Let's talk about 'thighbrows,' the Internet's latest obsession with our bodies
The media is always letting us know whether our bodies are trendy or not. Instead of just letting us off the hook with a simple “Oh, you have a body? It’s keeping you alive? That’s great to hear, have an amazing rest of your day, enjoy being alive!” we are told that our thighs need to have a gap, or that butts are the new boobs, or our collarbones need to be able to hold a roll of quarters, or any of the millions of things the media tells us about our bodies that make us feel like our bodies aren’t “cool” enough. Boy bands are meant to be trendy. Bodies are meant to be bodies. It’s not fair to ask bodies to assume a role they were never designed to play.
So, as you may have guessed, we have a new body part trend, (drumroll please), the “thighbrow.”
“THE WHAT-BROW?” you ask.
Let’s break it down. We’re not a hundred percent sure where the portmanteau came from, but we first saw the term pop up in Elle.com, specifically in writer Julie Schott’s piece “Are Thighbrows the New Thighgap?” published yesterday. As Schott explains, the “thighbrow” is a crease that forms on some women’s upper-thighs when you sit or kneel that has the curve of an eyebrow. Let the Kardashian-Jenners demonstrate:
You’re completely forgiven for not having heard about thighbrows. The Internet only really started talking about thighbrows, well, yesterday, though celebrities like Beyoncé have been modeling them all summer while wearing frongs (ahhh, so many new words! I didn’t know what a frong was either until right now—it’s basically a super high-cut swimsuit or leotard).
Beyoncé-thighbrow-frong take 1.
Beyonce-thighbrow-frong take 2.
Just to be clear, neither Beyoncé nor the Kardashian-Jenners nor any of the celebrities being used as thighbrow examples have used the term themselves. It’s just the articles being written about “thighbrows” that have.
There are a few different responses to this recently-announced thighbrow trend. There’s flat-out denial:
A smidge of excitement:
And a whole ton of confusion:
One could argue that the thighbrow is an improvement on the thigh gap, because, unlike the thigh gap, it’s not likely that the thighbrow will encourage super-unhealthy eating habits. Basically, everyone has a thighbrow, so we’re all celebrating something we all have. But wait, should we really be celebrating?
It’s no coincidence that all these “body trends” are about women’s, not men’s, bodies. The “cool body part” paradigm can veer into objectification really fast. Someone coins a funny new term, social media takes it and runs with it and suddenly we’re all talking about a female body part as if it’s not attached to a, you know, human. That’s not to say anyone’s intentions in using the term are purposefully harmful, it’s just that coining terms that qualify a woman’s body can (and will) get dicey.
TBH, the trend we’re really looking forward to is the one where we stop micro-inspecting our bodies and obsessing over every single part. When will that go viral?
Images via Instagram