Thigh gaps are just one of a half dozen popular body “trends.” There is also “cracked abs,” “protruding ribs,” “A4,” and the “belly button challenge”.

I’d explain what these are, but here’s what you need to know:

  • Thigh gaps: genetics
  • Cracked abs: genetics
  • Protruding ribs: genetics
  • A4: genetics
  • Belly button challenge: genetics

Ah, but wait. It’s more than genetics! Allow me me continue….

  • Thigh gaps: bone structure
  • Cracked abs: bone structure
  • Protruding ribs: bone structure
  • A4: bone structure
  • Belly button challenge: bone structure

Culturally, we fetishize the rare. These theoretically “attainable” body goals haven’t much to do with willpower or exercise (and are as realistic as thinking going to Yoga will eventually give you the flexibility of a Cirque du Soleil performer).

Instagram makes these “trends” seem feasible, thanks to the many memes that reinforce that it’s mindset and willpower, cloaked in “feel-good,” “positive” reinforcement.

But here’s the truth: there are women with the genetics (adipose tissue distribution) or bone structure to naturally look this way. They may have to exert a slight amount of effort to achieve the look. But the vast majority of female bodies genetically can never achieve these rather arbitrary “goals”.

And they are arbitrary. A decade ago, nobody wanted a big bum, and now we can’t get big enough bums to go with flat abs.

It makes me furious that we waste time and energy with “goals” like this. Cracked abs might make you Instagram famous, but they won’t do anything else for your life other than ensure that you hate your abs and waste your precious life trying to get them.

Feel healthy. Accept your genetically given shape. And go make a difference in the world. Spend your time on hobbies you love (and don’t even try to tell me that your abs are a hobby that you love).

These body trends SUCK. Speak up and out, if you want to make a positive difference with your time.

Otherwise, seek a proverbial “A+” in life, not an A4….

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