The Real Reason Not Everyone Can Have A Thigh Gap

Not only is having a thigh gap an unrealistic fitness goal and standard of beauty, it's also fairly uncommon and primarily predetermined by genetics (via Women's Health). "Thigh gap" is a term that refers to a space or gap between a person's (usually a woman's) upper thighs. Generally speaking, thigh gaps are most visible when a person is standing with their legs together. But despite the term's increasing popularity in fitness culture, whether or not you can have a thigh gap is largely determined by your bone structure. In order to have a natural thigh gap, you need to have wider-set hips and a uniquely angled pelvic bone. "For some people, a thigh gap is a natural part of their bone structure and genetics," Dr. Rekha Tailor, a cosmetic doctor and the medical director at Health & Aesthetics, told Women's Health. "For the majority of people, however, genetics mean that their hips are set too close together to exhibit a thigh gap. This, plus the normal fat distribution on the female body, means that women can carry additional fat around their thighs in spite of a healthy diet and exercising."

Having a thigh gap is not a healthy fitness goal

While there is nothing wrong with working out to try to tone and strengthen your thighs, aiming for a thigh gap is not a healthy fitness or weight loss goal because it is unattainable for most people (via Livestrong). Since having a thigh gap is only possible for a small number of healthy and well-nourished people, striving for one can be dangerous. It may even lead someone to starve themselves or engage in excessive exercise, both of which are characteristics of eating disorders. "It is not a healthy achievement to have a gap if it means you must starve yourself to decrease fat, lose important muscle mass, and force your body into a shape it wasn't built for," Dr. Amy Herold, a gynecologist and the medical director of, told Livestrong. According to Dr. Herold, the best fitness goal you can have is being strong and healthy for your unique body type.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).