap” club.
Attempting to obtain such perfection — which in actuality is not perfection at all, but rather a likely case of body dysmorphic disorder — drove these girls crazy. And that is just what these qualifications — the thigh gap, the bikini bridge and all of these ridiculous standards do to us — they drive us crazy. They cause girls who are actually petite enough to naturally have these qualities to become obsessed with keeping and enhancing them, and the girls who do not have them to obsess about the prospect of getting closer.
This needs to stop. But first, we need to stop scrutinizing ourselves and other girls.
Too many people in life judge us by our appearances, whom we date and what jobs we have. So why would we waste even more time judging ourselves? And while it is easy to look in the mirror and only see our flaws, we need to instead make it a habit to see our accomplishments.
Maybe you’re concerned with your thigh gap today and maybe you’ll be concerned with your bikini bridge tomorrow, but, if we continue to strive for this socialized perfection, there will always be something making us feel inadequate.
The flaws need not define you; especially the ones rooted in your insecurities and comparisons to others. Fabricated ideas that define “beautiful,” “sexy” and “perfect” cloud your ability to see the flawlessness you already embody. Maybe you hate your laugh, or your nose or even the way you can’t do math, but I guarantee that to someone else, those qualities are not only endearing, but your greatest assets.
So, the next time someone talks about another girl’s thigh gap and how she yearns to have one as well, instead of joining the conversation, change it. When these conversations occur, they create more reasons to judge and scrutinize each other and ourselves.