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The Latest Body Craze: Thigh Gaps

Update Date: Oct 01, 2013 11:00 AM EDT

During the high school years, teenagers are learning how to cope with the changes in their bodies as well as the changes in their hormones. This time in one's life could involve a lot of risky behaviors, such as drugs, alcohol and sex. Even though these factors usually get the most attention, parents cannot forget the dangers of body image. During this time in a teenager's life, physical appearance is extremely important. The focus one places on body image could lead to many issues such as depression and eating disorders. Now, a new body craze that is circulating amongst young American teenagers could add more fuel to the fire.

The latest body craze is the "thigh gap," which is the space between the thighs when one is standing with their feet together. Thigh gaps are the widest in people who have extremely slim legs. Due to the fact that a thigh gap might only exist for skinny people, experts are worried that this newest trend could mean trouble for young girls. These experts acknowledged the fact that the desire to have "perfect" legs is nothing new. However, there has been more hype surrounding this particular feature more recently. According to Medical Xpress, many bloggers using Tumblr expressed their desire to have the thigh gaps. Some of the posts read:

"Together we can lose weight. Together we can be skinny."

"Together we can be a size zero with a beautiful thigh gap and flat stomach. Together we can be happy and finally say that we love our bodies."

"My thigh gap is huge."

Thigh gap could potentially be one of the leading causes of eating disorders in upcoming years.  Experts explained that a thigh gap is also not always achievable due to body shape. According to clinical psychologist Barbara Greenberg, extreme dieting and weight loss do not always result in a thigh gap. However, since young teenagers might not realize that their bodies are not made for this particular feature, they might continue to lose weight and diet to the point where their health becomes severely jeopardized.

For teenagers attempting to get the thigh gap, they put themselves at a high risk of eating disorders, malnutrition, depression and even suicide. Experts stressed that it is important to develop a healthy mindset when it comes to body image.

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