Let’s label all the body bits and have fun with it!

First there was the thigh gap and now there’s the thigh brow.

What the heck is the thigh brow?

The latest trend for people who have a body is the #thighbrow. According to the Daily Dot, “A #thighbrow refers to the crescent-shaped fold of flesh that happens between the thigh and torso when the leg is bent forward at the hip joint, appearing in photographs to look like eyebrows.” Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Amber Rose, Nicki, Bey, Rihanna, etc. are all #thighbrow-havers, as several publications have pointed out. Is it body positive? Is it body negative?

Do I care about the thigh brow? Not really.

But it seems we love the label the bits of women’s bodies, especially the unruly parts, from muffin top to camel toe, from cankles to batwings.

Mostly, as a feminist, I think we ought to stop giving names to all the things, to the ways in which women’s bodies can go wrong. Inevitably it seems we identify bits of women’s bodies, give them names,  and then specify one standard by which we’re all judged. There’s no room for variety in the human form or any understanding or appreciation of the ways in which our bodies vary.

When I wrote about bingo wings, I said, “As with “camel toe” and “muffin top,” I have a radical suggestion. Can we put our collective wit to work elsewhere? I’m pretty sure the source of these names is women’s own shame and self-deprecation. To be honest, I don’t think straight men are much given to witty arm-shaming. So let’s stop with the jokes about women’s bodies.Oh, and that doesn’t mean we get to start joking about men’s bodies either. I have two sons and I’m not keen to see them share,  any more than they already do, in the culture of naming and shaming body bits. Maybe we could take our sharp tongues and aim our wit and our shame to the doorsteps of politicians. Just a thought.”

But language is playful and fun and getting people to stop saying funny things makes feminists seem humorless and bossy. And in an ideal world, we could name different bits without also thinking there was one good way for women’s bodies to look.

So maybe instead we should just give in to this impulse to name and have fun with it. Maybe, as with thigh brow, we can name bits of bodies not associated with normative thinness. Maybe our names can be playful and loving and fun and funny.

Any favourite body parts that you think need a name? Any loving, fun, body positive names you’ve been keeping to yourself?



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