Model Robyn Lawley speaks out on ‘thigh gap’ criticism from pro-Ana groups

Robyn Lawley

I am a huge fan of Robyn Lawley, a size 10 model who is considered by the industry to be “plus-sized.” She’s absolutely gorgeous and very smart to boot. Robyn believes in celebrating all body types and is not a fan of the “real women have curves” brigade at the exclusion of other body types. These are pictures of Robyn in the November issue of GQ Australia. There are a few more skintastic shots that we can’t post here, but you can google them.

Robyn Lawley

In the meantime, Robyn has written a new essay in the Daily Beast about a photo of herself that has been floating around on Facebook. It’s a lovely photo that is being ripped to shreds by pro-ana groups. Why? Because Robyn doesn’t have enough of a “thigh gap.” Now Robyn is giving her thoughts on the subject:


“Thinspiration” has always been a scary subject online — when unhealty images and messages proliferated on social networks such as Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram are used to encourage users to be unhealthily thin.

There is now a disturbing breed of thinspiration that pressures women and girls to pursue a “thigh gap,” which is defined as the space between one’s thighs. Everywhere online, users are posting aspirational pictures of thigh gaps, used as inspiration for weight loss and dieting. “I want the thigh gap. Right now, I could start a fire b/t my thighs,” one user laments on Pinterest. “No goal was ever achieved without thigh gap.”

The sad reality is that I’ve known about the “thigh gap” since I was 12-and there is nothing about this trend that’s new to me. Watching countless fashion shows as a teenager, I was unfortunately inundated with images of women and girls who had pronounced space between their thighs. The models’ legs would never come close to touching, even as they stomped down the runway. Staring down at my own thighs, I can safely say that has never been the case for me. I’m now classified as a “plus size” model in the fashion industry.

You can image my surprise when, a year ago, I was featured on a pro “thigh gap” Facebook page. The page displayed an un-retouched photo of me in lingerie. From the photograph, there appeared to be a gap between my thighs. Degrading and humiliating comments followed. I was called too “hefty” to be featured. The word “PIG” was often used to describe my appearance and my thigh gap was said to be not big enough. In the end I couldn’t keep silent, and after 900 or so comments about my body, I decided to chime in.

After thanking those who defended my curves, I addressed those who thought it was OK to comment negatively on a girl in her lingerie. I wrote: “You sit behind a computer screen objectifying my body, judging it and insulting it, without even knowing it.” Fortunately for me, thousands of people respect my body, which means I get to travel the world advancing the ideal that healthy is beautiful and true acceptance comes from within, not from comments on a Facebook page.

The truth is I couldn’t care less about needing a supposed “thigh gap.” It’s just another tool of manipulation that other people are trying to use to keep me from loving my body. Why would I want to starve and weaken my natural body size? I’m not saying women who have it naturally are unattractive. But I would have to change my entire frame just to achieve something that seems so trivial.

I’ve been trying to do just the opposite: I want my thighs to be bigger and stronger. I want to run faster and swim longer. I suppose we all just want different things, but women have enough pressure as it is without the added burden of achieving a “thigh gap.” The last thing I would want for my future daughter would be to starve herself because she thought a “thigh gap” was necessary to be deemed attractive.
We have the power to change perceptions about body image—and we have the power to stop harmful trends like the “thigh gap.”

[From Daily Beast]

Sigh. I just love her. The “thigh gap” phenomenon puzzles me. Why is it considered more attractive — because it lends the illusion of “easy access”? Ugh, I just grossed myself out. Seriously, one’s skeleton structures has a lot to do with whether or not one will have a gap. No matter how thin some people can get, they will never have space between their thighs. The “gap” is yet another unrealistic burden that many young women will try to place upon themselves in the quest for so-called perfection. I’m so glad Robyn is speaking out so eloquently. Hopefully her words will help at least a few girls back from the dark side.

Robyn Lawley

Photos courtesy of GQ Australia, Facebook & WENN

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146 Responses to “Model Robyn Lawley speaks out on ‘thigh gap’ criticism from pro-Ana groups”

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  1. Dawn says:

    She looks lovely. Young and healthy. I hope she just let’s it all roll off her shoulders. At least she doesn’t have to drugs to stay skinny.

    • jaye says:

      We live in a very warped society if this woman is considered “hefty” or worse a “pig”. I’d go so far as to say she’s not “plus sized”.

      • bettyrose says:

        I don’t need to show these pics to my man to know he’d find her hot. If he didn’t, I’d be worried. But women torment each other for whatever reason. Body image stopped being about sexual attraction awhile ago.

      • Liv says:

        This girl is supposed to be plus-sized?! Hahaha!

      • themummy says:

        She’s 188 pounds and 6’2″, so yes, she is “plus-sized” in that she is certainly larger than the “average” (not to mention “regular” models) woman, but the term “plus-sized” is just offensive to me. I mean, I think of myself standing next to her and she’d dwarf me. I’m 5’3″ and 113 lbs (and not a skinny minnie or anything…I look a lot more “sturdy” and heavier than you might think at 113 lbs). Anyway, bottom line, to me anyway, is that she is absolutely beautiful, is smarts, seems sensitive and empathetic. Her size is just so irrelevant.

        This thigh thing? I never even knew this was a thing. God, what a stupid, pointless thing to be concerned with at all. I’m fairly small, but I don’t think I have a gap between my thighs…and I don’t want one, either. Soon it will be something like our elbows at rest “should not” be more than two inches from our bodies when we stand. Then maybe it will be our ears should never ever be more than a pencil’s width higher than our eyes. SO much stupid shit,

    • Anthea says:

      She’s gorgeous! That’s all I think when I see her photos.

      I used to think that about 90′s supermodels. Nice to see it again :)

  2. Meaghan says:

    She is so beautiful and sexy. I LOVE that lingerie pic, so much sexier then the super skinny models with boy bodies.

    • V4Real says:

      She’s beautiful. As for the thigh gap, please some skinner models don’t have it either. On an episode of ANTM Tyra showed the models the trick she used to give the illusion of a gap when she was on the cover of Sports illustrated.

    • Jackie Jormp Jomp (formerly Zelda) says:

      I actually hate that pic because it looks like a poorly lit ad for girdles.

    • Stefanie says:

      Meaghan – you realize knocking the “super skinny models with boy bodies” is counter productive to all this chick is doing right? I am “super skinny” at 105lbs, 5’4″. Very very healthy and athletic. Very flat chested. Have been my whole life. Was tormented as a teen for having padded bras and being flat. It took me years to actually accept my chest fit the rest of my body and that I looked DAMN good in lingerie even if my cups didn’t quite flow over.

      Not everyone is a VS model, but not everyone has curves for days either. And referiring to those bodies as “boys bodies” is what made me feel like absolute shlt in high school. And personally, I would rather have my healthy skinny body with small boobs and “look like a boy” to you than be constantly struggling with my weight all the time and have cleavage. But that’s me.

      • Lupe says:

        Thank you, Stefanie. You said what I wanted to, probably better.

      • Mel says:

        Right there with ya.. And what’s with calling anyone bigger “curvy”? In that first pic this model has a pretty flat butt and not much waist definition. She is definitely great looking but not particularly curvy..

      • Liv says:

        I know women who are skinny and are pretty flat-chested but so attractive and womanly!

        It’s almost every time that skinny women have small breasts and normal or chubby looking women have bigger ones. I’m so sick of women being ashamed because of their bodys, including me.

      • Miffy says:

        Well done. Body shaming in any direction is body shaming. The sooner women learn to embrace their natural selves rather than put down or idolise anyone else’s physique the world will be a better place.

        Two of my best friends are models, one high fashion, the other plus size. Both look amazing and do well in their respective areas, both have equally taken crap regarding their weight. You just can’t win, everyone has an opinion, they’ve just had to learn to love what they’ve got the hard way.

      • Rachel says:

        Thanks Stefanie.
        A lifetime of this body shape and I’m finally kind of, almost used to it. Men still don’t see me as particularly feminine, but there’s not much I can do about it unless I go out and get a boob job. To be scorned and vilified by other women as well just adds insult to injury. Then they tell you to “get over it” cause you’re skinny. Maybe tell that to all the boyfriends I didn’t have.

      • bobbiesue says:

        Well, that’s not very nice either. Struggling with weight and cleavage all the time? You just lost me in your justification for feeling slighted by her comment. For someone who has had pain and wrestled with having reduction surgery I feel insulted by yours. We’re all grappling with our DNA. Boob size isn’t a choice.

      • Lauren says:

        So it is not okay to prefer a curvier body to a flat-chested one, but it is okay for you to vent your insecurities by saying that despite how much you suffered as a teen you’re glad you don’t have to worry about your weight? Get over yourself.

      • Juliet says:

        @bobbiesue and @Lauren, I totally agree.
        @stefanie, you lost every point with that last comment. You’re no help either if you’re going to shame someone who struggles with weight and has actual cleavage, you seem a bit upset with the other, curvier girls, actually.

      • mystified says:

        @Juliet I think Stephanie was just making a case for being happy with what you have which is great way of getting on with the more important things in life. I am “blessed ” with natural thigh gap and have a naturally thin, boyish figure. I know in the near future some other body trend like big boobs or a tiny waist will be popular and I won’t technically measure up, but it’s a waste of energy to worry about it.
        @Stephanie, couldn’t agree with you more about the shaming of boyish builds. I have had larger women publicly berate me for not having many curves while other women, instead of coming to my defense, give the bully atta girls.

      • Stefanie says:

        I’m not shaming anyone, I’m saying I would take my “boyish” figure over struggling with weight just so I can say I have curves. To me, that trade off is fine and I am HAPPY with it. A lot of women on here are saying “real women have curves”. Well, I’m a real woman and I don’t. But I am okay with that and would rather have no curves and a healthy weight than curves and struggle with weight as many women sadly do. Im talking mentality here, not appearance.

  3. Chalky says:

    This woman is considered plus-size? Wow.

  4. bammer says:

    I can’t believe a size 10 is considered plus size. The modeling industry is pathetic.

    • Nicolette says:

      Exactly. Size 10 is normal, which is why when you browse through the racks in a store sizes 10 and 12 are always the lowest amount in stock, if not sold out. Tons of size 0, 1 & 2 however, because most women don’t fit into them. It would be lovely if the fashion industry got their heads out of their asses already, and designed clothes for women instead of stick figures.

      • Tanguerita says:

        +1. Seriously, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that she is considered plus-sized. It’s boderline offensive to every healthy-sized woman.

      • Florc says:

        What clothing stores are you in? I’m a small generally, but many stores size me in a xs or for stores like jcrew xxs. Flattering customers into sales? Anyways, as a small my sizes are always sold out. I often resort to buying online or getting on a wait list. In the stores i’m sliding hangers with size 8, 10, 1, etc… around to find my size.

        All that said, this woman is beautiful. Maybe if there were more ads like this girls would feel so insecure about their bodies..

      • get it together says:

        Nicolette, i am 32 years old, naturally a size 0 (it’s a combination of genetics, healthy eating, and light exercise) and so your comments are offensive. for MY body structure, a size 10 would not be normal. women come in all shapes and sizes. i wish everyone would get rid of that word. every woman is normal! people should focus more on health than the number on the tag of their clothing.

      • Kittens Mittens says:

        get it together
        You sum it up well. Bravo!

      • Lemon says:

        Get it together – you are offensive with your desire to brag about your body, but doing so in such as way to take offense at a completely unharmful remark. I think the earlier poster was describing a population-based normal or most common size. You must have wanted to show off how skinny you are because only a very mentally deficient person would think that poster meant that a size 10 was the only acceptable body size.

      • get it together says:

        Lemon – i think you’re the one who didn’t understand nicolette’s comment. she ended it by saying the fashion industry needs to “design clothes for women instead of stick figures.” so she’s saying people who wear sizes 0, 1, and 2 are not real women. (the word “instead” implies that woman and stick figure are 2 different entities, and one cannot be both a woman AND a stick figure). that is akin to the other comment that is pervasive in our society: “real women have curves.” that is offensive! REAL women, scientifically speaking, have 2 X chromosomes. curves, or lack thereof, is not the definition of a woman. i’m not curvy. i’m athletic. i’m not a size 10, i’m a 0. but i AM a real woman, just like nicolette is a real woman being a size 10 – 12. her remark is not “unharmful” as you put it. she is perpetuating the notion that one body type is better than the other, and if you’re not a larger size there’s something wrong with you. we as women shouldn’t do that to each other! tag size doesn’t matter, it’s HEALTH that matters. a person who is naturally a size 0 – 2 can be just as healthy as a person who is naturally a size 10 – 12.

      • mystified says:

        @Lemon, I didn’t read any bragging in Get it Together’s comment. You and Nicolette are suggesting that being a size 0 is not womanly — this is body shaming too. I don’t mind curvey women being proud of their size 10 bodies but PLEASE quit bullying slimmer women.

    • Trashaddict says:

      The whole sizing issue drives me crazy. I am petite. That means I am short, not that I weigh 80 pounds. (And no, I’m not going to skinny shame anybody either). But it’s very difficult to find clothes for my current build. The clothing stores are missing out on my dollars because they don’t make good tailored clothes for a middle-aged figure on short legs. If you look at old movies from Hollywood, this goal is achievable. But current designers seem to lack the imagination to do it. And even in petite sizes the sleeves are too damned long – sometimes I think clothing manufacturers think American women are built like orangutangs! Oh, and don’t even get me started on tops that have no room for boobs. You know, they used to have these things called “darts” which meant you could dress your upper torso comfortably without swimming in fabric at the waist. The lack of good designers means I see women constantly trying to fit their bodies to the clothes instead of vice versa. We are the damn consumers spending the dollars here, are we not?

  5. Mia4S says:

    God any woman who makes “thigh gap” a goal is either mentally ill (in which case, my sympathies) or deeply pathetic. Screw freedom of expression, “pro anorexia” is the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theatre; evil, dangerous, and should be shut down.

  6. Dorothy#1 says:

    I just can’t believe she is considered plus size!

    • Sabrine says:

      In order to maintain her so called plus size, she still must have to watch her diet carefully. I wouldn’t call her a plus size but I guess in the modeling world, hungry and sad looking girls with sunken cheeks and bony shoulders are what looks good on the catwalk. I don’t know many average women who could wear those clothes. They must be for the abundance of tall, skinny girls out there who dream of eating a sandwich.

  7. mia girl says:

    She is a beautiful woman and I love what she wrote. I have a teenage daughter dealing with the “thigh gap” issue right now. So many girls at her school are into judging their and other girls’ bodies by this measure.

    Looking at Robyn, I don’t know why in the world we would call her a “plus-sized” model? She has a great figure that looks pretty average sized to me.
    Can’t she just be called a model?

    • sienna says:

      I remember wanting a bigger thigh gap desperately when I was 16 (I am 37 now) and while I will always have a small one I hated the tops of my thighs at that age, despite the fact that I was very thin.

      Now I can totally identify with Robyn’s comments about wanting stronger legs. I am still thin but am more concerned with how far I can run and how many lunges I can do.

      As the mom of 2 daughters I am trying to keep them as athletic as possible. So hopefully when they reach their teenage years they too are more concerned with physical performance than so-called perfection.

  8. Rachel says:

    I think she is very generous when she says “people” try to shame her, when that class should probably just be limited to “women.” I don’t know any man who would even know what a thigh gap is… because they don’t care. This is women shaming other women. Because we are so unhappy with our own bodies, the only way to feel better about ourselves is to tear down other women. It saddens me that women fall into this trap.

    • loveisthecoal says:

      There are MANY men who know and care about thigh gaps. There are probably just as many who don’t, but it’s definitely very important to a lot of men.

      Then again, I’m also surprised by the amount of commenters saying that it’s mostly women body shaming other women. I’ve been body shamed far more often by men than I ever have by women.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Really? What men do you know and how old are these “men”? I’m honestly curious. The ones I know (late 20′s, early 30′s) have NO idea what it is. A friend of mine is a personal trainer and until a few months ago he had never heard of it. Until women came to him, wanting a frickin’ gap between their legs. So he started asking around and not surprisingly, a lot of the women (myself included) knew about it. ONE of the guys did. And why? Because his girlfriend had become obsessed with it and he thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever.

        I don’t get why women call other women “pig”. We’re horrible to each other and we’re encouraged to be so awful just so we buy another anti-cellulite cream or whatever. Ugh.

    • sputnik says:

      i had a boyfriend complain about my lack of thigh gap once. fortunately i was mature and confident enough to dump his ass and not let it get to me. i feel really sad for the girls who strive this, forcing mental illness upon themselves in the pursuit of it.

  9. Dragonlady sakura says:

    It’s sad how some women in society feel about our natural bodies. Very few people are built like a model, but these young girls think they should all look the same. When I was a dumb teenager, I was a tiny thing, a size 3 and thought I was fat! If I could go back in time I would slap the shit out of myself.

  10. MollyB says:

    I remember first reading about the “thigh gap” or “happy gap” about a year ago. I just felt this deep, sad weariness about the whole thing. Maybe because I’m too old to worry about (or have!) a thigh gap but as a mother to two young daughters, it’s just exhausting. One more thing they HAVE to have to be considered beautiful. One more stupid, ridiculous way to judge themselves. And it’s not men doing this to us. I don’t know any man who knows or cares what a “thigh gap” is. This is women (and girls) doing this to other women (and girls) and enough is enough already.

    • Erinn says:

      I actually only heard about it last winter as well – I was listening to Cavino and Rich on sirius radio, and I loved their show at the time. They started going on about that, and the more I listened the more sick I felt. It’s not like their show is ever super mature, or anything like that, but I enjoy stupid humor. But all of the “DAT GAP” comments and joking around actually made me feel disgusting. I had been having a pretty good self-esteem spree (I have depression, so this is a big deal sometimes) and in that instant it was gone.

      Pretty much stopped listening to them right then.

  11. Scarlet Vixen says:

    I’m torn between thinking, “Holy cow! A beautiful model that wears my size and has my exact body type! Maybe my body’s pretty hot after all!” And thinking “Oh, size 10 is plus size now? Guess everyone thinks I’m fat.”

  12. QQ says:

    That thigh gap aspirational shit is so gross and sad

  13. bowers says:

    Pro-Ana women are ill and therefore don’t know what they’re seeing or saying.

    • Walt Jr says:

      It’s odd reading the pro ana comments. It’s almost as if they equate a healthy woman’s body as being overly sexualized. Could this issue for them stem from sexual abuse? Kind of like they want to stay in a perpetual state of being 12 years old. It’s very odd. I think the issues have more to do with than just food. Just my opinion.

      • stellalovejoydiver says:

        Anorexia has mostly to do with the desire of control, you are unhappy in the situation you are in and unable to change it, so you control the only thing you can, which is your body, by eating less.
        The weight loss is initially a way to cope with your own powerlessness.
        Anorexia completly takes over your mind after a while, it becomes a mental illness, your life, your thinking resolves around food and keeping your calorie intake as low as possible, avoiding situations in which it would look weird if you didn´t eat which leads to neglecting your social life, so the disease eventually becomes your closest friend if you don´t have a good support system.

        In some cases there´s a link between being overweight and sexual abuse, you eat way more than you should to develop a protective barrier out of your own body fat.

      • lucy2 says:

        I would be willing to bet that might be the situation in some cases, but in general agree that it has very little to do with food itself. I think it’s more about control. I would guess that a lot of people (women mostly) with that illness find themselves in a situation where they feel they have no control over other things, or are dealing with a past trauma, and the brain locks onto that as a goal they can have control over and focus on to block other stuff out.

      • loveisthecoal says:

        That’s definitely true, at least in my experience. Initially it is a control issue. Then when you start losing weight and having people tell you how great you look, it gets in your head and you think, well, the thinner I get the better I’ll look, and most people just think it’s so great that you’re thin they’re totally oblivious to the fact that you’re sick. At 88 pounds, I had people telling me left and right how amazing I looked, and got asked out on a date for the first time in my life. You start to realize that your thinness is the only thing people value about you, so you need to keep it at any cost.

  14. Tapioca says:

    I once managed to obtain the illusive “thigh gap” – by developing an eating disorder, dedicating my life to the gym and turning down endless nights out and yummy looking desserts, whilst my friends had to make do with their “full social lives”.

    The older I get the less obsessed I am, but I would swap my flat stomach for not giving a damn about it, any day of the week!

  15. NeNe says:

    Wow! If she is considered plus size, then I must be a cow. I definitely do not have the ‘thigh gap’. Come to think of it, I’ve never had the gap! I think she looks beautiful. As far as I can see, there is nothing wrong with her body.

  16. KinChicago says:

    Her blog is awesome, beautiful food pictures and inspiring recipes… She is gorgeous.

    Question: respectfully, are we talking a US size 10 or a UK size 10?

  17. Azurea says:

    I agree with others commenting here: HOW THE HELL IS SHE CONSIDERED PLUS-SIZED?

  18. H. Scott says:

    Wow, she is gorgeous! The pro-ana movement is truly sick, but the fact that she is considered plus-sized to begin with is very surreal to me, I guess great beauties of the past like Marilyn Monroe or Cindy Crawford would be considered “plus” by today’s standards?!

  19. judyjudy says:

    She’s gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

    Not related to the story but one of my biggest pet peeves is when someone tucks in their shirt, has visible belt loops, but doesn’t wear a belt (top picture). It makes me batty!

  20. Pale fire says:

    No one else’s body is any of my business. And that’s how I live my life.
    I went from being skinny to overweight and than normal from being anorexic for years.
    It really messes with your metabolism. The difference in treatment from people made me realize how much I didn’t want the publics acceptance of the way I looked. It’s all BS. Everyone was super nice to me when I was skinny, people would ask if I was a model,I would get pulled backstage at concerts. When I went the other spectrum and believe me you bloat up fast, people were so mean to me. Girls at work called me a pig, people would shut doors on me. Random women would say loud enough for me to hear some people shouldnt wear leggings.
    I was still the same girl inside. I now just struggle to be happy and a normal size not skinny not big. I will never judge a person on their appearance bc that does not mean who they are inside. Sme people are born beautifull and walk around like they are gods gift and are haughty and not very kind or nice and just expect special treatment. There are people who are bigger or heavy or curvy or what ever who don’t feel good enough and that’s just wrong. If some one is heavy and has a lot of body fat they know. They know more than you. They could be depressed or sick or on meds or not love themselves or have a really hard time not gaining/ losing weight. We shouldn’t treat those people like they are of no value. Every time you want to fat shame someone in your mind just swap the word “fat” for ” Black or Korean or White” person and you’ll realize how messed up it is. It’s prejudice. It’s mean. I was never a judgmental anorexic it came more from a place of me having low self esteem. Being skinny than gaining weight than losing it taught me a lot about how people and society are ,and also that I won’t ever value myself on what I weigh.

    • minime says:

      @ Pale fire: thanks for sharing your story and for bringing some awareness. I so much agree with you! This body shaming culture is revolting, but unfortunately I don’t think society will change that soon. People are judged only from their outside based on a bunch of prejudiced ideas. Fortunately not everyone thinks like that. I wish you all the best in your life and I hope your fight against anorexia is over. Your words certainly make me imagine you as a beautiful person :)

  21. Delta Juliet says:

    When I was younger, I was a tiny little thing. Skinny skinny (naturally, I never dieted) but I NEVER had a thigh gap. EVER!
    Needless to say, I’m no longer skinny and I still don’t have one, but the point is, some women never will. And who gives a damn?

  22. K says:

    It’s probably a UK size 10, right?

    • Faith says:

      I think its a US 10 I’ve seen her reported as a US12 as well but you have to remeber she is like 6″2 so a UK 14 would look pretty slim on her compared to a woman who is 5″5 and a UK 14. If she was 5″5 I would of thought she was a UK 10 but height and bone structure make a massive difference. I am a UK6 and people often miss judge my size because of my height I think its hard to tell someones size when there 5″5 and under and 5″11 and over its why “plus size models” are often called out for not being so plus sized as people expect.

  23. Jay says:

    She’s stunning and probably would be at any size. I love that she’s also so thoughtful and well-spoken.

  24. Crabcake says:

    Gosh, she’s so gorgeous. Seriously stunning.

    I have a thigh gap and it has everything to do with my bone structure because there are women much fitter and thinner than I that don’t have one.

  25. minime says:

    I didn’t even know that “thing” had a name (thigh gap?).
    Robyin is incredibly gorgeous. A beautiful face and a beautiful body that looks healthy and natural…there are not so many models like that out there. Plus, she always looks classy! Always! Yeps, there are not so many models like that.

    Obviously she will get criticism from pro-Ana groups, but who doesn’t? We are talking of clinically ill people. Nice that the media at least starts (slowly) covering a larger variety of bodies nowadays.

  26. dagdag says:

    I have never ever heard of a needing a “thigh gap” in order to be considered pretty.

    And to label this beautiful, healthy looking woman a plus-size is just insane. Crazy world.

  27. Merritt says:

    The whole “thigh gap” goal is stupid. Reality is no matter how thin some women may get they will never have thigh gap because of how their hip bones are.

  28. Miss Jupitero says:

    I am 133 lbs, 5’3″, somewhat curvy, and have something of a thigh gap. Back when I was ten pounds lighter, it was pronounced.

    News flash: thigh gap is what you get if you have relatively wide hip bones on an otherwise small frame. It’s skeletal. No big bones, no gap. I’d have to become really overweight to get rid of mine.

    So this thigh gap obsession is something I need to file away with antigravity large boobs– an ideal that makes absolutely no rational sense.

    Btw, I had an anorexic/bulimic/orthorexic personal trainer once (wow, that did not last. Wonder why?) who said I was fat. All size 4 of me.

    • Stefanie says:

      This isn’t true – I am 105 lbs 5’4″ and don’t have wide set hips at all. I have the thigh gap. My body is very much in proportion.

    • littlestar says:

      I was coming down here to say the same thing. Some people will never have a thigh gap because of their hip size. I have small hips, and don’t have a thigh gap. I run a ton, and my thighs have become nice and muscular over the past couple of years, but still no “elusive thigh gap” for me, despite losing weight from running. The tops of my thighs will always touch, and I am more than good with that because that is how my body is naturally. I remember learning about this sick thigh gap trend on Instagram a year or so ago. A bunch of girls were lamenting over a picture of a model that was obviously photo shopped, crying that they’ll never have a thigh gap like her. Crazy and sick and we all need to start telling the young girls that we know that EVERYONE’S bodies are different, and that you are wonderful as long as you are healthy.

    • yeahright says:

      It’s the angle at which one’s femur articulates with the hip bone and then the knee/lower leg joints…. the greater the angle, the greater the gap of the thigh. More often than not it happens on frames just like Miss Jupitero described, wide hips (we’re talking the distance from one hip bone to the other NOT however much tissue one may possess in this area) paired with somewhat slender overall bone structure.

      A good example is Miranda Kerr. No one would say she has “wide hips” but the distance between hip hones is relatively great so the angle of her femur articulation is greater.

      Just used my osteology degree, high five!

  29. InvaderTak says:

    As someone mentioned above, thigh gap is a bone structure thing, not a weight thing. You might not have one even if you are thin. Even at my most thin, I never had one. My legs are close together and my hips are fairly narrow. These people that have to have one can drop dead. I like my curves. My body is predisposed to have them. Some times in the wrong places, but they will always be there.

    • Ellen says:

      Right there with you, I was 5’10, 117 lbs, looked like skeletor as a teenager (late developer) and had no thigh gap whatsoever. there was not an ounce of fat on my body.

      I suspect the pro ana folks like the thigh gap concept so they can envision being able to throw up between their gap in their thigh if the laxatives aren’t doing the job…
      Seriously. Gross.

  30. couldn't help it says:

    Could we start a fake campaign about how detached earlobes are sexier or having skinny big toes is the new obsession? just anything equally as ridiculous….

  31. drea says:

    Ok, this damn thigh gap thing is getting ridiculous. I’ve noticed an increase in thigh gap “poses” in celebrity glamour shots. How can people not realize that for some women, it’s just not in their body type to have that? Don’t believe the magazine photos. Like, if you see a celebrity who tends to carry more weight around her thighs, and isn’t bow-legged, suddenly appear on a magazine cover with a huge thigh gap, that’s Photoshop.

    Anyhow, Robyn is lovely, as always.

  32. NeuroJo says:

    Good for her. Very eloquent.

  33. Lavenderbluedillydilly says:

    Imagine calling men’s clothing “plus size.” Anything over a 32 inch waist on men’s pants.
    We don’t do that thought, do we?

    • jfer says:

      no, men get to be manly and big&tall. they get the same clothing as their smaller sized peers but made bigger. boys get to be adorably husky. girls and women simply get to be plus, and usually with hideous prints and elastic waistbands.

      there is a commercial now, joking about big or tall men not being able to find clothes. i dont doubt that isnt true, at least partly. however what got me was when one, er, bigger man was shown in his briefs. you would likely never see a larger woman on a tv commercial, in her undergarments, unless they were mocking her. and even then, it would be rare.

      sorry to vent, i just agree with you so much

  34. trollontheloose says:

    The first time I heard about this crap was on this show where Lorenzo lamas was one of the judge Are You Hot. I puked when he literally took a flashlight and was vaulting onto this model and he kept saying “where is it? No you’re not hot”. arghhhh!

  35. jfer says:

    sorry, i cant seem to find how to reply to comments on the mobile site, and also hence all the lower case. in response to a couple posters who mentioned men not knowing what this thigh gap is…sigh, sadly thats not true. as a commenter above indicated, theres a site called thechive where college aged girls are prominently featured and one of their main celebrations is to “mind the gap”. they celebrate and love the thigh gap. i suspect it is for the easy access illusion the author mentioned. ew. anyway, among many college and high school boys yes, this is just another sign of female perfection, as it were. i weep.

    also, yes robyn is a us sz 10 and that regrettably is “plus sized” for the modeling industry. there may be a few successful plus models who are a us 12 or 14 but it is rare for any to be larger.

  36. kenyan247 says:

    well…..WTF!am an african woman through and though and being kenyan at that,we are women of serious curves;naturally big boobs,hips,thighs na some extra meat on the tummy.its therfore weird that a beautiful gal lyk her gets call that!am kenyan and our men love some good meat on our bones.we grow up loving our curves and lyk it that way.that is our norm here.I digress.personally i find the thigh gap thing strange.The whole point of thighs and hips is to “hide’ your cookie hence making it private.I have seen Fashion Tv n hell to the no,that gap is not an attractive thing to the girls are too thin!

    • Arbee says:

      Hello African woman through and through. I am also an African woman through and through but gasp…with a thigh gap! I did not starve myself, this is how I am.

      Robyn is not saying a thigh gap is unattractive. She’s saying aspiring to it is terrible. Women need to stop saying other women are not “normal”. What is normal anyway?

  37. John says:

    Firstly, she’s gorgeous, and if that’s plus-sized, I’ll take ten of them.
    That being said, what she has in that picture is not a “thigh gap”, it is what men crassly refer to as “factory air”, a space just below the, well, you know.
    I, personally, find thigh gaps unattractive except on the very few females where they are natural. To achieve that, most women need to starve themselves and the result is too thin all over for my taste.
    Not to be rude, but the sooner we get gay men out of the fashion board and advertising rooms, the better off women will be.
    Celebrate healthy and thick and muscular and jiggly and whatever you are. I promise you, you are *somebody’s* type, and if your thigh circumference is more important to a man than your character, he’s not worthy of you regardless of how “fit” you are.
    Okay, rant over.

  38. Denise says:

    I find a prominent thigh gap to be unattractive because it looks like the poor thing is riding an invisible horse. But also because it means wide hips and tiny limbs which just looks odd. And now I’ve insulted some perfectly lovely women so I can rebut these idiot pro-ana turds.

    • chaser says:

      Haha. Like me (but I’m not offended).

      These turd heads need rebuttal.

      Maybe they’ll be sad to know that I had a big thigh gap pre child and my life was fantastic. Now I’ve had my baby, my gaps a tad smaller but funnily my life is way better, as in take that former fantastic and times it by one hundred.

      I feel scared to raise my daughter in a world where this kind of negative talk is so vicious and easily accessible on the www. These ‘women’ run in packs and tear people down. The only thing that gives me some satisfaction is that these ‘women’ are very unlikely to find life good or fantastic. They will, until they die, be searching for outside validation and that is the saddest fate for anyone.

  39. Size Does Matter says:

    Love her! Embrace what your body can do and work to make it do what you want it to do, rather than dwelling on how it looks. I hope to G-d I can convince my daughter of this.

  40. Kim1 says:

    @Crabcake , I read your name now I’m on a mission to have crabcake for lunch .Damn you, Damn you :)

  41. tifzlan says:

    I have a thigh gap but only because of these “birthing” hips that i inherited from my mother’s side of the family. I don’t understand the big deal about having one. It symbolizes absolutely nothing! Even with my thigh gap, i still have a full, curvy body with thick thighs and boobs. People are so odd…

  42. msw says:

    model plus size is not the same thing as a regular person plus size. I believe it refers to the standard specs for their clothing. I’m not defending it and I’m not saying it’s acceptable–I think it’s completely absurd–but it’s worth noting. I think Robin is gorgeous and I would much rather her body be the standard than one so far removed from most women’s bodies. (I’m not criticizing women for being slim, just noting that it isn’t that common but dominates the fashion world nonetheless, making fashion for the slim “elite” instead of the average woman.)

    and the thigh gap thing is really scary to me. I’m knock kneed and I have thighs that really close together. even as a child, and even at my thinnest, my thighs rub together. it’s such a weird and attainable standard of beauty. I know it comes from mental illness and ia more a commentary on someone else’s body dysmorphia than my own body, but it still saddens me to see people strive for an ideal like that. it’s easy to get mad at the pro ana people but it definitely comes from mental illness and warped perceptions of reality.

    • msw says:

      And by unattainable i mean unattainable for people who cant get it without starvation. Lots of slim people don’t have it (like me when i was slim) and plenty of average or larger people do. My issue is with the idea that everyone should have it when many bodies just aren’t built that way.

  43. CeltLady says:

    This woman is gorgeous, and if she is plus size then this world is truly messed up. People who hate based on size are sick. Judging a person’s worth based on their ‘thigh gap’….really?

    How about forming your opinion on a person based on their behavior, morals, kindness, the way that they treat others?

    I know a woman who obsesses on her body and her weight to a degree that she does nothing else. She judges other people based on their size. She doesn’t do anything at all for other people. At the end of her life, her accomplishments will be “stayed a size 4, didn’t eat wheat, worked out compulsively”. Pretty sad.

  44. MsAubra says:

    The whole “real women have curves” notion is as dumb and silly as that meme of that bony girl with the long soliloquy (sp) calling women who aren’t bony fat

    • msw says:

      Agreed. I’m plus sized and I HATE the “curves” thing. Lane Bryant and their “Real Woman” campaign offends me as a woman. I certainly don’t feel better meeting their “Real Woman” standard when they leave out so many of my peers. Suffice to say i also don’t think real womanhood should be determined by your size because that’s justcontriburing to the problem.

  45. nicegirl says:

    WOW! This article really brings back YEARS of stressing about my (even then!) almost non existent ‘thigh gap’! I remember really being depressed about it – and now, at age 38, I NEVER, EVER wear shorts. Like – never, nunca, jamais. NO SHORTS. I do not even wear a swim suit, I wear a swim dress! And I have a figure many women (and lots of men!) would love! I always wear a skirt, because I am still conditioned to think that my white, “heavy” (rather, NOT skinny) thighs will DISGUST someone or blind them with the glare of the sun, etc, so better cover that sh-t up.

    I actually thought I was “over” this ridiculous self image problem – AHAHAHAAAAA! DANG

    Thank you, Robyn! INNER BEAUTY ROCKS

  46. msw says:

    I’m glad you commented. i think about this a lot. I weigh about 215 and I’m 5’6″ so i’m coming from the other side. I have endocrine and metabolic disorders which make weight loss extremely difficult, so i hear the attacks on fatness all the time. But I also try to hear attacks on thin. I try to avoid saying “normal” and say “average” (meaning average in a mathematical sense–the number inbetween when you take all the thin people, heavy people and peoplein between). I try to avoid the word “skinny” and say slim instead. I try to avoid “boyish” because i worry it may hurt someone’s feelings–after all, slim women are still women, not little boys. And I don’t assume thin women are starving themselves or living at the gym. But it take cognizance and I’m certainly not perfect. You are absolutely right to be upset that women will attack others with thin body shapes. I don’t think its out of jealousy as much as it is out of backlash to being told we are unacceptable unless we have your body type.

    But it goes deeper than that. Its unacceptable for any of us to be told that our worth matters based on how slim we are. The longer we keep attacking each other for being too fat or too thin, we are feeding the bigger beast.

  47. dholmas says:

    She is not a plus size by any stretch of the imagination. I was anorexic for a time and it took me about two years to go from a 0 to a 6 and I have been a 6 for eight years. I am 5 2 and weigh about 140. I do have very dense bones and good muscle mass. This thigh gap thing is ridiculous.

  48. Hmm says:

    Size 10 is plus size? How goddam depressing.

  49. Miffy says:

    ‘Oh! A thigh gap is a thing? Jaysus, all this time I thought I had rickets when it was just fashion all along’ -to quote my middle aged, overweight uncle.

  50. Lisa says:

    Yes guys, this is plus sized. Accept it. It’s a fact, regardless of how arbitrary sizing is today.

    Second, I don’t think it’s really a new phenomenon. I’m only 25, but from what I’ve heard, this was a thing in the 70s and 80s. We just didn’t have instagram and tumblr to discuss it on.

    And not that this article does, but let’s not confuse pro-ana with actual anorexia.

  51. Apsutter says:

    She is gorgeous!!! She looks like how Victoria’s Secret Angels looked before they all became bony ass skeletons. I’ve always had bigger thighs and hips so I understand the thighs gap thing. I went through a heavier phase in college and my thighs were really big and it sucks trying to wear shorts or a dress because they rub together and it hurts. I eventually lost weight because I became mor concerned about eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise, not to get a thigh gap. Now I’m happy to be average and have never felt healthier.

  52. TheyPromisedMeBeer says:

    That first picture of her? The one where she is fully clothed but with a little peak of cleavage? KatyMileyGagaSelinaWhothefuckever take note: that is the sexiest picture I’ve seen in a long time. And she isn’t naked, either. She’s just owning herself.

  53. newtoyourn says:

    At 17 I was 5’7 and weighed 107 and never had a thigh gap. I was so thin people thought I was anorexic. Which was so far from the truth I love food way way too much.

  54. deejayspicerack says:

    “real women have curves” well, I’m a real woman and I have a “thigh gap”. if you don’t want women and young girls to feel badly about their bodies, then heavier women should realize stereotyping someone on their body-shape… thin, or heavy, is sending the wrong message and lending itself to body-dismorific ideals.

  55. dread pirate cuervo says:

    I know the thigh gap obsession is sad & dangerous, but it makes me laugh a little because when I was in grammar school (80′s), having a gap was considered incredibly skanky. You always wanted your knees touching standing out on the playground during recess.

  56. Barbara says:

    my g-daughter is a NYC model at 135 lbs, 6′ tall, and has trouble getting jobs for not enough thigh gap and having 35″ hips. The standards are ridiculous.

  57. TG says:

    I was not able to comment on any of the comments so am stating this now. I am 37 now but back in college when I was 18 I remember my boyfriend at the time asked me why I didn’t have a triangle shape between my thighs. I was insecure so of course I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I have always been fit and was a decent cross country and track runner but the way I am built is my thighs always stay round. That is where most of any fat I have is stored. Anyway we eventually broke up and I picked up my self-esteem off the floor and forgot about it. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that an article mentioned the dangers of women trying to achieve the “thigh gap”. My fist thought was WTF and that is what I still think. WTF ate women doing to themselves?

  58. Moi says:

    I just can’t believe that she is classified as a “plus size” model. Baffling. Thank you for this article. I passed it on to my daughters.

  59. Moi says:

    “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”.

    It baffles me that she is considered “plus size”. Yes, being overweight can be dangerous to your health. But in who’s reality is this gorgeous, healthy looking woman “plus size” or too big? Frightening. Thank you for this article, I passed it on to my two young daughters.

  60. Moi says:

    This is just weird to me. I’ve had the thigh gap and I haven’t. Meaning I was 5’8, 120 pounds most of my life, then 195 when I was about to give birth to my first child. It’s a shock to go from one to the other (especially in a 7 month period), but it is what it is. I’m glad that I will never be 120 again, but happy to stay between 138-143…. if I can. Is this seriously a thing? Bigger problems in the world people.

  61. LouLou says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a thigh gap, and I used to be underweight. Even when I was a bit too skinny, I still had thighs that touched. I can’t even deal with thigh gap as a real goal. And if I was with a guy who wasn’t happy to be with my thighs, I would get rid of him. This woman is really gorgeous. I love seeing someone who is my size, even if that is considered plus-size for the modeling world.

  62. Caz says:

    My mother has body issues and she tries to put it on me. I won’t go into the comments, scorn and treatment of me by her over the years (not looking for sympathy). Mum liked me a whole lot better when I was underweight. If I didn’t realise what she was doing, I’d be a basket case. But I’m not.

    My point is….I have a 12 year old daughter. I will teach her to look after herself so she stays a healthy weight. I am stopping the cycle of body shaming in my family here and now.

  63. Caroline says:

    Omg she is gorgeous… jealous~.~
    How is this girl “plus-sized” and Kate-with-no-waist Upton not?

  64. SamiHami says:

    This thigh gap nonsense is, well, nonsense. My mother is anorexic and has been my entire life. She has gained some weight in the last couple of years and at 5’7″ is all the way up to about 105 lbs (but is complaining about how she needs to lose…). She is very toned; like most anorexics she gets a lot of exercise, but she does not have this magical “thigh gap.” The elusive thigh gap probably does exist for a few women, but it’s more Photoshop and certain poses that create it.

    What matters is to be healthy and strong, regardless of your body type. Having small breasts does not make one unfeminine, and having a thigh gap doesn’t make one more attractive. It’s shameful that women feel like they have to fight against their natural body type-even to the point of having surgery-in order to achieve some arbitrary ideal of beauty. I know women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities that are beautiful, and I would hate for any of them to feel like they aren’t good enough because don’t fit the mold.

  65. Hakura says:

    I can’t reply directly to comments as I’m on the mobile mode, which I cant turn off. But I wanted to add my 2 cents. I grew up always being very skinny, even a bit ‘bony’, like my Dad. I had the ‘thigh gap’, but never paid it any attention. By HS, I was 5’1, 100-105lbs, a 34B & have skin so white, it’s not far removed from geisha makeup. (Got my period at 11, & my doctor was disappointed bc he said I probably wouldn’t get any taller as a result. He was right, GDamn it.)

    I was always hearing things like ‘eat a sandwich’, & ‘you look sickly’ (skin tone didnt help that). That’s around when the ‘real women have curves’ campaign came out, & I’d get *so* upset & defensive. It really was the wrong way to go about correcting one of society’s errors. It just made me feel like I was being told by all curvy women that I was a ‘perpetual little girl’ or something (which is also not a very ‘sexy’ thought either) bc of my small size & shape. People accused me of having an eating disorder, when in fact, I ate constantly. Ever since I was young, I’d choose to eat little bits throughout the day, instead of 3 big meals. I had a fast metabolism, but couldn’t handle that much at a time in one sitting, w/o feeling ‘too full’ or sick. So I grew up living defensive about it.

    Then in my mid-20′s, I started trying out meds for depression. It was several before we found the right one, but unfortunately, the side effect was major weight gain. I gained 25lbs in a week & 1/2. It was horrible & traumatic, & just made dealing w/the depression harder. I was 135-140lbs, & as you can imagine, this effected my body’s shape in a few places. My ‘thigh gap’, which I never paid much attention to, disappeared (causing chaffing to the skin unused to rubbing together). I went up a cup size to 34C, which was the only positive. But it wasn’t long after this, that I had a moment of what I call ‘ascending to enlightenment’. I suddenly adopted the mindset ‘I dont give a f!ck what ANYONE thinks of me (about ANYTHING), if they dont like something, they can go f!ck themselves’.

    I gotta say, I highly reccomend it. Life is a MUCH happier place when you accept only your opinion of you matters, & shouldnt be tainted by what number someone decided to put on the clothes that fit on your body, someone else’s ideals, or their wasting their time & effort talking BSh!t about you. I do want to lose weight, but bc of what *I* like about my body, & don’t. I feel it’s too much weight for my small frame, putting pressure on my already bad joints & causing my health in general to suffer as my body struggles to support more weight than what belongs there. But it’s all about my preferences, not what size they decided my clothing was.

  66. Jacquie109 says:

    I’m sorry but when did being healthy become plus size?