Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bikini Bridge, Thigh Gap and Other Scary Skinny Obsessions

What are the right reasons to lose weight?

For me, it was regaining a healthy body mass index and looking better in my clothes.

But for some women, the motivation to lose weight is a bit murkier. They are trying to sculpt their body into a figure made famous by fashion models and social media websites. These women are trying to create bikini bridges and thigh gaps -- two anatomical states that statistically only few women can achieve.

Bikini bridge
In case you've been chilling on Mars this past year, a thigh gap is when you have a space between your thighs when you're standing with your feet together. Dr. Oz proved on his show this past week that only women with wider hips can sculpt their body to create this gap -- and even then they risk losing critical muscle tissue that is needed to maintain a healthy metabolism.

Thigh gap
Worse, even women who manage to get a thigh gap are often not satisfied with the width of the gap and continue striving to lose weight under the delusion this will make them happier. Dr. Jennifer Thomas, who studies women with eating disorders, told Oz the recent glorification of thigh gaps is dangerous. Both she and Oz ganged up on his other guest, Camille Hugh, who wrote a controversial book called The Thigh Gap Hack: The Shortcut to Slimmer, Feminine Thighs Every Woman Secretly Desires.

Then there's the bikini bridge, a phenomenon that occurs when there is a space between one's bikini bottoms and lower abdomen. What started as an Internet hoax in which a group of Internet pranksters deliberately set out to create a fake fad is now an actual thing that can be found all over social media.

In the case of weight loss, more can often be less. Losing weight to be healthy and have a normal body shape is fine, but you must know when to stop. To subsist on lettuce leaves and spend half your day doing squats after this goal is achieved can take you down the deadly path of an eating disorder.

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