After creating a romantic film fixating on leggy women’s thigh gaps, a fashion photographer is under fire from those who believe he’s placing thinspiration on a filtered pedestal. Critics say the video does nothing to investigate or question the topic, but instead fetishizes it.
The “thigh gap” is characterized by a pair of thin legs that, when closed, show a space in between the thighs. It serves as a source of “thinspiration” for girls and women who aim to portray a thin model look, but the trend has garnered denouncement from health experts as well as “plus-size” advocates, who claim the thigh gap is an unhealthy way to view one’s body. The thigh gap image is a frequent theme on tumblr and Pinterest, where women obsess over pictures of models on the verge of being malnourished.
Aroch’s video, “The Magic Gap,” was published on NOWNESS, a fashion, art, and beauty website. The photographer was inspired to make the video after hearing about the thigh gap trend: “It was more a comment on the mysterious fixation women have,” he told NOWNESS, “because as a male, I didn’t even know it was a thing.” The video depicts various scenes of close-up shots of models’ pelvises, focusing primarily on the space between their legs, as the women lounge in parks or float about on rollerblades in city streets.
“Aroch wanted to ‘diffuse’ the controversial topic, applying his romanticized, sun-kissed filter that frequently graces the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Numero and GQ,” NOWNESS writes. But others have a different viewpoint, decrying the romanticized little film for not taking a stronger stance on the topic. Tyler Mcall writes on Fashionista: “The problem here is that Aroch has produced a video glorifying the thigh gap. There’s nothing probing about this video, nothing that makes the viewer step back and say, ‘You know, why are we obsessing over this?’”
Thighs are meant to touch. It might mean weird uncomfortable chafing in the summer and it might mean your jeans wear out in strange places, but that's okay because that is what happens on most bodies. Women who do have thigh gaps can thank genetics; they are mostly the result of wide-set hips, not strict diets and exercise regimes. There are plenty of thin women whose thighs touch and that's okay.
Robyn Lawley, famous for touting the beauty of “plus-sized models,” wrote an editorial for The Daily Beast last year in which she describes the dangers of the thigh gap trend, saying she’s happier with thicker thighs. “I want my thighs to be bigger and stronger,” she writes. “I want to run faster and swim longer. I suppose we all just want different things, but women have enough pressure as it is without the added burden of achieving a ‘thigh gap.’”