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This video, by JustBoobs sketch comedy group parodies the idea that women need to have “thigh gaps” or wear clothes that create thigh gaps in order to be attractive. The video starts with a girl walking to up to her friend telling her that she looks great, and her friend responds that it’s because of her new “thigh gap jeans.” The camera zooms out to show that she is wearing jeans that have a painful looking built-in separator between her thighs. She touches it briefly and says, “ouch,” before her friend says in exaggerated happiness, “Wow, you look amazing! And I thought the thigh gap was an unattainable beauty myth championed by the media to lower women’s self-esteem and make them easier targets for advertising!” She responds cheerily, “Yup! And the scars are a constant reminder of the sins of my womanly figure.” The rest of the video proceeds as if it is a commercial for the fictional store Thigh Gap, referencing bags and logos from clothing store The Gap, and showing other women similarly unhappy with their appearances and feeling better after wearing the thigh gap jeans.

discussion

What is the main message about beauty standards from this video? How do the creators and actresses use humor to make their points? Do you think it is effective? If so, how?

Many retailers have been called out for altering advertising images of their models to create illusions of clothes and bodies with unrealistic and unattainable features, such as those with large “thigh gaps.” Why does it matter that the images of bodies we see in media are reflective of real bodies?

One of the characters says, “And I thought the thigh gap was an unattainable beauty myth championed by the media to lower women’s self-esteem and make them easier targets for advertising!” What does she mean? Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? What or who does she mean when she says, “the media?”

In what ways do clothing companies and the beauty industry thrive off of beauty “rules” that women are expected to follow in order to look “good?” Where do these rules and expectations come from? How are women who don’t follow these rules perceived and treated? 

Do boys and men face similar pressures? How are they different, and why?