Just when I thought that I had heard it all, I learned about yet another disturbing trend among our teen girls. I spoke to you about the much desired thigh gap a few weeks ago. Apparently, many teen girls covet having a visible gap between their thighs. This is, according to what the girls tell me, a competition between the girls and NOT a method of attracting teen boys. The sooner you can get a thigh gap, the sooner you can become a member of that exclusive clique of teen girls who have whittled their bodies through excessive dieting and exercise. If you don't believe me, just look up #thighgap and tumblr sites will come up that teach your daughters how to procure the elusive gap between the upper thighs. And, know that it is other teen girls who are teaching them how to get this diamond not on their fingers, but between their legs. YIKES!
Today, I learned about an equally concerning new teen trend. This one sounds like the name of a dance -- I kid you not. Teen girls are afraid of having a hip dip. What's a hip dip? It's a slight curve on the outside of the upper thighs. The curve goes inward. Teen girls are working on that part of their body too. There are exercises and diets, of course, to try to get rid of this body feature. This hip dip may be a natural part of a young woman's anatomy or result from the clothing that they are wearing, but nonetheless, many are just not having it and are talking about ways to get rid of it.
And how about this new trend that I hear about from the young teen college students? This one is called collar boning. Apparently, the young women who are thin enough to have a dip near their collarbones have the unique experience of boys drinking alcohol from these dips. It's sort of like a shallow cup. Those red drinking cups are not good enough anymore? That really troubles me. Here we are coupling body image issues with alcohol. Oh dear. That is certainly not how most of us parents want to envision what goes on in college.
Why is it that our teen girls are moving from body part to body part? And, what can we expect next? Perhaps the "shoulder fold" or the "toe foe?" I hope I didn't just inadvertently start another negative trend.
What about teaching our girls that the body is seen as a whole and that they are not simply a thigh gap or a hip dip? What about teaching them from a very young age that they are more than simply their appearances and that we are interested in their passions and interests that lead them to feel good? Perhaps, we should stay away from comments like "You are such a beauty" and try something like "I love to watch you when you _______ and fill in the blank with a healthy behavior.
Your thoughts, fellow parents. Please weigh in.