Nowness's Thigh Gap Video Fetishizes a Serious Issue

This video makes me want to light things on fire, to be perfectly honest.
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Tyler McCall
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This video makes me want to light things on fire, to be perfectly honest.
The sun sets through an elusive thigh gap. Photo: Screenshot

The sun sets through an elusive thigh gap. Photo: Screenshot

Every once in a while, you see something really stupid and shallow that touts itself as deep and meaningful. Nowness's "The Magic Gap" video, shot by Guy Aroch, is much worse than that.

Rather than serving as a "diffusion" of the controversial topic of thigh gaps, which is what Nowness claims, it's the ultimate in fetishization: Seen through a "romanticized, sun-kissed filter," it's a minute and a half of slow-motion close ups on asses and crotches (which is an entirely different article altogether) featuring glowy thigh gaps. The short features models Gigi Hadid, Chanel Iman, Alyssa Miller, and Elsa Hosk -- actually, more accurately, it features their thighs because you don't really see any of their faces during the whole video.

I mean, for the love of all things good in this world, the name of the video is "The Magic Gap." Like, really? Seriously? Aroch reportedly asked passersby in New York what they think "Magic Gap" means, the audio of which is the soundtrack to the video. Unsurprisingly, their definitions varied. That's likely because -- at least, until now -- "magic gap" is not commonly used to describe the thigh gap phenomenon. (So, ace job giving it a cutesy nickname, guys.)

It doesn't take much scrolling through the "thigh gap" and "thinspo" tags on Tumblr to know that this has crossed into a dangerous obsession. ("Magic gap," for context, currently has just four posts in the tag.) So many young girls are reblogging images of models -- models like the ones in the video -- with captions like, "I'm so disgusting, my thighs are so fat they just keep rubbing together and touching."

Casual rollerskating looks. Photo: Screenshot

Casual rollerskating looks. Photo: Screenshot

Thighs are meant to touch. It might mean weird uncomfortable chafing in the summer and it might mean your jeans wear out in strange places, but that's okay because that is what happens on most bodies. Women who do have thigh gaps can thank genetics; they are mostly the result of wide-set hips, not strict diets and exercise regimes. There are plenty of thin women whose thighs touch and that's okay.

I want to be clear that I'm not shaming the models in this video for having a thigh gap -- they were chosen for their careers precisely because their bodies fit this standard and they have just as much a right to feel beautiful and womanly in their bodies as anyone else does. 

The problem here is that Aroch has produced a video glorifying the thigh gap. There's nothing probing about this video, nothing that makes the viewer step back and say, "You know, why are we obsessing over this?" This is waiting to be GIFed and reblogged ad nauseam as "thinspo," more fodder for the "thigh gap" tag.

There are ways to have a meaningful conversation about the thigh gap obsession; this fluffy, hyper-sexualized video is definitely not it.