You know the “thigh gap” trend (and I’m using the word “trend” loosely here)? It’s when the thighs of a person–typically a woman–do not touch at the top, and it has been glorified all over Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter, particularly via pro-ED accounts. Now, there is a thing called “bikini bridge” and it is equally ridiculous as the other aforementioned body trend.
Apparently, the idea of bikini bridge may have begun on 4chan’s /b/ message board (a place we literally discussed yesterday with regard to Jenna Jameson‘s boobs). Urban Dictionary describes it as the “incredibly sexy phenomenon wherein bikini bottoms are suspended between the two hip bones, causing a space between the bikini and the lower abdomen.” Many Twitter and Facebook users have been discussing the bikini bridge concept, as well as posting images regarding it, promoting it, or disparaging it.
Obviously, many women’s bodies naturally have thighs that don’t touch and hip bones that stick out, and they don’t deserve to be criticized for that. The inevitable backlash of misguided body positivity whenever anybody discusses how thinness is so heavily valued often includes calling thin women “disgusting,” “ugly” and “unappealing to men.” This is also awful and can be extremely hurtful, so, y’know…don’t do that while discussing body image issues, please. It is important, though, to discuss how trends revolving around the way human bodies look can be damaging in so many ways, as you should never feel like your body is out of style, out of season, or just not quite right.
All of that said, “bikini bridge” may actually be a big joke. According to The Daily Dot, “Operation Bikini Bridge” was started by folks on 4chan who wanted to see if they could easily and quickly start a trend like thigh gap. They began by calling it the “next big thing” and posting Tumblr-esque pro-bikini bridge pictures (like the one above), then commencing to a second stage:
Phase 2 involves circulating propaganda calling the bikini bridge an “unhealthy obsession.”
“After a fair amount of circulation has been accomplished, we circulate the images throughout parts of the Internet known to be biased on the subject of weight (i.e. thin privilege, fat shaming, etc),” one anonymous /b/ user wrote. “This should cause large enough of a stir to snowball into a fairly big subject.”
The operation appears to be a success so far.
Indeed, thousands of people have tweeted about it–including Harry Styles, says the Daily Mail, though he has apparently deleted his tweet since. A BuzzFeed user created a rather inaccurate and idiotic article stating that bikini bridge proves you’re healthy and that boys will compliment you and that if you’re a “real woman,” you’ll have one. Dove‘s spokesperson, Lucy Attley, even released this statement:
“Our ambition at Dove is for beauty to be a source of confidence, not anxiety. We want to inspire women everywhere to feel good about the bodies they have, and not experience the constant pressure that drives beauty anxieties, portraying an ideal of beauty that is not real or reflective of women in the UK.”
Regardless of whether or not this “trend” is a hoax, however, it’s important to note how incredibly f’ing plausible it sounds. And that it has resulted in the perpetuation of stereotypes–such as in that BuzzFeed article I linked to above–like thinness is inherently indicative of healthiness, bikinis are for thin women, and you’re more lovable if you’re thinner. The production of #thinspiration is, at best, encouraged by body trends; at worst, directly caused by them.
On a more positive note, here’s to hoping Taylor Adele Smith makes a hilarious video about it, just as she did with thigh gap.
[H/T Daily Dot]