Ribcage Bragging Is the New Thigh Gap, and It's a Concerning Trend

© Startraks Photo/REX/Shutterstock
© Startraks Photo/REX/Shutterstock | © Startraks Photo/REX/Shutterstock

Ribcage bragging is trending on Instagram, and this alarming new body fad is sending women a disconcerting message. What is ribcage bragging? Daily Mail coined the term after celebrities began posting bikini photos of themselves on Instagram that clearly flaunt a protruding ribcage.
A post shared by Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) on Apr 14, 2017 at 10:29am PDT
Back in 2013, model Robyn Lawley posted a picture on Facebook where her thighs were touching. According to The Guardian, Lawley’s post was met with a deluge of negative comments, shaming her for not having space between her thighs. And so, the “thigh gap” became popular as a term. Even though Lawley publicly spoke out against her detractors, it was too late: a new way to make women feel shameful or desired by the size of their bodies had taken shape in the collective consciousness. Someone even created a Twitter account devoted to model Cara Delevingne’s thigh gap.
A post shared by Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:36pm PDT
The question becomes, who is responsible for these types of “thinspiration” trends? Is it the celebrities who post these pictures well-aware of their influencer-status? Or media outlets like Daily Mail for coining this type of lexicon? Or is the problem much more complicated, and tied up in a beauty industry that makes billions off the insecurities of women seeking solutions in products and procedures designed to fix them?

Of course, not everyone is buying the “ribcage bragging” hype:

‘Ribcage bragging’ – showing the bones of your ribs is trending on Instagram. This is not healthy and celebrities need to stop this craze.
— Miss Emma Hill 👑 (@emmahill95) May 9, 2017
My thoughts 💭 on the disturbing ‘Ribcage Bragging’ trend 😒 https://t.co/4GMS1Nyn4O #RIBCAGE #ribcagebragging
— Pandora (@pandoratweets) May 11, 2017
Certainly, there are body positive trends, like “mermaid thighs,” aka the anti-thigh gap, and plenty of Instagram stars who share body positive messages. So, in the end, it becomes your personal responsibility to decide what trends affect your self-esteem and self-perception. Of course, in this world, that’s easier said than done.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Edit article