Yesterday, like any typical morning, I was watching Good Morning America before heading off to work. I hear the words “thigh gap” and I look at the TV screen and see a series of images of “thigh gaps”, which is literally the gap between a woman’s thighs when the feet are right by each other. Apparently, the latest obsession for teenagers is to achieve the thigh gap. One of the teenagers that were interviewed said that having her thighs touch was simply undesirable. I didn’t finish the news segment because (1) I had to go to work and (2) as someone who struggles with body image, I didn’t want to hear what extremes women are doing to reach body “perfection”. The truth is this: thinness doesn’t make a person happy. Eating near to nothing, working out to the point of exhaustion and fearing the number the scale, even as the pounds shed and even as the victory of getting the “thigh gap” is achieved doesn’t make anyone truly happy. While, yes a feeling of joy can be felt, it’s fleeting. When happiness is placed solely on ones appearance, if you are like me and can be your own worst critic, you’ll always find a flaw. It’s sad that so many truly smart people fall into the mind trap of thinking that if we just lose a few more pounds we’ll be happy, if we just get our teeth a little whiter we’ll be happy or if we wear a certain brand of designer clothing we’ll be happy. Being healthy and active it was should be what we strive for. A healthy and active individual will lead to confidence and self love. Instead of saying “I don’t have a thigh gap and I’m ugly because my thighs touch” we should say “my legs are powerful and help me get around during the day”. Instead of relying only on outer beauty for happiness we should focus on the inner beauty that comes with being kind and respectful to others and to ourselves. We should look in the mirror and say “I love myself because of this, this and this” and not be so negative towards ourselves. I look forward to the day that the segment in Good Morning America isn’t about young women torturing themselves to be thin but doing healthy things to reach an inner happiness that will exude from their very core.