The bedrock of fashion is trends, from the flappers of the Twenties, to the mod darlings of the Sixties, bell-bottom disco divas of the Seventies and the list goes on and on. These trends were played out in clothes, hairstyles, make-up and yes, body types. As a result of social and economic changes, different body types have been celebrated at different times. Women’s rights movements in Twenties and Sixties gave way to much slimmer silhouettes, while the post-war era of the late Forties and Fifties sought the traditional femininity of curves.
Today’s body trends seem to be increasingly obsessed with one particular body part, thighs. First it was the thigh gap, then thigh brows and now #mermaidthighs are the latest trend. With this hashtag women are trying to counteract the ridiculous quest for the thigh gap. Of course, #mermaidthighs stems from classic memes like this one.
This hashtag seems to be another spark for the body acceptance movement, which is an undeniably positive thing. But realistically, #mermaidthighs does exactly what all of the other body trends have done. It celebrates one body type at the expense of another. Body trends in any form are troublesome because, as we have seen throughout the last century, the pendulum swings back and forth.
The celebration one body type or one body part can reinforce the idea that body types should be pitted against each other. That one is better than another, but even the social ideal is constantly changing.
Hopefully, we can eventually come to a place where the thigh gaps and mermaids can live in harmony. Your body is NOT a trend.