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The Thigh Gap Trend: My Teenage Daughter Wants a Thigh Gap

Dear Your Teen:

My daughter just told me that all of her friends have a “thigh gap.” She said this with a longing in her eyes. I just cannot understand anything about this new trend. Where did this come from? Should I be worried about it? And how do I help my daughter stay clear of the pressure she feels?

Answer:

The trend referred to as the “thigh gap” trend has been around quite for a while but has recently been fueled by social media websites and fashion shows that prominently display the space between the upper thighs and its virtues.

In actuality, there is nothing healthy or virtuous about having this inner thigh gap. In fact, in an attempt to whittle away at their bodies so that they can join the exclusive club of young women with a gap between thighs, females often develop eating disordersΒ or other dangerous, unhealthy habits, such as low self-esteem and body dysmorphia. By encouraging your daughter to celebrate her body for its strengths and its abilities, you will help her see her body as something to nourish rather than something to conform to arbitrary aesthetic ideals such as the “thigh gap.”

Thigh Gap Trend: Talking To Your Daughter About Her Body

My best advice to you as a concerned mother is to talk to your teenage daughter about the importance of taking care of the body by both nourishing it and using it for healthy purposes such as activities, thinking, passions, etc. Explain to your daughter that it is atypical to have a thigh gap and, as far as I know, there is nothing beneficial about acquiring one. Hopefully this will help curb her enthusiasm for the trend.

Good luck to you. I am glad that your daughter has a mother who is looking out for her.

Dr. Barbara Greenberg

Dr. Barbara Greenberg is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of teens, children, and families. She is the co-author of Teenage as a Second Language. She writes and consults for several publications and frequently appears on TV. You can find her work on her website drbarbaragreenberg.com.

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