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Legging Legs: The Newest Trend Making Teenage Girls Insecure

Photo courtesy of Know Your Meme.

Over the past few days, the trend #legginglegs has been floating around TikTok, now earning over 33 million views. The term promotes the idea that long, toned legs with thigh gaps look best in leggings. The ridiculous body standard seems to have popped out of nowhere, but soon enough slammed TikTok and its most susceptible users: young women and girls. However, though it has a catchy and new name, the tag seems to be hauntingly reminiscent of the consequences thigh gaps have had in past years.  

“In 2014, many young girls viewed posts on social media, primarily Tumblr, which showed women standing up straight, their feet together and showing a small gap between their thighs,” stated USA Today. “Girls who did not have a thigh gap were to be considered fat and felt pressure to lose weight in order to fit into the ongoing trend.” 

Body insecurity is no new phenomenon, but social media has exacerbated the effects greatly. “Between the ages of 6 and 10 years old, young girls begin to worry about their weight, and, by the time they reach 14, as many as 70% of girls are actively trying to lose it with 12% of adolescent girls developing an eating disorder,” said the New York Post.  

Social media provides 24/7 access to “images of people with seemingly perfect faces and bodies, often using filters and photo editing tools to enhance their appearance,” explained PsychCentral, leading to “unrealistic beauty standards” as well as “body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem in both women and men.” However, with the introduction of AI-generated images, it has become impossible to decipher which images are real and which are not, making the thigh gap obsession even worse.  

As the trend makes its way around TikTok, millennial users are speaking up about the psychological consequences they know all too well. Many are reinforcing the idea that “if you have legs and you have leggings, you have legging legs” while others are ignoring the idea as a whole. 

“Do we understand what we are doing to the younger generation of women?” a TikTok user angrily demanded. “Literally, I never thought anything bad of having hip dips, I didn’t even know it was an insecurity until social media. Specifically TikTok,” explained another user.  

In an age where body standards are high as ever and raising still, it is important to remember that, while it may not feel like it, majority of people aren’t paying attention to whether you have “legging legs.” But as this trend, and the ones that will undoubtedly follow, continue to circulate, being able to recognize signs of an eating disorder in yourself and those around you will be crucial to surviving whatever newest insecurity pops up tomorrow.  

If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, please visit, or call 1-8888-375-7767.    

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About the Contributor
Emma Callahan, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Emma Callahan is a senior and is one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief of The Print. Additionally, she is the President of GSA, Girl Up, and Creative Writing Club; is an officer of Voices of Equity; and a member of Academic Team and Spanish club. She runs on the cross-country team and loves reading and travelling. Emma hopes to major in Journalism or Law and minor in Women's and Gender Studies and Spanish to hopefully one day spread news about or directly fight social injustices and issues involving human rights. 
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