Although most reminders of my age are met with a resigned “goddammit,” there are times when I realize that I’m glad to be in my 30s, or really, when I’m glad I’m not young enough to be stupid by default anymore.
If you’d told me this when I was young enough to be stupid by default, I’d have rolled my eyes and bitchily lectured you about how age doesn’t necessarily equal wisdom. I would have been right about that, but I still would have no way of understanding what it really means to be young enough to be stupid by default, which is that while age doesn’t necessarily equal wisdom, most things can only be learned by living long enough to experience them.
Do you know why teenagers are so dramatic about their problems? Do you know why they react so explosively to disappointment or frustration? It’s not just hormones. It’s because they haven’t had the spirit beaten out of them by life yet. Yes, some teenagers have actual problems, but they simply have not reached the real, grinding, everyday shit of adulthood yet. They don’t know about taxes, credit scores, and health insurance cuts. They might have jobs but they don’t yet understand the true soul-killing qualities of working for your entire living (this is also why many adults who still live at home are generally immature, unreliable, tantrum-throwing brats).
As an adult, I can look at some typical teenager problems with an adult perspective, and the adult perspective usually boils down to “glad I don’t have to worry about that anymore,” or “that worry is so far down on my possible list of worries that there’s no way I am going to spend the time or energy worrying about it.”
One of the worries I’ve considered this way is the thigh gap. If you watch the news or pay attention to the Internet or do anything that is not staring at your own hands all day, you’d know that a thigh gap is (according to the news) a disturbing new body image trend and (according to people on the Internet who actually want them) just another way for girls to feel bad about themselves or, in the cases of girls who do have them, a way to feel superior to those who don’t.
I wouldn’t urge you to listen to the news on this one. News reports on the thigh gap are about as accurate as news reports on “the shocking new drug craze found in your own medicine cabinet!” It’s alarmist idiocy written and repeated by people who are being paid way too much to be so out of touch. But I do spend a lot of time on the Internet, and especially on Tumblr, where I find that many of my followers are younger people, I’ve seen what having a thigh gap means to some girls.
Oh, right, a thigh gap is a gap between your thighs, meaning you have to be thin enough that your thighs don’t touch, not at all, from your knees up to your crotch. A less desirable but still technically legitimate thigh gap could exist in the triangle just below your crotch, like maybe you have a bizarrely wide pelvis but really thin upper thighs and there’s just this space up there were the wind can whistle through, or something.
I don’t remember being concerned about a thigh gap when I was younger, probably because I was too busy playing sports that depended on my legs being strong. I didn’t really care about a thigh gap as I got older, either, because I already have sort of chickeny legs and also, I determined at some point that if anyone got close enough to see if I did have a thigh gap, we’d already passed a point of no return and they probably wouldn’t turn me down when they saw that my thighs touched. I determined correctly, by the way. Not a single person has ever noticed my lack of a thigh gap and called the situation to a halt. Not one, young girls! Not one! And most of them even called me back!
There are few times when I can say this honestly, but when it comes to caring about having a thigh gap, I give zero fucks. I am too old and have too much real shit going on and am too concerned with my legs working the way they should to want or try to achieve a fucking thigh gap. Probably the only thought I do give to them is when I think about the mental torture some girls must put themselves through over the subject, and I think about shaking them by the shoulders and telling them that there are far more important things to want and care about than another empty fucking space.
You know what concerned me today? Hitting the 10,000 steps goal built into my Fitbit device when I activated it yesterday. I activated it around 7:30pm yesterday so only got a little over halfway to the goal then, but earlier today I was walking around with Courtney and Nick and felt it buzz.
“I ACHIEVED IT!” I yelled to no one in particular, and thankfully I have very understanding friends who didn’t let on that this was rude.
Then I went home and checked my dashboard, and this happened:
Heeeeee! It does that when you do something, and then it buckles down, floats those Hooray! bubbles away, and gets down to the real business:
So yeah, fuck a thigh gap. Can’t go too far on wobbly little pins, anyway. Roll eyes at the girls who think they need one. I’m taking this many steps, motherfuckers. I’m traveling miles again. The miles of the Beast, apparently, but miles all the same.