Box Gaps: When society fetishises something that technically doesn’t exist

A beautiful 16-year-old girl got on the train, wearing denim shorts and a singlet top. She had bewitchingly wavy long hair, a huge smile, perky breasts, toned arms and a size 10-12 healthy frame. She sat down and a group of lads shouted across the carriage “Oi, you’re cute but you’d look better with a box gap…you fat ass”. Despite their caveman-like vernacular and extreme insults to this poor young girl, I was confused. “Box gap”? My immediate thought was “but she’s not carrying a box”, and then I quickly realised they were talking about her vagina, or rather the lack of gap between her thighs directly underneath her crotch.

I’m going to add the ‘Box Gap’ to the ever-growing shelf of fetishised physical attributes that the majority of the population will never fulfil but continue to strive for. It will be placed right next to having large perky breasts (but not too large because that’s porn-star like) or a round, juicy ass (but not having a tummy because women should control their fat depositories). Let’s forget about having leg or underarm hair; us women must remain hair-free at all times, except for a long, luscious head of hair so males have “something to pull on while having sex”(yep someone actually said this to me once). I mean, if a man wants his woman with a box gap, he can’t be expected to touch hair! Imagine the disgust of feeling her biological warming mechanism in between his fingers as he strokes her cellulite/jiggle free calves and thighs.

I understand that many perfectly healthy and beautiful girls have a box gap. My mum even has one and she’s 55. I do not have an issue with the gap itself, but with the sexist culture that surrounds it. I am concerned with the idea that all women should be expected to be blessed with naturally slender legs or that girls may think themselves unattractive with a pelvis shape that is not in proportion with a naturally muscular physique.

I cannot believe we refer to a vagina as a “box”. Despite my reservations, over 110,000 people in Facebook land ‘Like’ the Box Gap, including 28 of my own friends. The description of the page goes something along the lines of “This page has been made to be fun and we don’t want it deleted”. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t know how I would feel about a grownup male laughing at my vagina every time I opened my legs. And if he is not laughing because I don’t have a box gap, will he scream in horror instead?

For 20 years I lived thinking that my extremely muscular legs were my best feature. I did ballet four times a week for 13 years, I go running four times a week and regularly ride my bike. My thighs, that can push 120 KG’s at the gym, survived five gruelling years on point, can do the splits and look extremely good in a dress…definitely touch. I don’t have a box gap. *SHOCK HORROR* And you know what? Sometimes my tummy jiggles, my breasts are probably too big, I have a relatively flat bum (despite the fact my thighs touch) and sometimes I forget to
shave my legs.

No need for condolences friends, I have survived 20 years without a box gap and will happily survive another 60 without one. The world will not end. You are free to enjoy box gaps, just as I am free to enjoy cake. But as a compromise let’s start a Facebook page with over 100,000 ‘Likes’ that fetishizes big testicles…just a thought.

Louise Mapleston

The author Louise Mapleston

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