Model Robyn Lawley has been hearing about "thigh gaps" since she was just 12 years old. Now she's speaking out about why this "ideal" is so damaging.

After her photograph was posted on a Facebook page dedicated to worshipping the space between a woman's thighs, it was used both to promote the "trend" and critiqued for being "too hefty." Lawley, who is considered "plus-size" in the fashion industry, was so disgusted by the comments she received and the idea of a "thigh gap" trend altogether, that she wrote an op-ed for The Daily Beast on the subject.

She says she has never had a "thigh gap" and explains why it's so troubling that young women are receiving the message that they should be changing their bodies to get one:

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.

Thanks, Robyn Lawley, for putting into words what we all believe. No woman should feel like she needs to transform her body in order to be beautiful.

Head over to The Daily Beast to read the full, powerful essay.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Source: "Body Image." <a href="" target="_hplink">Rader Programs</a>.

  • Source: The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, “Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources,” 2003.

  • Source: Prevention of Eating Problems with Elementary Children, Michael Levine, USA Today, July 1998.

  • Source: <a href="" target="_hplink">Marketdata Enterprises</a>, 2007

  • Source: <a href="" target="_hplink">Centers for Disease Control</a>, 2004

  • Source: Zucker NL, Womble LG, Williamson DA, et al. Protective factors for eating disorders in female college athletes. Eat Disorders 1999; 7: 207-218. Source: Sungot-Borgen, J. Torstveit, M.K. (2004) Prevalence of ED in Elite Athletes is Higher than in the General Population. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 14(1), 25-32.

  • Source: <a href="" target="_hplink">Dove Real Beauty Campaign</a>, 2004.

  • Source: The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, “Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources,” 2003.

  • Source: Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., & Estes, L.S. (1995). The Spectrum of Eating Disturbances. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18 (3): 209-219.

  • Source: <a href="" target="_hplink">Collins</a>, 1991. Source: <a href="" target="_hplink">Mellin et al.</a>, 1991.

  • Source: <a href="" target="_hplink">Rader Programs</a>