What am I talking about? Good question. Before this morning, I was innocent too.
But then came the flood of #bikinibridge tweets, and the Daily Dot's story of an Internet hoax, and at least one shamefully clueless body-image story, and I put it all together. For those still in the dark, allow me to break it down: "Bikini bridge" (which truly is the name of the aforementioned fabric span between hip bones, apparently), like "thigh gap," is a thing, at least within certain slender-lady circles. There's even a Tumblr to prove it. But the concept hadn't had its moment in the sun, so to speak, until some pranksters at 4chan (a social media site where users can post random images) got involved.
That's where, according to the Daily Dot, some anonymous users of 4chan's random imageboard, dubbed /b/, had the bright idea to hijack Twitter with a flood of posts about the fad, just for kicks, but with an aim that was two-fold: First, to get people buzzing about it, and second, to get people angry about it. And, thanks to a handful of 4chan users with massive Twitter followings, it worked. Bloggers ranted, Twitter users raved, and a BuzzFeed user went full-on pro-ana with "12 Perks of Having a Bikini Bridge," such as "You're irresistible to cute boys" and "Constant compliments!"
Now, everyone's scrambling to figure out whether it was really all a hoax or not, though a slew of 4chan posts on the topic like "Bravo gentlemen, bravo," and "Oh my god /b/ has done it again" make it pretty clear that it was. The folks involved seem to mainly be men (surprise!) who are either evil ("The reason behind this is to cause a massive uproar about bikini bridges and hopefully lead girls to anorexia") or bored ("Do whatever to ensure it's getting attention for both lovers and haters. Getting feminists on this would help out a lot").
OK guys, so here I am, and honestly? The hoax? Not so funny. Just sadly, scarily plausible.
And frankly, it doesn't even matter if it's true or not, what's worse is how readily we can all believe it. If "thigh gap" is depressingly real, then why not "bikini bridge"? Actually, why not "collar-bone crevasse" while we're at it? Anorexia is the third most-common chronic illness among adolescents, and the mortality rate associated with the disorder is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all other causes of death for females ages 15 to 24. So really, 4chan trolls, millions of girls will already be dealing with body-image issues with or without your hijinks. But thanks anyway.