Not too long ago, YFH ran an article on a new trend labelled the “bikini bridge”. The post garnered a lot of supporters while making a lot of others very angry, and a good few of us sat back and watched sides of the internet row like a temperamental couple in the middle of a domestic. The comments were an interesting read – ranging from a whole lot of inevitable, atrocious fat-shaming, to calling anyone willing to discuss a social issue an idiot.
To make a point, I have a BMI only just within the healthy range – bordering on underweight. I think I can rightly say I’d be seen as having “skinny privilege”. Yes, my thumb and index finger fit more than comfortably around the circumference of my wrist, and I do possess that hideously unnecessary pseudo-feature called a thigh gap (which shouldn’t even be a thing). This doesn’t mean I’m malnourished, or have an eating disorder – but more importantly, no one’s saying it does. There’s a misconception that anyone who disagrees with trends like bikini bridge and box gap is merely playing the mental illness card and dismissing it with “Oh, those girls are all anorexic”. Blatantly, that’s just stupid. Contrary to the belief of some, scrutinising and condemning these trends isn’t some conspiratorial “ploy”, as put so eloquently by one commenter, “by people with low standards for their appearance to bring those who are more attractive then [sic] themselves down to their level by crying ‘eating disorder!’”.
Let’s start with the fact that there is a correlation between recent body trends and a body image that is unhealthy and unrealistically unattainable; they’re not only related to mass, but genetics, muscle, and skeletal structure. Yes, this does lead females to use unhealthy methods of weight loss in an attempt to achieve a look that’s simply incompatible with their body type. But, I’ll reiterate – this isn’t to say that all who criticise these trends are writing off girls who do happen to have them, as suffering from an eating disorder. There’s no secretive cult of people who are so unhappy with their own appearances that they’re sitting around in meetings, planning the next way to make thin girls feel bad about the way they look. It’s not “bitter, fat trolls who lack anything close to a bikini bridge”, “lazy fat whingers” or “igominious blobs” (again, actual quotes from comments left on YFH’s Facebook post about the topic, unsurprisingly all from males who seem to believe protruding hip bones on women are life’s only necessity) who are against these pathetic trends, it’s anyone with a bit of common sense.
Trends like the aforementioned are fucking stupid, but, putting aside the idiocy of shaming anyone who doesn’t look like Kate Moss, there’s also the little detail of the bikini bridge having started as a hoax. Planned and orchestrated by 4chan users, what’s being deemed a false trend was, indeed, set up. Does this change anything? Absolutely fucking not. The mere fact of a social phenomena having been born from an image does not somehow remove its impact. Apparently there are more than a few people out there who think it’s funny to create false trends which inadvertently become actual trends, having a legitimate effect on body image among females.
We make women and young girls feel bad about themselves almost effortlessly, and on a daily basis. It’s become normal to capitalise on insecurities that shouldn’t even exist; multi-million dollar cosmetics companies would have nothing to do if females were happy, or even comfortable, with themselves – even without outside pressure. There are entire industries devoted to changing the way we naturally look. Many believe this isn’t an issue at all, until they see that there are some actually dying to look good. Until they see a daughter, a partner or a friend looking in the mirror each day and never being content with herself. They’ll expect her to value her inner traits, her qualities, but every billboard she walks past and every advertisement in her ear will tell her differently. She’ll never be content with herself, because the world has told her she can’t be.
Written by Indigo Blue
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