It’s just flesh. But it can help you do some pretty awesome things.
Sitting on a chairlift with a friend and her tele-skiing sister, I overheard the following exchange between the two of them:
“I don’t think I can handle more than one or two more runs. My legs are shot.”
“Oh, whatever,” replied my friend’s sister. “We are totally skiing the rest of the day. Dig deep and use your thunder thighs, girl.”
This was the first time I had ever heard the term “thunder thighs” used in a positive context. Generally, the phrase tends to conjure up a negative image of excess flab, describing an ample amount of flesh located between a woman’s knees and her derriere, and linking having a normal female body with the “danger” of being overweight.
Thighs that clap together as you walk, legs that are so massive the ground quakes before you: these are supposedly things we don’t want our bodies to do.
Like many of the body image words we cultivate, “thunder thighs” is a limiting term. Being accused of having thunder thighs implies a woman can’t or shouldn’t do something. For example:
“That skirt? Ugh, not with her thunder thighs.”
“Ahh! I’ll never fit these thunder thighs in those jeans!”
(Side Note: Does anyone else find it interesting that thunder-thigh-related put downs revolve around clothing? Apparently, looking good in clothes is a very important feminine skill.)
Rarely is the term used with positive connotation. It’s little wonder so many women list their thighs as their least favorite body part. I would, too, as I’ve been gifted with a society that prizes stick-thin hips and thighs.