I’ve finally worked out how to be a worthy human of the female persuasion: I must be tall (but not too tall), lean (but not sinewy), possess two full perky breasts (but not too big unless you want a career in porn), a curvy butt (that doesn’t wobble or dimple), flawless complexion, pouty lips, small nose, chiseled cheek bones, hair-free (except for the long, silky locks on my head, perfectly manicured eyebrows and long thick eye lashes) and a body and face that ages gracefully, just so long as I don’t actually look old.
But just when I thought I had it all worked out, I forgot my box gap [link NSFW].
'My what gap?' I hear you ask.
It’s actually nothing. No really, it’s nothing.
It’s the negative space — the bit of a woman that isn’t woman. It’s not your thighs, it’s not even your…ahem…box (why oh why have we reverted back to calling a vagina a box?) It’s the space below your vagina and between your thighs that can be seen when you’re standing with your ankles together.
Up until this point I had been blissfully sailing through life unaware of yet another marker of beauty and worth that I have failed at.
Who knew that our boxes were in need of additional space? The last I heard the camel toe was all the rage among fetishists. Not anymore. A Facebook page devoted to the box gap [link NSFW], which had, at last look, just shy of 100 thousand ‘friends’ suggests that the camel is out and the airy beaver is in.
There are websites devoted to advice on obtaining the box gap or thigh gap or mind the gap. If you’re interested, squats = bad, pilates = good. And there are online forums where men put their foot down and make principled declarations such as, ‘I won't even entertain the thought of taking out a girl without a thigh gap. Absolute must.’
Don’t you just love a man with conviction?
Perhaps the online dating site RSVP needs to add another check box to its online profile. Or maybe when we tell our young men to ‘be prepared’ on a date we should suggest they pack a ruler as well as a condom. Then all gaps can be measured, quantified and compared much the same as cup sizes, dress sizes and waist measurements.
Psychoanalysis has been criticised by generations of feminists for defining women by what they lack — namely a penis — but Dr Freud and his colleagues really have nothing on the people who came up with box gap.
But perhaps I just haven’t fully appreciated the whole box gap phenomenon. The Facebook page says that it doesn’t wish to insult anyone. As the ‘About’ section assures us, publishing photos of the air down there isn’t meant to cause offense.
It’s all about a bit of fun. ‘This page is intended to give people a laugh…’ reads the section of the Facebook page.
A laugh? Of all the grown men who have seen my vagina, not one of them, I am relieved to report, has ever laughed. But, then again, I don’t have a box gap so perhaps the comic value is beyond my experience.
I am, of course, presuming that grown men set up and ‘like’ this page. But there’s good reason to doubt this, given that the page owners also say that they are happy to post pictures of girls ‘boobies’.
In my experience, the only people who use the term ‘boobies’ are children and socially awkward IT administrators whose closest and most recent encounter with ‘women’ was in Second Life.
Perhaps this a good thing, because if a box gap is an ‘absolute must’ then they can all date their avatars — and get intimate with their hands.
Kasey Edwards is the best-selling author of 4 books 30-Something and Over It, 30-Something and The Clock is Ticking, OMG! That's Not My Husband, and OMG! That's Not My Child.