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‘Legging legs’ is the latest toxic trend making girls insecure: ‘Catalyst for eating disorders’

‘Legging legs’ is the latest toxic trend making girls insecure: ‘Catalyst for eating disorders’
"Legging legs" is the latest toxic trend sweeping TikTok.
"Legging legs" is the latest toxic trend sweeping TikTok.

Thigh gaps were so 2010s — unfortunately, the youngsters on TikTok prefer vintage.

Young Gen Zers and Gen Alphas are fascinated by the concept of “legging legs,” glorifying exaggerated thigh gaps that once captivated aesthetic Tumblr bloggers circa 2010 — just under a different name.

On TikTok, the tag #legginglegs has scored over 33 million views as a wave of young women proudly show off their “legging legs” — those with thigh gaps, according to them, supposedly look the best in yoga pants.

“Seeing the trend ‘legging legs’ hit the internet as a repackaged thigh gap of the 2000s,” nutritionist Katherine Kofoed lamented in a video. “So many girls I knew in high school got EDs [eating disorders] trying to have a thigh gap.”

This time around, however, the millennials and elder Gen Zers old enough to remember the psychological consequences of the thigh gap obsession are calling the resurfaced trend toxic, warning that it is a “catalyst for eating disorders.”

“I’m speaking on behalf of my generation. We went through this s–t, we were traumatized by this s–t, and now there are young women that are making these posts about f–-ing legging legs,” millennial content creator Shannon Cole said in a TikTok video, garnering over 611,000 views. “Are you kidding me?”

Cole called for a ban on content promoting or related to “legging legs,” arguing that the “disgusting” behavior could trigger eating disorders in young girls who view the videos.

As potentially harmful content proliferated on social platforms in recent years, media giants like Meta have taken extra steps to crack down on posts related to topics, such as eating disorders, after being accused of contributing to the growing youth mental health crisis.

Between the ages of 6 and 10 years old, young girls begin to worry about their weight, and, by the time they reach 14, as many as 70% of girls are actively trying to lose it with 12% of adolescent girls developing an eating disorder.

TikTokers lamented the return of thigh gap glorification under the guise of “legging legs,” or legs that supposedly look good in tight pants. TikTok/kathrinekofoed
TikTokers lamented the return of thigh gap glorification under the guise of “legging legs,” or legs that supposedly look good in tight pants. TikTok/kathrinekofoed
Cole called the trend a “catalyst for eating disorders.” TikTok/loveshannoncole
Cole called the trend a “catalyst for eating disorders.” TikTok/loveshannoncole

One parent told The Post last year that his daughter developed anorexia nervosa that he believes was aggravated by excessive social media use, saying that social media apps gave her “strategies on eating less, strategic foods to eat [and] behaviors to avoid” to be thin.

Now, TikTokers watch aghast as “legging legs” take the platform by storm despite the attempts to curb similar content and instead promote body acceptance.

“What the f–k are ‘legging legs’?” NYC content creator and DJ Griffin Maxwell Brooks quipped in a video posted this week. “That’s the same word twice and now a bunch of 14-year-olds think they’re fat. Are you proud of yourself?”

One creator, who goes only by Emily, called the so-called trend “the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”

“Do we understand that there are 15-year-old girls that wear leggings every single day that now feel that they cannot wear leggings because they don’t have ‘legging legs’?” she exclaimed in a TikTok clip.

TikTokers and commenters alike attempted to promote the message of body acceptance and positivity online in the wake of the “legging legs” fascination. TikTok/emilyxpearl
TikTokers and commenters alike attempted to promote the message of body acceptance and positivity online in the wake of the “legging legs” fascination. TikTok/emilyxpearl

Viewers agreed with her sentiments, recalling the “slippery slope” of dieting from the early aughts and voicing their fear of reliving it.

“It’s so exhausting. It seems like once we take a step forward we go 5 back,” wrote one user.

“I had to look it up and ‘perfect leggings legs’ are just thigh gaps and WE’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE, WHY ARE WE BACK,” decried someone else.

“If you own both leggings and legs, congrats! You have legging legs!” quipped another.