Are Your Legs Gap Approved?

5 Aug

Makes you feel pretty good eh?

It may not come as a surprise when I tell you that The Gap is trying to make you feel like shit about about yourself so you’ll buy their clothes! Are you surprised? As Stephanie Marcus, who took this picture says,

“Another day, another ad that tries to make people buy their products by making you feel bad about your body.”

It always blows my mind that big apparel companies try to sway us into buying something by making us feel like shit about ourselves. This is just like the controversial “Eat Less” t-shirts that Urban Outfitters sold back in 2008.

Yes, Gap is benefiting from the publicity they are getting from this disgusting ad. And I guess I’m feeding into it too, but I feel it’s important to talk about these kind of things. As true as the Gap ad may be, hearing the true facts about eating disorders and body image issues among our young girls takes a lot of the humor out of it. Focus Adolescent Services reports that,

Anorexia and bulimia affect nearly 10 million women in the U.S. Anorexia has the highest premature fatality rate of any mental illness and the average age of girls affected with eating disorders is 11-13, affecting girls as young as elementary school age. Without treatment up to 20% of girls with eating disorders die.

After hearing those statistics, it is disgusting that any company would even dream of playing on your insecurities in an attempt to make you buy clothes.

I remember when I found my first cellulite dimple on my right thigh about 11 years ago, when I was in middle school. It was devastating. I was sitting on the steps to our pool with my legs crossed and when I leaned over to put my hand in the water . . . there it was – all puckered up like it was laughing at me. Ever since that day I have been self conscious about wearing shorts or crossing my legs when I’m in a skirt or shorts. In middle school I would even wear long boys shorts because I was so ashamed of my legs. (and I was NOT a fat kid.) With the increase of overweight kids these days I cannot even begin to imagine how many young girls are suffering in silence.

Over the last few years I have came to terms with my thighs and made friends with my cellulite. Yes I could benefit from losing a good 20 lbs, (and I’m working on it!) but in the mean time my thighs are mine and I love them. My legs have carried me through a lot of great experiences in my life and I refuse to be ashamed of them no matter what weight I might be at.

Do me a favor – do not let ads like this Gap ad dictate who’s legs are ok to be seen in public and who’s aren’t. At the risk of sounding like Tyra Banks – Love your body for what it is. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be more fit or lose weight, but in the mean time don’t put yourself down. Your body is yours and it’s the only one you get. I’m sure we can all say we know or have known someone who was affected by an eating disorder. If you or anyone you know needs help there are plenty of resources and hotlines out there. Eating disorders are not something to take lightly.

So – My thighs and I have a message for the Gap and their ad team:

Go fuck yourselves.

I still think there’s hope for our society though. Nike is re-releasing its My Butt is Big ad from 2005. I LOVE IT! I want this framed on my wall.

Be proud of your body.

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One Response to “Are Your Legs Gap Approved?”

  1. Dick Patterson August 6, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    Charli, you are fabulous! I will vote for you to become president. So very well said. Dick

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