So the recent news about the “thigh gap” becoming the new “skinny arm” just has me baffled.
I have never, I repeat, NEVER had a gap between my thighs.
I can specifically remember being a little girl and wondering why my legs looked so much bigger than my friends’ legs when we would have play dates.
Why do my thighs look so big when I sit down and they flatten out?
Why do I have the same general structure than my friends, other than my gigantic legs?
These were actual thoughts I had as a child. I remember asking my mom why I had bigger legs and she just simply said, “Because you were made different.”
Just like that.
If you’ve read my blog, you know that my mother wasn’t much for apologizing, especially when it came to her shape. One of the things I loved most about her was her ability to brush off superficial societal standards, and literally look and feel however she wanted.
I was always told I never had to wear makeup, shave my legs, or dress like a girlie girl, if I didn’t want to.
When I hit puberty, in middle school, I was a cheerleader. Back then I was also a dancer and gymnast, so my legs, although still big, were incredibly strong. HOWEVER, that did not mean that they didn’t get their share of attention. I remember one of the basketball players, who was one of my friends, affectionately calling me thunder thighs. At the time, I embraced it, but now as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to resent my thighs in all their glory.
I work out five to six, sometimes seven days a week. When I flex my legs, they are NOTHING but muscle, and yet, there’s still that desire for thinner, leaner legs. My thigh/hip ratio compared to my waist is pretty drastic, which gives me somewhat of an hourglass shape. This might SEEM like it’s great, but shopping for pants and dresses is a nightmare. I can rarely find a pair of jeans that fit not only my legs, but my waist. It’s virtually impossible. And the wider the pants get, the longer they get, which doesn’t work for my tree-trunk legs.
My large ass/hips/thighs often also get backhanded compliments. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these phrases.
“Your legs look so strong!”
“You look like a ‘real’ woman.”
“I love your curves.”
Is this just everyone’s way of telling me that I don’t look good? I know a lot of times when theses slighted comments are made, that people genuinely mean no harm, but it’s hard to take them for face value, when I’m constantly feeling like they are trying to sugar coat how they really feel about my big legs.
I suppose now I’m just thinking out loud.
I guess what I’m trying to say, (or what I’m trying to convince myself,) is that we all have our body issues. We all attributes where we look in the mirror, and think, “If only I looked like ‘x’ instead of ‘y.'”
I know I do. All the time. I wouldn’t spend so much time at the gym if I didn’t want to look a certain way. But there’s also a point where I can only do so much. My legs are never going to get skinnier. Believe me. I’ve TRIED. The thigh gap, unless I get plastic surgery, will just never be a reality for me. The skinny arm will never be attainable for me either. I have BIG limbs. I always have. I’ve always had big legs, a big ass, wide hips, big biceps, broad shoulders.
So what do I do from here? Do I continue to consume myself with negative thoughts every time I look in the mirror; pulling at my chubby cheeks or pinching my sides or squeezing my legs, trying desperately to make them look thinner, smoother… better?
Maybe… or I could just say “fuck it” and just eat another piece of cake.
In all seriousness though, I’m trying to figure out how to get over this destructive behavior/these destructive thoughts.
Every single casting, every single audition, everyone seems to be thinner, prettier, taller, better proportioned than me. It’s my business. I’m in the business of beautiful people. And I’m not every going to be the industry standard of “beautiful,” so I have to find my own way…
All 5’5″, stubby-legged, thigh-touching, small breasted, chubby cheeked…. me.
Here I am.
I’m beautiful in my own way. I’m different. I’m talented. I’m strong, and I work hard for the body I have.
And please excuse my thighs as they rub together.
“Thunder Thigh” Shan Baby