Three smiling women sitting on a boulder enjoying time together.

Those who grew up in the 2000s have seen many so-called “ideal” body shapes. The current beauty standard favors the BBL body — famously seen on Kim Kardashian. However, it seems the trend is circling back to the thigh gap era. This recurring fixation on inner thighs (and whether they’re touching) can be traced back to the aughts, the , and the romanticized size 0.

Does the space between your thighs really matter? No. These unfortunate trends don’t last for a reason. Here’s why you shouldn’t let them or your body shape dictate your self-worth.

The Hollow Victory of Thigh Gap

If you spent your adolescence wondering how to have a thigh gap, you probably realized by now that there is no way to achieve it by working out. So-called “thigh gap exercises” don’t work. You can only have it if you naturally have a lower body fat percentage and wider hip bones. But even then, there are no guarantees.

Women everywhere are doomed to fail, yet the trend persists. The thigh gap’s elusiveness makes it even more desirable, which can throw a perfectly reasonable person into a cycle of self-doubt. As Céline Leboeuf put it in her paper , you can't stop comparing your body with others when you see it as an object.

There is an endless journey to keep up with the ebb and flow of body trends. Once you achieve one, you’re faced with the next trend that forces you to change your body again. The only way to free yourself from this cage is by accepting your body despite its imperfections. 

Your Body Is Not an Aesthetic

Society rewards those who have what is considered a desirable body. Someone with a flat stomach, , perky breasts, and a lifted bum is rewarded with privileges.

Julia Fox’s skinny midriff was considered fashionable and fabulous, just like the Olsen twins’ naturally thin frames were once fondly called “heroin chic.” Kim Kardashian’s famous backside found itself on the cover of magazines. The so-called glamazons of the ‘90s – tall, big-boned, curvy women once ruled the runways. And now, the trendy, buccal-fat-free face seems to be every label’s look of choice.

Meanwhile, women who don't fit the mold don't get the same treatment and are seen as less attractive. Often, they are forced into treatments and surgeries to achieve a certain aesthetic.

The truth is, there's no benefit to pitting one body type against another when it's the least stable part of the human form. Your body changes over time, and that’s okay. It’s not an accessory to make you more beautiful, but a means to achieve goals and do things that .

Taking care of your body is your number one responsibility – not keeping up with unhealthy trends. Shift your attention from attaining #bodygoals and practice seeing your body in a more neutral light. Some days you will love it, and some days you feel meh about it, which is as normal as having a bad hair day! All that matters is honoring your body by working on what it can do versus what it should look like.

How to Be Confident in Your Body

You are your worst critic. When negative self-talk becomes second nature, building confidence takes time and commitment. Luckily, these daily practices can help you feel more comfortable in your own skin.

1. Dress however you want.

Forget dressing for your body type. Your measurements should not limit you from finding your true sense of style. Who’s to say you can’t wear because you don’t have a thigh gap?

Try this: Channel your inner Marie Kondo by trying on cute outfits in colors and patterns that put a smile on your face. Then, make room for more things that “spark joy” by letting go of items that no longer serve you. Clothes are meant to fit your body, not the other way around.

2. Show appreciation for your body.

Everything you do is made possible by the wonders of your body. It’s the only one you’ve got, and there’s no replacement. So, give yourself a little pat on the back for making it this far! Hug your body tightly and feel its warmth. When you treat yourself with kindness, you’ll have a more .

Try this: Another way to appreciate your body is by giving it three gifts daily. It can be as simple as taking a nap or enjoying a bubble bath – taking care of your skin counts, too. Maintain your lovely complexion with Vaseline Gluta-Hya Serum Burst Dewy Radiance. Its GlutaGlow technology is 10x more powerful than vitamin C, making your skin soft and glowy.

3. Focus on what you like about yourself.

It’s okay to feel thankful and less enthusiastic about parts of your body at once. Forcing yourself to love your body no matter only adds unnecessary pressure. Be just as you are. Acknowledge that both positive and negative feelings are valid. Everyone has those days!

Try this: For every part you’d want to modify, find one thing you like. This exercise will help you focus more on what you have. You might finally notice the cute way your nose crinkles when you laugh, or that you unknowingly do. If your hair is something you’re proud of, maintain its luster with Sunsilk Strong & Long Shampoo. The formula contains biotin and aloe vera, two powerhouse ingredients for promoting softness, shine, and hair growth.

4. Don’t be afraid to take risks.

Body struggles can make you afraid of trying new things, but self-improvement requires taking on challenges. Step out of your comfort zone and scratch items off your bucket list. Do that pottery class, hike with friends, or try a new haircut.

The sky’s the limit; all you need to do is put yourself out there. But before you go about your day, keep your pits odor-free with Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant Roll-On. It gives 48-hour protection and smoothens your underarms with the signature moisturizing cream.

Like any relationship, . The most difficult part would be unlearning toxic concepts like the thigh gap. In the process, you may catch yourself judging your body again, but that doesn’t mean you have failed. Treat yourself with compassion and take things one step at a time.