When I got to the office this morning, the topic of conversation was a new line thigh gap jewelry. Thigh gap jewelry? Are you kidding me?
I have a teenage daughter so I'm all too aware of how obsessed women are with their bodies - even at a young age. They gaze enviously at Instagram posts of women showing off their six-pack abs, their lack of body fat, and yes, their thigh gaps. It is an unrealistic, and unhealthy ideal, and it has created a society where women count every calorie taken in and every calorie burned.
I was so angry about the very presence of thigh-gap jewelry that I quickly went to the designer's web page, ready to send off an angry email. When I went to https://www.tgapj.com/collection, I saw all of the ridiculous photos of this "jewelry." "TGap Jewellery designs accessories specifically for thigh gap. We focus on accentuating and celebrating the gap."
My anger grew. I wanted to know who this horrible jewelry designer was. So I clicked on a link to find out more.
The site said each piece is handcrafted out of 18-karat gold that is plated over sterling silver. They range in price from $175 to $195 and take about 14 days to ship.
What was horror turned to awe. As I explored the site, I discovered that Tgap Jewellery was actually something completely different from what I thought it was.
"TGap Jewellery is a fictional company that sells jewelleries designed for thigh gaps. It is launched to catalyze a debate on unrealistic body image social media portrays."
As I paged down, the site cleverly took me on a journey about the the epidemic of eating disorders and the role an unrealistic body has in fueling this deadly disease.
With the unrealistic ideal, men and women are often disappointed, resulting in body dissatisfaction, said Tgap.com. This may lead to dieting and unhealthy attempts to pursue the ideal body, ultimately developing eating disorder symptoms.
"By using outrageous products, I hope to bring a provocative jolt that leads us to ponder and reflect upon what we are like as a society and the absurd things we value and obsess over – as well as how this creates unnecessary pressure for women and girls," designer Soo Kyung Bae said in an interview with Dezeen.com.
What some covet as thigh gap is actually a sign that someone doesn't have enough body fat.
"The bone structure defines whether you can have a thigh gap: the shape of the pelvic girdle and distance between the hipbones. Most women have narrow hips that even with little fat on their legs, there is no gap between their thighs." says a quote from Angela Guarda, director of Johns Hopkins Eating Disorders Program, posted on the site.
Tgap.com is one of the most brilliant ideas I can think of to highlight some of our crazy ideas about body image. And as a mom of a daughter recovering from anorexia - a daughter who still compares herself to gaunt models on social media - it was incredibly powerful.
Disregard the negative body image messages from media while understanding that the messages change over generations and with trend. Developing a broad personal definition of body image rather than societal ideals," says Tgap.com.
Thank you so much for taking the time to create this site and helping to combat the unrealistic standards ingrained into our society," said Jennifer, a site visitor. "The world needs more reality, I love this!" says Amanda, another visitor. Johnny K wasn't as thrilled. "Damn I wanted this for vday, "