When we noticed "legging legs" were trending on TikTok we had to take a moment. Surely anyone with legs can wear leggings? Shockingly not, according to the latest toxic body-shaming trend.
Similar to the harmful "thigh gap" or "beach body ready" conversations that millennials will remember, the "legging legs" phrase insinuates that unless you have long, slender limbs then wearing leggings isn't for you. And this damaging rhetoric is spreading like wildfire amongst some of social media's youngest creators, with TikTok videos receiving over 5 million views and thousands of comments from users claiming to have ditched their leggings collection after seeing the debate bubble up online.
"The 'legging legs' trend circulating on the internet is yet another example of harmful body-centric trends," Elle Mace, Positive Psychology Coach and Master Practitioner in body image, tells POPSUGAR. "While perhaps initially appearing as a light-hearted way to describe the visual impact of certain leggings, it inadvertently contributes to a culture that places unnecessary emphasis on appearance."
Thankfully, many TikTok users with large followings are speaking out against "legging Legs", like British "Across The Pond" actress, Jamie Adler. In a recent TikTok post she urged everyone to ignore the trend and explained how damaging this conversation is to the younger generation.
"On a platform full of young impressionable girls, these types of trends can have detrimental effects."
A quick search on TikTok and the hashtag appears to have disappeared, sparking thoughts that the platform has taken action against damaging content like this. POPSUGAR reached out to TikTok for comment, but is yet to receive confirmation. However, this didn't stop it reaching nearly 47 million views before the ban, and hundreds of videos still available on the site discussing the term.
"On a platform full of young impressionable girls these types of trends can have detrimental effects," says Mace. "It can only take one comment or trend like this for someone to find themselves struggling with body dysmorphia or even eating disorders."
Jade Thomas, Psychotherapist and Founder of Luxe Psychology Practice agrees. "Trends like this can be harmful for individuals, particularly young people, as it can negatively impact their mental health and body image by creating unrealistic 'standards of beauty'," Thomas says.
It is also extremely concerning for those who may already struggle with their mental health and body image. "Trends like this can be very triggering," Thomas adds. "It's crucial to be mindful of the language we use online and promote more inclusive and positive discussions surrounding body image."
If you're feeling deflated by trends like this, Mace suggests it's best to acknowledge how you feel, but not judge it. "Stop scrolling through social media, take some time out. Reinforce to yourself that social media isn't real life and it's all about how you feel in yourself," says Mace. "Setting social media boundaries such as screen-free time, or turning your phone off before bed to reduce time scrolling can help, too."
This is just another divisive trend designed to take advantage of women's insecurities and we say enough is enough. If you have legs, you are ready to wear leggings. There is no set shape, size, or length requirement to pull on a pair of leggings and we refuse to let social media tell us any differently. We implore you to, as well.