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Lets close the thigh gap


By Lexia Banks




Old Navy got into some trouble last month.

The Gap Inc. retailer was accused of Photoshopping thigh gaps in between the legs of mannequins modeling plus-size jeans.

As a former employee and frequent shopper of Old Navy, I was concerned by this accusation.

A Tumblr blogger noticed an odd white spot in the thigh area of a pair of jeans. Upon further investigation, similar awkward spots have been seen in other pairs of jeans.

An Old Navy spokesman released a statement denying the use of Photoshop or “any photo-altering techniques,” passing the blame off on the pinning of the pants on the mannequins.

Normally, pinning wouldn’t cause blurry edges or result in random lumps protruding from the leg. But maybe that mannequin has a special condition, and I’m being insensitive.

Target was in a similar situation earlier in March, but it was much worse. Photos of a teenager modeling juniors swimsuits were butchered. In one photo, it was obvious a part of her shoulder was removed, leaving a creepy streak of skin
dangling from her body.

In another photo, her waist had been altered, resulting in another weird bump of flesh. The most startling edit, however, was a little farther south. The girl was missing part of her crotch. In both photos, one of her back and the other of her front, the girl is missing almost perfect squares of her crotch.

Target at least had the courage to acknowledge the fiasco. Spokesman Evan Miller said, “It was an unfortunate error on our part, and we apologize.”
But a simple apology isn’t going to fix the damage that’s been done. These two Photoshop disasters risk drawing the annoying thigh gap trend from the depths of hell and back to the forefront of the Internet.

Social media has played a big part in supporting the thigh gap obsession. Photos of girls showing off their creepy chicken legs can be found all over Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest. You can see the posts of girls whose arms have the circumference of water bottles complaining about how fat their thighs are.

These girls need a hard slap in the face from reality. The thigh gap is not just a matter of fat. Orthopedic surgeon and fitness expert Vonda Wright said a thigh gap comes down to genetics. You have to have wide hips.

You can lose every ounce of fat on your body, but if you don’t have the genes for wide hips, no thigh gap for you. If you’re narrow-hipped, you would have to start getting rid of your body’s muscle, which you need to, you know, walk.
So thank your parents for their crummy genes, and move on.

One thing social media has been good for is catching idiot mistakes like these.
Retailers need to realize that children and young adults are paying closer attention to fashion than ever before. Through online shopping and fashion blogs, they are always keeping tabs and absorbing slight trends like the thigh gap. And they definitely notice shitty Photoshop jobs.

Retailers hold a lot of power in how children, especially young girls, view themselves.

They need to use that power for good and promote healthy and positive self-image through their clothes and models.

lnbanks@indiana.edu
@LexiaBanks

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