I have the habit of looking up memes and catch phrases from time to time, to learn about their origin. Since references to the “thigh gap” have become a lot more frequent recently, I investigated that topic for a little while. While thigh gaps arguably always have existed, the actual term has become more widely spread only relatively recently, December 2012 to be exact, according to sources mentioned in the corresponding Wikipedia article.
If you skim that article, you’ll come across a section on criticism of that term, which is where things get more interesting. As it turned out, some feminist sociologist decried the thigh gap, quite certainly a symbol of beauty, as “sizeist and sexist”. But let’s think about this for a while! What do you consider more likely? That (a subset of) girls take care of themselves and try to look as good as they can because that’s what they see in ads, or that they do so because they see, in reality, that slimmer and better looking girls fuck hotter guys? I’d bet a lot more on the latter than the former hypothesis.
Girls who haven’t undergone a lot of brainwashing — you know, of the “inner beauty is what counts” kind — are fully aware that their looks will get them guys, and that their looks also determine how popular they are. Of course, one could now make a brouhaha and decry that (some) girls want to be popular and good-looking but then you would have to claim that human nature is sexist. But here is the kicker: biology is of course deeply sexist because otherwise we wouldn’t be here. Our hormones don't care about political correctness. Girls don't line up to fuck guys like Sean Stephenson out of pity, and guys don't willingly bang ugly chicks either. Oh, wait, when guys want to bang hot girls it's of course sexist!
Obviously, guys want to bang the hottest girls they have access to, and hot often means sone combination of the attributes young, slender, cute. Likewise, girls want to bang the most desirable guys that are available to them, and that boils down to looks and money. Now, one could claim that our culture is sexist by goading men into wanting to make money, so that they can attract girls. That dynamic certainly exists, and it most certainly keeps many men from “following their dreams”. Some even waste years of their life by going into winner-takes-all markets where the payoffs, in the case of success, will be gargantuan, but where also-rans will have a very hard time staying in the field at all. A case in point is the music industry. Professional sports is another example.
However, since men are seen as the disposable sex whose utility is defined by how much value women, and society, can extract from them, it is not a problem when men get depressed because they can’t reach the level of financial success they aspire to. Problems like male suicide and male workplace deaths are barely paid any attention in mainstream media. On the other hand, it’s apparently a huge problem that some fat chick might get frustrated and help herself to another piece of chocolate cake because she just can’t seem to achieve a thigh gap. Frankly, a thigh gap is much easier to achieve than accumulating a net worth of $1m dollars. Yet, strangely enough, the cultural dynamics behind that phenomenon are considered a much bigger problem. Funny how this works, isn’t it?