First it was a thigh gap. The it was the monos pubis. Now it’s the ab crack. Another day another unrealistic, unachievable and basically fantastical beauty aspiration.
What is the ab crack? As the name would suggest it is basically a bum-like crack or cleavage for your abs which Elle have suggested might be the ‘new core look’ for abs everywhere (only in Celeb land) this summer as modelled by celebrities such as Emily Ratajowski and Jourdan Dunn.
We live in a world where we are not only bombarded with pictures of celebrities in bikinis on a daily basis but one where you can learn how to contour your abs to make yourself look thinner on YouTube. Unrealistic standards of beauty are everywhere.
Sapan Seghal, fitness expert and owner of London Fields Fitness, confirms that the ‘ab crack’ is little more than yet another catchy name for something unattainable. I asked him how often someone would have to work out in order to achieve it.
‘Realistically it’s very difficult to get a line like this on your stomach. There are three things to consider here’ he told me. ‘You have to be genetically predisposed to get that kind of line and your diet would have to be really strict. You’d have to train like mad, regularly and hard. In theory you could train as much as you like and never get that look.’
In terms of just how unrealistic the weight of expectation the very notion of an ‘ab crack’ is Sapan says ‘you would have to work out a lot. You’d have to train twice a day, minimum. You wouldn’t be consuming any alcohol or sugar. You could do all of this and still never get that ‘crack’.’
As someone working in the fitness industry do images or fitness ‘trends’ like this concern him? ‘Sadly we live in an Instagram age where it’s more about visual health than actual health’ he tells me. ‘Because of this people are encouraged to be more concerned about how they look than what’s good for their bodies. The goal has become to look good above all else.’
Ultimately, Sapan says ‘exercise should be about health and feeling confident in your own body. We have a fascination now with visual health which is worrying for me because I think this is extreme. We shouldn’t have unrealistic goals.’ He also points out that ‘Instagram photos can be doctored o heavily now that you never really know how much of what you’re seeing is real.’
Here’s the thing about the ‘ab crack’: it’s daft. If you’re genetically predisposed to be super toned, then perhaps this is a realistic goal. For many people, it’s not. As for the celebs, they have a particular body type and it’s her job to work out, eat certain things and post bikini pictures or workout selfies on Instagram (dissecting that is an entirely different article). There’s no need to throw shade at them. Elle did this when they snidely commented that all 'ab crack' pics show is that 'you've been in the gym a lot' and said it looks like 'an irrigation ditch for your abs'. We shouldn't be comparing ourselves to celebrities, nor should we be tearing them down.
What we must acknowledge is this: celebrity standards of beauty are unrealistic because it’s literally their life’s work to maintain them. Just as it is for professional athletes. It's just not realistic for the majority of people. All these so-called ‘trends’ do is encourage us to compare ourselves to each other and feel bad when we’re realise that we’re all different.
As long as you’re healthy and happy in your own skin it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got an ab crack, thigh gap or prominent mono pubis.
To conclude...here’s a picture of my #elbowcrack: *[
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.