The Body Positivity Movements: Mermaid Thighs & #ThighsForJeaux
This year, the unfortunate trend of body shaming seems to have taken over the Internet. Innocent women are constantly being targeted just because they do not fit the impossible standards society has set. But, now women across the world are striking back with some new body positivity trends appearing all the time. Most recently, these have included mermaid thighs and #ThighsForJeaux.
Not very long ago, the trend of thigh-gaps—the space created when your thighs do not touch—became huge. It is a scary trend, and while some women have it naturally, others have gone to great lengths to try and achieve a thigh-gap for themselves. Surveys have proven that this trend has an extremely negative effect on the self-esteem of young girls and women, adding to the feeling of inadequacy when it comes to their bodies. It has led to a massive amount of backlash, with people from all sides calling for an end to this unhealthy trend.
That is where the term mermaid thighs comes in. While the originator of the trend is not clear, British-based blogger Emma Jewell was one of the first to use the term on Instagram at some point last year. From there, it quickly blew up with thousands of women sharing images of themselves showing off their mermaid thighs; the complete opposite of the thigh-gap. This body positivity tag has encouraged women from all over to share images of themselves and their gap-free thighs. It has promoted the idea of loving your body as it is, rather than striving to fit some unrealistic standard.
But, while the mermaid thighs trend has calmed down a little, it has not disappeared entirely. Now, another movement very similar to mermaid thighs has begun, known as #ThighsForJeaux. It was started on Twitter by a woman named Mixo, living in South Africa, who wanted to show women that they should never be uncomfortable when it comes to their bodies. Just like the mermaid thighs trend, it is a movement dedicated to telling women to embrace and celebrate their bodies, rather than worrying about the unrealistic beauty standards set by society.
In an interview with the South Africa branch of Marie Claire, Mixo explained that she wanted to use the hashtag as a way to “problematize these attitudes towards out bodies.” She went on to explain that she was tired of women feeling that they have to hide their bodies even in the heat of summer just because a select group of people did not approve of their bodies.
In response, countless women have shared unedited photos for the #ThighsForJeaux movement and found inspiration within the movement. The hope is that women struggling with body positivity can see this and be reminded that they are beautiful just as they are.
The mermaid thighs and #ThighsForJeaux movements have given a massive boost the overall body positivity movement. It has served as a reminder for women to love their bodies, thighs and all, and to never let society tell them they are not perfect or beautiful. So, forget the thigh-gap. Forget society’s unreal beauty standards. Love yourself as you are, celebrate your body, and add your own voice to the movement.