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You can now buy thigh gap jewellery - but all is not as it seems

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The internet has a habit of promoting unrealistic notions of the human body. Take, for example, the #A4waist challenge, which last week saw women comparing the size of their waist to printer paper.

But what has been perhaps the most damaging hashtag of all is the #ThighGap challenge - an absurd obsession with a diamond-shaped space between the thighs. 

So the fact there is now a company catering for thigh gap jewellery should make us want to just give up on the world and go and live on a remote island where we wouldn't have to care about pointless topics like thigh gaps. 

Named TGAP jewellery, the collection is the brainchild of Singapore-based Soo Kyung Bae. The adornments are made up of delicate chains that fit around your thighs, with a pendant dangling in between the legs of those with a gap.

Thigh Gap

There are six styles - Linear, Crescent, Fringe, Circle, Hinge and Double - and each piece is handcrafted in either gold, silver or bronze. The pieces range from $175 (about £122) to $195 (about £135). 

So is it time to move to that remote island? After all, the state of society can't get much more depressing than this, right?

Wrong.

Thigh Gap

It's wrong because TGAP is a fictional company. They launched to "catalyse a debate on the unrealistic body image social media portrays", and that's why if you actually try to buy one of these non-existent thigh gap decorations, you'll be taken to a separate website, where you can read more about the TGAP story.

The story encourages women to "disregard the negative body image messages from media while understanding that the messages change over generations and with trends", and warns that the increase of such trends can lead to extreme dieting, body dissatisfaction and even life-threatening or fatal eating disorders. 

Thigh Gap

Bae, a final-year industrial design student at the National University of Singapore, told Dezeen she was inspired to create the collection after seeing the damage internet trends like #ThighGap can do to women.

"Thigh gap represents one of the first few trends regarding body ideals the media has popularised," she said. "It clearly demonstrates the media's power on influencing one's perception of body image.

"The jewellery pieces take the thigh-gap trend to another level," she added. "The pieces are created in hopes of sparking questions. If we let the media keep popularising such unrealistic body ideals, will this eventually become reality?"

Despite Bae's good intentions, she received outrage and confusion from online commenters shocked by the fictional collection, but she says opinions have changed and she has now received messages of appreciation about her desire to bring awareness to the issue. 

"By using outrageous products, I hope to bring a provocative jolt that leads us to ponder and reflect upon what we are like as a society and the absurd things we value and obsess over – as well as how this creates unnecessary pressure for women and girls," she said.

"One can use design to spark debate and reflection, to be a catalyst for people to decide for themselves about their position on this matter. I hope it leads to more people-centred, people-loving conclusions, but it is for the audience to decide for themselves."

Thigh Gap

A message on TGAP's website calls the thigh gap "a trend popularised on social media that pressurises women and girls to achieve a gap between their thighs when they stand with their feet touching".

It also shows us the extreme and abundant trends women are plagued with on a daily basis. From the #CollarboneChallenge to the #VisibleRibCage trend, these unattainable "goals" are increasingly pervasive in the world of social media and internet sharing, and they're showing no signs of stopping.

Maybe, with the help of these disruptive campaigns, we'll all start to see these hashtags for what they are: damaging, unwelcome, and above all, dangerous.

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