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 Is Social Media really fueling girls’ towards the dangerous “thigh gap” obsession?

Is Social Media really fueling girls’ towards the dangerous “thigh gap” obsession?

Credits: Google
Credits: Google

What is thigh gap?
“If you can stand straight with your knees together and see a space between your upper thighs, you have what thousands of teen girls are willing to starve themselves for. The “Thigh Gap”. Reference:
What drove us to this study?
Few days back there were much news citing Social media is feeding girls towards the dangerous thigh-gap obsession. Is Social Media really fuelling girls’ towards the dangerous thigh-gap obsession? If so, how are people using social media to encourage others to get obsessed was the primitive motive behind the study. Interestingly, when we had searched for #thighgap, #thinspiration, #thinspo, (Inspiration to become Thin) on Tumblr. It redirected us to a free help line run by the NEDA. This made us to know how big the issue was on social media.
When the top 25 most popular posts on the five categories shown below are considered, the average Notes* per post on Work Out and Thigh Gap was very high indicating how posts on Workout and Thigh Gap received more attention compared to others.
The following are the Hashtags that young girls associated with Thigh Gap. Most of these hashtags were used in combination with motivation to become thin and fit. Most of these posts got good engagement from people.
Young Girls who have thigh gap were sharing their photos on Tumblr using the hashtags like #thighgap, #thinspiration, #thinspo, #skinny, #motivation, #fitspo etc. Others who see these images found to like, share and were showing interest towards having a Thigh Gap.
Following were the key reasons cited by girls who are interested in thigh gap.
1. To have the sexiest look
2. Skinny is beautiful
3. Celebrity impact: Their role models have a Thigh gap and so their thigh gap is their idol
4. Peer Impact: Motivation from peers who have put down the weight
5. No more friction burn when walking long distance in shorts
Key reasons cited by girls who are not interested in thigh gap
1. Luring young women to eating disorders
2. 1945 Miss America finalists, none of these women have thigh gaps. Not-a-one, stating the fact No thigh gap, no problem:
3. Attaining Thigh Gap can be a self-harm to one’s diet
4. Feed the body what it needs and stay active, with a healthy lifestyle. Beauty is not having a 6 pack or a thigh gap
5. Maintaining a fit and curvy is better than sickly skinny with a thigh gap
People from United States were more interested in talking about Thigh gap; there are significant numbers of mentions from India, however at the overall level it constitutes only to 1%
Teenagers who are around 13-20 age range shown interest in talking about Thigh Gap.
The detailed analysis:

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