By ROSIE WATERLAND
Well, that’s it. We’ve reached the end. We have now so thoroughly scrutinised every possible thing that could possibly be wrong with a woman’s body, that we’ve run out of things.
The next logical step? Well, obviously, we’ve moved on to non-things. And when I say ‘non-things’ I mean things that aren’t really there. And when I say things that ‘aren’t really there’, I don’t mean it in a ‘it’s all in your head’ kind of way. I mean it in a ‘WE HAVE LITERALLY MOVED ON TO SCRUTINISING PARTS OF OURSELVES THAT ARE NOT REALLY THERE. LITERALLY.’
Specifically, I’m talking about the ‘box gap’. Fun fact: The box gap is the area between a woman’s thighs, where – if she just works hard enough – air will eventually flow through unimpeded by any of that pesky leg. Apparently, if done successfully, this gap between the thighs will be shaped like a box. Hence the lovely term ‘box gap’. (I’ve also heard it got it’s name from being the gap right below a lady’s – ahem – box, but my detailed and important research suggests that the exact origin of the term is up for debate.)
So that’s where we’re at, people. The quest for perfection now includes the air around our bodies. How dare a woman let the area between her knees and her lady-parts block the otherwise free flow of oxygen (you know, with thighs)?
This trend has been around for a while. I was determined not to talk about it because I felt certain it would disappear just like the upper-leg muscle it gets a hold of. I was certain when women got wind of it, it would be laughed into the saddest and seediest corners of the interwebs. For example:
(FYI: Here at Mamamia we get that this photo may not exactly be suitable for work, but we also get that you probably want to check out the box gap situation under those black squares. So we’re happy to provide you with a link to the UNCENSORED version of this photo. It’s basically just a bunch of g-strings, but still: Click if you dare.)
But then I realised that women are the ones keeping the trend alive. Women are the ones who are (proudly) sending their pics in to be displayed on pages like the one above. A friend of mine, who is smart and successful and gorgeous, admitted to me that she once tried wearing spanx under her jeans in an attempt to ‘fake’ a box gap (she fell over in the bathroom trying to get them off when she needed to wee so… lesson learned).
But a depressing Facebook page isn’t the end of this bizarre trend to measure empty space. Because when it comes to women and their bodies, there are always going to be those who will measure anything that can be measured. And now that the empty space between body parts has become yet another marker of ‘body-shape success’, the box gap is now considered a trophy for those with eating disorders. Thousands of box gap ‘thinsperation’ websites and tumblrs can be found easily with a simple Google search.
Yep. That’s exactly what we need: another physical attribute (or in this case, lack thereof) on which to determine our sense of self-worth. Another thing to teach young girls they need to be concerned about.
But empty space? REALLY? Have we actually moved on to things that aren’t there?
What’s next? The toe-gap? The underarm hollow? Eyeball circumference? When does it end?
What do you think about this box-gap business? Have you embraced the trend or do you think it’s nuts?