Who defines what makes a body beautiful? Since beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, this is definitely a controversial topic. In today’s world, the media plays a huge role in the definition of alleged beauty ideals, which are often considered as ultimate goals by many women and girls. The „Thigh Gap“, „Hip Dent“, „Bikini Bridge“ or the „Ab Crack“, for example, are the latest body hypes being pushed by models and influencers through social media and all over the internet. Here we debunk what’s behind these hypes, why they have nothing to do with a healthy body, and how these trends can actually become dangerous.
What’s all the hype about?
With every new year comes a new body trend, be it a gap between the thighs when standing straight („Thigh Gap“), a small notch on the hip bone („Hip Dent“) or the gap between the bikini bottom and the lower abdomen as the bikini bottom stretches across the hip bones when lying down („Bikini Bridge“). With the „A4Waist-Challenge“ women around the world would check if they were thin enough to hide their waist behind an upright A4 paper and share their findings with friends and followers. The latest measure of a beautiful body is the so-called „Ab Crack“ – the vertical line that runs from the chest down to the belly button. The deeper the crack, the better. What do all these body hypes have in common? They glorify an extremely skinny beauty ideal.
The ugly truth
In order to achieve these beauty ideals, some young women are even willing to starve themselves until they see similar results on their bodies. However, what many don’t seem to realize, is that this is not only very unhealthy but also quite senseless: Many of these trends are simply a matter of genes and anatomy. The „Thigh Gap“, for example, also depends on how your body is built, on your overall physique, muscles and bone structure. A fit and lean woman might still not show this phenomenon. Often, the gap between the legs will only become visible if the thigh muscles have diminished significantly – which is not exactly a sign of a fit body. The Linea alba, which is the medical expression for the „Ab Crack“, is also mainly due to genetics. With some people this aponeurosis is simply more distinct than with others. Moreover, this crack will only become really visible with a body fat percentage of between 12% and 15%, which is the range below a healthy woman’s body fat percentage. Especially young women put their health at stake to achieve these allegedly impeccable body ideals through anorexic behavior.
Hypes go out of fashion, your best version won’t
In the end, beauty is probably one of the most subjective topics. Something seen as beautiful by one person, does not necessarily make it beautiful to another. When it comes to your body, however, it should not be measured by a piece of A4 paper or a dent on your hip. Beauty is strongly related to confidence. At Freeletics we believe having a fit, strong – and above all – healthy body contributes majorly to your confidence. Following body hypes such as the „Thigh Gap“ will actually result in a weaker body, as undernourishment and lack of exercise are often the only methods through which these appearances will be achieved. Through regular exercise and the right nutrition your body will get leaner automatically. Be reassured that you will look and feel good in a fit and healthy way – even if your body fat percentage is above 15%.
Hypes like these come and go. Your best version, however, will always be in fashion.