Move Over, #TBT…#TGT is here

Lately, I have been looking forward to Thursday more than most other days in the week. You might be wondering why…well there are a couple reasons. Yes it is Fridayʼs Eve, but more importantly it is #tbt or “throw back Thursday,” a day that so many friends from elementary school, high school and college put up some really funny memories. Every time I visit my parents, I run to my old bedroom and search through all of the photo albums to scan for #tbt. Every week is nostalgic and puts a smile on my face.

So this week, I started to type in #T into twitter and the first hashtag that popped was #ThighGapThursday. What??? I was speechless. This must be a viral hoax much like #BikiniBridge. After some research online, #ThighGapTursday is not a hoax but a day in which people celebrate “thigh gaps.” So what exactly defines a “thigh gap?” According to Wikipedia, it is a space between the inner thighs when standing upright with both knees touching. This phenomena started in 2012 after the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, in which several models has pronounced thigh gaps and a new body ideal was born.

With summer quickly approaching, girls are pinning their #thinspiration or #thinspo boards full of bikini bridges & thigh gap diets, exercises and “thin” inspirations. So is the thigh gap natural? Attainable? The answer is yes to both. Ok, let me clarify. Yes, a very very very small percentage of women naturally have a thigh gap due to the shape of their pelvis, body structure and muscle mass. For the majority of us, the thigh gap is a fleeting thought because it is simply unattainable; however, with social media at our fingertips we are are constantly inundated with ads, photos of models and friends with this unattainable ideal which now feels like the norm. This norm has us pinning unhealthy body images of protruding hipbones that make our bikini bottoms have bridges and ways to attain a thigh gap to name a few. In the olden days we would see airbrushed ads on billboards or magazines so it would take years to create a new norm but now we see hundreds of images all day long on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so a “new” norm can be born and viral within in hours.

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I wonder how we, as women and mothers, can change this competition for “perfection.” How can we empower young girls to begin loving who they are without feeling the need to “fix” themselves. How do we teach our next generation to embrace their differences?

According to the National Eating Disorder Awareness organization, 40-60% of girls 6-12 are concerned about their weight or becoming fat. This statistic breaks my heart. This is an age where girls should be focusing on having fun and being carefree. How can we use our social media outlets to reverse this movement? Will campaigns like Miss Representationʼs #NotBuyingItʼs and Doveʼs #RealBeauty movement encourage our generation and the next generations to embrace our natural variations and cause us to focus on building inner confidence? Time will tell.

In the mean time, I know that I can do my part today by focusing on eating healthy, working out in moderation, learning to love my body and not embracing unhealthy ideals. I can actively make the decision to not “like” ideals that do not promote healthy lifestyles for women. Are you with me?

Posted on 3/25/2014

veena_headshotWritten by Veena Goel Crownholm

Veena Goel Crownholm is a UCLA grad and former Miss California. Prior to having her son, she worked in the non-profit field doing special events and program development as well as working as a Program Officer for the Thomas J. Long Foundation. In 2010, after she had her son, she began her career as a Lifestyle Contributor both online and on-air, as well as motivational speaking. She enjoys DIY projects, Thrift Store/Flea Market hunting, Camping and Hiking. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, son and 3 puppies. For more information on Veena please visit www.VeenaGoelCrownholm.com or follow her at: www.TiarastoBabies.com or on twitter @TiarastoBabies