Thigh dudgeon



So. Thighs. On a woman, they’re just south of one’s fanny-sex-place and just above the knees. In hashtagland our thighs are a hot topic.

Are you gappy or a mermaid? Has one replaced the other? Do either of these categories have any bearing on what thighs are actually for?

For the record, I have pretty substantial thighs and they touch at the top, so clammy weather is a chore without talcum powder, and I can erode a pair of jeans at the crotch in under a fortnight if I’m especially active. So the promotion of the ‘Thigh Gap’ as the only acceptable kind of thigh arrangement made me feel a bit shitty and fat. Fat in a bad way rather than in a neutral description kinda way.

I discovered the term ‘Mermaid Thigh’ this afternoon in the Telegraph online (I was looking for something specific, I don’t a usually patronise a paper that thinks former Loaded Editor Martin Daubney qualifies as an actual journalist). And you know what, it made me feel good, acceptable to myself and a lot less shitty. It’s such a simple thing, it reframed how I saw my body and its a bit cute and it’s fun. AND what’s more, anyone who can put their knees together can join in. And that’s FINE.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a club anyone can rock up to. I read something about it being average sized women co-opting body positive ideals from fat activism or whatever. Sorry, but that is just daft, I mean…

a) where do we draw the line? Who qualifies as ‘fat’ here, in a world where the diet industry profits from everyone feeling like shit?

b) no woman’s body escapes social pressures or judgement, so when there’s an opportunity for us all to do/say/think something that might make us feel good, why not use it?

c) sigh.

I don’t want to co-opt anyone else’s thing, at all, but then I’m assuming I’m average, it depends, I’ve had plenty of trolls tell me I’m fat, and that’s just the polite ones that don’t tell me to kill myself.

Maybe I’m missing something crucial about feminism and my body. Maybe I’m being drawn into something that encourages women to divide their bodies up, name those parts and serve them up on social media like a platter of vol-au-vents at a lacklustre 80s dinner party. Or maybe (and this is the way I’m leaning) our bodies are carved up any way, so maybe we can to make our peace with them a bit at a time and put them back together our own way, but also collectively. I feel fragmented and seeing myself as someone coherent in mind or body is something of a challenge. Oh lawdy, I’m fucked if I know. But I do know that solidarity and seeing each other’s individual struggles as part of a whole is important and liberating.

But anyway, here’s a little message for all you lovely people in case you need it.


Not for the meanies who fat shame and are just nasty about what people look like. Nope, you earn being rad. You people have a think, be nice and then you can be rad too.