Body Image

I’ve been hula-hooping for over two weeks, and while my energy level is higher, it’s difficult to judge whether I’ve lost any weight, as we don’t have a scale with us. From the fit of my clothing, my hips and waist don’t seem to be shrinking. In fact, I suspect that the opposite is happening – my hips (like a weightlifter’s muscles) may actually be bulking up from using the hoop. Not really the result I was hoping for, which led me to search the internet for additional exercises that might target this particular area. Which was how I came upon “The Thigh Gap Workout”. Obviously I am not a part of the fitness world, but I had no idea what a thigh gap was. So I googled it – and Wikipedia provided this definition “The thigh gap is a gap between the thighs when standing upright with both feet touching.” British model Cara Delevingne apparently has a Twitter account dedicated to her thigh gap, and the concept seems to have been inspired by the fashion industry. Young woman have been excessively exercising and striving starving to achieve their own thigh gap.
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As I read further, I discovered that 2013 was the year of the Thigh Gap. For 2014 – The Bikini Bridge has become the desired thermometer of thinness. Wikipedia drew a blank on this trend, but an article in the Huffington Post defines Bikini Bridge as the space created by a woman’s hip bones suspending bikini bottoms from their sunken abdomens. For what purpose? Do you plan to store your cell phone there? Thigh gaps and bikini bridges are unrealistic expectations for a majority of young women, but social media further exploits their desire(20 years ago, models weighed 8%less than what was considered a healthy weight. Today that difference has skyrocketed to being 23% below a healthy weight). We need to be teaching young women that their health is paramount, and they should be happy with who they are. Body type is genetically pre-determined. A person’s skeletal structure cannot be changed – and for many young women – thigh gaps and bikini bridges will be unattainable. If you are the parent of a son, and you hear him praising a girl’s thigh gap or her bikini bridge – please slap him upside his head.
For those of you who are cuss-sensitive – please excuse the swear words, but I came across this post on Pinterest and whole-heartedly believe that everyone should support this sentiment.
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I don’t have a thigh gap, and I don’t want one. I like the fact that when I sit down, my touching thighs (non-thigh-gap) prevent my dropped food from hitting the floor. No bikini bridge either – my hip bones are generously protected, and my stomach has never been flat, let alone concave. I don’t have any issues (or suffer any delusions) about the size or shape of my body – I prescribe to the “It Is What It Is” philosophy. But I did recently have an underwear agitation incident. On my last shopping excursion to Wal-Mart, I decided that it might be time to buy some new underpants (no La Senza lingerie for this girl). In Canada, I wear a size 6 but in the USA, sizes are odd numbers. I could likely squash my posterior into a size 5 but in situations such as this, I always error on the side of caution and round-up. So I purchased a 3 pack of size 7 Hanes underpants – no problem. Until I got home, opened the package and saw this:

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I was a bit perturbed to see size L stamped on each pair of the underwear. Does Hanes really think that I don’t know how big of a butt I have, and that it would be helpful for me to see it each time I put on the underpants? No, I don’t need to be reminded, and no, it isn’t helpful. I am not bothered about wearing a size 7, I just don’t think that clothing manufacturers need to assign descriptors (XS, S, M, L, XL) to garments in addition to the numerical sizing.
So I have decided to write a letter to Hanes customer service department asking them to cease printing the size on the inside of the underwear (I am okay with the numerical sizes being stamped on the packages). To improve their marketing potential, I am proposing that they begin printing motivation statements on the front, inside waistbands of the underpants – for women to read in the mornings when they get dressed, or when they are sitting in a bathroom somewhere (hiding from their kids or co-workers.) Wouldn’t that be a perfect start to the day – or a mid-day boost.

Some of my suggested affirmations:
“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” Coco Chanel
“The human body is the best work of art.” Jess C. Scott
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” Oprah Winfrey
“Spend less time in the mirror and more time feeling wonderful.” Frederic Fekkai
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Kathryn Stockett
“Cultivate your curves – they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided.” Mae West
“Nothing is impossible – the word itself says “I’m possible”!” Audrey Hepburn
“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” Marilyn Monroe
“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun”. Katherine Hepburn
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” Dr. Seuss

Send me your inspirational quotes, and I will include them in my letter. Together we can change the Underwear World!

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