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POP Pilates and Eating Disorders…apparently.
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August 25, 2011

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21 Comments

POP Pilates and Eating Disorders…apparently.

So recently my Inner Thigh Gap printable workout was featured on the College Candy Body Blog. On Tumblr, this post got nearly 3,500 reblogs/likes which is pretty cool. I constantly get emailed about how to achieve the “inner thigh gap” so I thought it’d be a resourceful thing share with you guys. However, the positive reaction that this post received on Tumblr WAS NOT mirrored over at College Candy.

It all started with this comment:

Miss Anonymous (who was the only commenter who was anonymous btw) received a ton of feedback on her comment on how the Inner Thigh Gap workout promoted eating disorders. 40+ comments later we got people saying things like:

Courtney: Oooh, I think I get it. Working out is “bad” because it means you aren’t happy with you. Forget that it might be healthy, give you energy, and boost endorphins (making you even more happy with you). No we just don’t want to upset the defeated people, so we’ll defeat the confident people and make it an even playing field.”

Leiahna: Dear ‘Anonymous’: If you really have enough time to sit around and look for ways to twist words and meanings to the total opposite of what they are actually saying, maybe you should first of all, do the workout cause someone so defensive about this subject obviously does not have the inner thigh gap, and then take your two cents to someone who really cares.”

Allison: I love how every time a fit woman is shown, people are quick to call it an ‘eating disorder’. Seriously…some people are ridiculous. Stop trying to hide behind your laziness. I do yoga and I jog, and I’m in very good shape and I have this gap. I can assure you it has nothing to do with an eating disorder, and everything to do with taking care of myself. ;)”

Casey: Since we come in all shapes and sizes, naturally big, naturally small, naturally in-the-middle, how is a picture of a skinny girl exercising promoting an unhealthy image? Or telling people how to tone their legs unhealthy? Why is a picture of a heavy girl eating a hamburger not promoting an unhealthy image? It is, but no one’s actually going to say it because you could damage her self esteem, (apparently skinny girls don’t have self esteem issues) If that picture was posted and someone said, “she needs to put that down and eat some celery” that person would be vehemently attacked. It’s the same thing as calling a skinny girl anorexic, or saying she needs to eat a cookie, but since they’re “skinny” that’s ok, because apparently they already have a leg up and we need to knock them down to size. You know you’ve seen it, we’ve all seen it, skinny girls get put down to raise larger peoples self esteem and it’s just as wrong as calling someone fat.”

Robyn: What is an inner thigh gap?? Just when you stand up with your feet hip distance apart and your thighs don’t touch? If that is it, that is so silly! I have curvy (but toned thighs, thank you hot yoga!) and guys love them!”

WOW.

I did not expect that much controversy on such a small workout post. There seems to be a very fine line between motivating people to look/feel their best and promoting an unhealthy body image.

Obviously, I did not make this workout to say “hey you need to workout to get an inner thigh gap because that’s the only way you can be beautiful.” I made this because I wanted to teach you something, I wanted you to learn something, I wanted you to have the tools to create change/gain strength if you wanted, and lastly…YOU ASKED FOR IT!!! 😛

Plus…even if it’s just in the title, how is “How to get an inner thigh gap” any worse than “Muffintop Meltdown” or “6 pack Abs”? Remember…let’s be real here…the title is for catching your attention. What you do with it is up to you. My hope is that you do the workout to build strength.

Even though I was kind of surprised/appalled by the comment Anonymous left, I’m glad she did because it brought awareness to my responsibility as a fitness blogger. I get emails asking me for things ranging from lower belly pooch workouts to how to tone your face (yes really) and now I need to more carefully evaluate what’s right to post for our community. I have a responsibility to influence you as positively as I can.

Yes I do post a lot on food substitutions and exercises for so called “trouble zones”, but I am in no way trying to say “hey, you need to lose weight.” I want to be here to encourage you to live a clean and fit lifestyle. Fit to feel good. Fit to have confidence. Fit to be vibrant. Fit to live longer.

Anyway, tell me what you think? Should I be more careful in titling my workouts? Or who cares!!??

21 thoughts on “POP Pilates and Eating Disorders…apparently.”

There are 21 comments posted by our users.

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  1. josephine says:

    Hi. Being fit is every ones desire. There are those people who can not exercise due to their health conditions. What can they do to be fit.

  2. Jenn says:

    This post is incredibly old by now, but I just want to give you my support Cassey. I’m sure by now you’ve forgotten about this, but just in case you’re ever worried about whether a new viceo’s title is offensive, I want to let you know that I wouldn’t worry about it as much.

    See, I’ve been trying to get in shape for years so I would constantly do the YouTube search routine for “best thigh exercises” or “flat ab exercises.” There are thousands of videos that pop up! But one time (in March) one of your titles caught my eye (just, like you said, it’s intended to do) and I watched it. After doing the video and loving the workout, I started to browse the rest of your videos. One video happened to have a link to your blog and he calendars. Since then, I have not once been back to YouTube to search for videos, I’ve been following your calendar and doing Pilates with you. I’ve never felt better and I’ve never been in better shape, and it’s all thanks to one of your attention-grabbing titles.

    I also think this needs to be said. The titles of your videos, while they’re useful for getting people to watch the video, they are not the important part. If Anonymous, or anyone else who finds your titles offensive, was to actually watch one of your videos or read one of your posts, they’d understand what the rest of us already know.

    You use your titles to draw people in, and once we’re hooked by something like “Bombshell Booty”, you spend the next 10 minutes doing two things. First, you guide us through exercises that are 1) at a level that makes it possible for people to jump in as beginners and not feel defeated and 2) are so effective that we actually WANT to do them. The second thing you do is inspire us and educate us. You motivate us to exercise not to lose weight – I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say anything in your videos about losing weight, and I’ve been watching them for almost 5 months – but to be happy and healthy. If anyone thinks your titles are promoting anything unhealthy, then they haven’t watched the part where you say things like “you can exercise to become more fit, but you should also realize how beautiful you already are” or where you know we are dying and about to give up, so you talk about your nails and we forget all about it. You draw people in with catchy titles. That’s it. They’re catchy, they do their job. And once someone actually watches the video, you do the rest. You’ve taught me so much about being healthy. I’ve never been comfortable with my body, ever. But thanks to you and your catchy titles, over the past few months I have finally learned that I should be. You helped me change my body, and helped me change my mindset. Your title got me hooked, but it was you that saved me.

    Long story short, early March I weighed 140 lbs, I thought I was fat, and I was probably pretty close to being considered “in danger of developing an eating disorder.” Then a catchy title caught my eye and, four months later, let’s check the results. I now weigh 135 lbs, so I did lose a little weight. But that’s not the best part. I look awesome! I have ab lines and defined calves and triceps and muscles where I didn’t even know I could have muscles! I actually like my body. I can honestly say I’ve never said that before. And it’s all thanks to your catchy title.

  3. Hamta says:

    how many times a week should i do to see result?? please tell me

  4. Alivia says:

    Hey I know this is SUPER old, but, from a 15 year old girl perspective, I do NOT think this title is triggering and does not send a bad message. YOU are putting out a workout that the PEOPLE asked you for!! If I emailed you about getting an inner thigh gap or toned arms, I would be so happy if you posted a workout for it! People should be able to do what they want with their bodies (as long as they stay HEALTHY) and if they wanna try and see if they have the body type to achieve an inner thigh gap, then let them. Hey if they are searching for “inner thigh gap” videos and you don’t have one, they will just start following another fitness blog that does! MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, was I searched on youtube one day, 3 weeks ago, “leg toning workout.” Cassey, your channel, and specifically this inner thigh gap video popped up. I checked out your blog after taking a quick look at the video and since then, I have been following your calendar all of May and haven’t been happier in more than 6 months. I’m finally looking happy, healthy, and fit. So thank you. By the way you are absolutely flawless, beautiful INside AND out, and your personality makes ME happy.
    Lots of love,
    Alivia

  5. Tina says:

    I think the title of the work out printable is not a really good one because a thigh gap, what teenage girls are calling it, is something girls are trying to get with exercise or dieting. and thigh gap is being viewed as attainable by all , and if you don’t you aren’t skinny enough. all crazy wrong. BUT.. a thigh gap depends on the width of your hips. you can be healthy fit trim toned in your legs all you want. if your hips are positioned closer than another girls, you will never attain this thigh gap. some young girls think it’s a sign of beauty..
    your hips are your hips.. they are going to be positioned the width they are going to be.
    I like the exercises and love that you are sharing how to be healthy.. and appreciate your last response about how you are glad that anonymous person brought up their opinion, made you think.. maybe just change the title of it.. it sounds like a thigh gap is something that is good.. to try to achieve it. tone, muscle and health is what needs to be achievable. I agree with you, titles need to be something that catches the eye.. I think your creative design pages and nice colors do that without overly catchy titles.
    with a 9 year old girl I’ve really started to think of what is out there in the world.
    good luck with your blog:-)

  6. Khadoooj says:

    This is so rediculous. From what i have seen is that Cassey has been very professional. People are responsoble of their own Life, if they want to turn something healthy into unhealthy they can do that from anything. We have all seen that Cassey is very clearly telling us to eat healthy and work out to live a good and happy Life.
    Cassey has changed all and every kind of women. From obese to healthy strong, from anorexic to healthy, and naturally skinny to strong. This kind of speaking is stupid and not thought through Before spoken!

  7. Sarah says:

    I know I will never have a thigh gap and I don’t care. I am in shape, toned and have a shapely booty and thighs. I love my thighs! Some people’s anatomy are just not made that way. It is unfortunate that people ask for a work out to get a thigh gap, but that is how the media has brainwashed a lot of us. Cassey you are doing a wonderful job at educating your followers how to get fit the healthy way. You tell us all the time that eating clean along with these exercises is the only way to lose fat and get fit. Although, it is a good idea not to mention “thigh gap” in the titles of your future videos.

    By the way, there was a time in high school when I wouldn’t wear shorts because I thought my thighs were fat and ugly. One day my friend was explaining to me why she loved her legs and especially her thighs. She said she loved her curves because guys loved them (granted, not the best reason to love your body). Her and I were similar in shape, I suddenly realized the reason why I was so ashamed of legs.. I was fearful of rejection from guys! Then I realized that guys do not care at all about thigh gaps or cellulite. In fact, I realized that they like women with full thighs and booties –at least the ones I knew. All guys like different things. I also realized that I really shouldn’t care about what guys think about my body. I knew that I liked myself and that God made me beautiful. Any guy that rejects me for the look of a certain body part isn’t worthy of my love anyways. It was very freeing. After that, I actually bought some shorts and felt totally comfortable wearing them!

  8. p says:

    Yes, anon is right i just got here via an anamia forum where it was reposted again & again together with “thinsparation” pics.

    One of the ones who replies to anon discribes a thigh gap as thighs not touching with feet apart at shoulderwith. Well NO, that’s not how it seen at ED boards, it’s thighs not touching when the KNEES thouch.

    If you want to promote strenght, why not show THAT in the title?

    (not english, ED since 15 years)

  9. Sonya says:

    Well just so you know I found pop Pilates because I researched ‘how to get a thing gap’ and it came up with ‘drive by inner thighs’ I don’t think it’s bad that people want thigh gaps. It doesn’t make them skinny or anorexic. If I hadn’t wanted a thigh gap I wouldn’t have found Pilates in the first place and now I have definitely lost weight and am a lot happier with my body. Don’t stop making videos like that just because some people are sensitive to the topic. I wouldn’t be a POPster if you hadn’t made a video like that!!!

  10. Hallie says:

    Who cares.. Your message and what you stand for is much bigger then slim legs. People need to learn to look beyond the title maybe do some research into your blog. Where they will quickly discover your obsession is to your health and well being ! You don’t have to name that workout to cause a stink, foods a touchy subjects with everyone and nothing’s more personal then your own body image . Sp let people debate away ! Keep doing what your doing ! Your changing life’s, even of girls that used to dance with eating disorders and a very distorted reality of “health”!

  11. Jame (@jameane) says:

    Personally, I think the name is unfortunate.

    In reality, some women will have an inner thigh gap, and this will happen at a range of sizes. Some people will be their absolute thinnest/leanest and lowest possible body fat and it won’t happen. The “inner thigh gap” is a very very common image in the thinspo blogs/pictures, and represents the epitome of thinness for these women. For other people it is a measure of fitness. In reality it is a combination of lean enough legs and wide enough hips for it to happen. So it could be hard work or it could be genetic.

    So I think it is a little unrealistic to promote this image (and so many models are photoshopped into having a gap. I can see the concern about promoting eating disorders. I think you could have chosen a better name, like rockin’ toned inner thighs or even a tongue in cheek one like “Better than a thighmaster.”

    I have absolutely no desire to have an inner thigh gap, but I definitely want super toned legs.

  12. Loz says:

    Hmmm, ok. So let me get this straight. There are numerous workouts titled by what they target but anonymous doesn’t like this one? How about Anonymous goes to fashion headquarters and ask them to start using models where i can’t see knee bones.
    I found this website by googling How to Get an Inner Thigh Gap! So thank you Cassey cause you have given me the advice i was searching for. By the way, love this site. I’ve already added to my favourites. AND i see you recently came down my way to Oz. I hope you liked it here. It hasn’t been the greatest weather though.
    Thanks again, and keep it up!

    1. Loz says:

      Just want to add that i did the inner thigh workout this morning and loved it. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me so i could only fit in 3 rounds before i had to get ready for work. In the 3rd round my legs were shaking! I love the heel pulse – OMG!

      1. Tina says:

        a ‘thigh gap” depends on the width of your hips.. you can do work outs all you want. if your hips are close together, you will never attain this.

  13. Neva says:

    Oh, Anonymous, you silly goose. Exercise is a positive, beneficial, medicinal thing. It can be abused, but so can any other medicine. It’s up to the person using it. And using exercise to attain something isn’t bad, even if it’s only to get a certain bodily aesthetic. If Anonymous is opposed to this workout, then they should also be opposed to a how-to article or video on hair-curling or getting rid of a blemish.
    Maybe Anonymous is just a bit overly sensitive to anything having to do with body image. Which I suppose makes sense, given the massive amount of people who dislike their bodies simply because they aren’t “perfect”. But you are not the enemy in the body image war (a bit of a dramatization), you are definitely an ally. Anonymous just doesn’t realize that.

    1. blogilates says:

      you’re funny 🙂

  14. Tatiana says:

    I think this can be somewhat of a vicious cycle. The people see things in the media that tell them that it’s not ok to have a belly bulge or to have their thighs touching, so then they come to you, a trusted professional, to tell them how to get rid of it. It’s not your fault that you’re giving people what they want. It’s each individuals responsibility to choose appropriate health goals for themselves.

    Then there’s also the battle that rages between too skinny and too fat. Obesity is a real problem that needs someone like you to encourage people to exercise and eat healthy, but at the same time we want to make sure that people aren’t hating their bodies. I think that all of your videos are very encouraging, you’re beautiful and adorable, and you have a totally normal view on food/eating/exercising etc.

  15. Shay says:

    I’m loving these exercises, because the inner thighs are one of the hardest areas for me to tone up. I won’t get the inner thigh gap because of my body shape/structure, but I’m hoping for toner thighs. Trust me, I get the title and no, I do not think these exercises promote eating disorders.

  16. Erin Abercrombie says:

    Hi Casey,

    I know this post is really old now, but I just read it and wanted to say that Anonymous is sillllly! There really isn’t any other word for it. You have the most positive and inspirational blog and what’s more than that, you’ve given our community the tools to make a positive change. Thank you so much!

    Erin

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