Social media, which perpetuated the term “thigh gap”—collective ugggghhhhhhh—has now given us a far more body positive trend: #mermaidthighs.
Say what? Simply put, the phenomenon celebrates having normal human thighs that touch, which is something the majority of women in the world possess, regardless of size. Just ask FLARE’s très fit Caitlin Kenny, who recently experienced thigh chafing while marathon training. Or for that matter, marathon-running, mermaid-thigh-ed me.
Sadly we live in a world where possessing normal human thighs that touch still needs, well, normalization. Or at least we have ever since fall 2013, when non-mermaid thighs—in other words, possessing a thigh gap, that often unattainable space between one’s inner thighs—began being worshipped on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram via accounts like Thigh_GapPlease and Thigh Gap Love.
This isn’t to hate on women in possession of a thigh gap; if you’re one of them, much love to you. However, the appeal of #mermaidthighs is that it speaks to a widespread reality that isn’t often celebrated. We don’t know what genius invented that hashtag, but if there’s ever a Pulitzer Prize for creating body-positive internet trends, it’s hers.