First came the obsession with thigh gaps, then there was the bikini bridge, ab cracks, and thighbrows. The latest body trend to emerge is “rib-cage bragging,” which sees women flaunting their protruding chest bones on social media.
(Bella Hadid shows off her protruding ribs on social media)
For rib-cage bragging, named as such by the Daily Mail, the greater the prominence of your rib cage, the more desirable, apparently, your figure is deemed.
And just as other thinspiration trends have raised concerns about encouraging unrealistic body goals, rib-cage bragging, otherwise known as the rib-cage gap, is adding to the worrying message that appearing emaciated is the ideal to aspire to.
Models and stars including Bella Hadid, Rita Ora, Nicole Scherzinger, and Kourtney Kardashian have all shared images of themselves clad in bikinis and proudly flaunting their prominent rib cages. While these celebrities might be unaware of how their followers are reacting to these revealing shots, it’s hard to ignore the undeniable fact that this could be piling on pressure women feel to strive for unrealistic body goals.
Thankfully, not all social media body trends are so scary. There are other influencers out there such as Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday who are promoting positive body image using hashtags such as #mermaidthighs, #effyourbodystandards, and #beautybeyondsize.
Whereas the thigh gap, bikini bridge, ab crack, and thighbrows are designed to subtly shame women who don’t fit into a narrow definition of beauty, the aforementioned hashtags are all about celebrating one’s body shape, whether you have a gap between your thighs or not.
However, it’s important to note that for individuals who are thin, this is not skinny shaming; rather, it’s raising awareness of the pressure images might be placing on impressionable young women and those who could be triggered by the pervasiveness of social trends extolling largely unobtainable body parts.