The greater a person’s social media usage, the more likely they are to hear about body trends and the more likely they are to be unhappy with their bodies, that’s according to a survey of 1,000 women, conducted by The Hospital Group. Previously it was ‘thigh gaps’ that were seen as a desirable trait mainly amongst young women, and now an even more bizarre trend has been gathering speed – Hip Dips!
What are they and why do some women have them?
Hip dips are slight inward curves around the hips and a natural feature on a woman’s body. There has been an increase in Google searches on the topic since 2017, and according to our research most of those that have heard of this emerging body trend, think that they’re health or weight related – which is simply just a myth.
Their appearance varies between women with very little consistency: they can be pronounced, extremely subtle, or, in some cases, not noticeable at all, and are formed by the natural shape of your pelvis. That’s why they are so difficult to strive for or get rid of.
Are hip dips weight related?
No! Two thirds of women believe hip dips are weight related. A quarter of women believe having noticeable hip dips makes them less attractive – a sentiment that’s strongest among 25-34-year-olds with over a third (35%) considering them to be an unattractive feature.
Dr. Asher Siddiqi from The Hospital Group asserts that: “Hip dips” are naturally occurring indentations as a result of how the femur (upper leg bone) connects with the pelvic bone. The extent of this indentation varies from person to person and is dependent on the pelvis shape, the muscle and fat distribution in the area.
Social media and #influencer culture seems to be contributing, according to our survey. 35% of women who say they’re extremely active on social media have heard of hip dips. Among those who don’t use social media at all, 96% do not know what hip dips are.
Despite the more time spent browsing social sites tending to correlate with a greater number of people saying they feel unhappy with their body, the popular hashtag #hipdipsrsexy will hopefully aid with feelings of self-love and attractiveness around hip dips. They’re as natural as the shape of your nose or the size of your feet, and nothing to be concerned about.
To highlight women’s hip dips across all shapes and sizes, The Hospital Group spoke to five women who have “dared to bare” in order to spread the message that hips dips are natural.
Sophie, a 23-year old photographer from Blackpool expressed,
“I have always had a 10-inch difference between my hips and waist and as a teenager, I found clothes were too tight or too loose, and I never felt confident in how I looked. Then the 'hip dip' craze came around and I felt conscious that not only were my hips big but they weren't boney and as prominent as others. I now love my curvy body and am grateful for my larger hips and my shape – it's me and no one else can take that away.”
It's clear that our social media obsession is affecting the way we view ourselves, with the study finding those who use social media more than once per day are more likely to be unhappy with their bodies. The chart below shows the trend in more detail.
“I used to put a lot of pressure on myself because I didn't see my body represented in the media and I was constantly being told I wasn't thin enough by social media.” Sophie added.
Charlie, a 41-year old writer & blogger from Manchester agrees,
“Aren't we all self-conscious about bits of our bodies? I don't feel it so much from peers, but more from media and airbrushed images, even though I know they're false.”
Dr. Asher Saddiqi from The Hospital Group commented that: It’s undeniable there is a pressure from social media to look and appear a certain way, but it’s so easy to alter filter and edit pictures now to portray a body shape that may not be naturally possible. Hip dips are due to naturally occurring anatomy and commonly seen in many individuals; therefore nobody should feel the pressure from social media to change them.
Ultimately, hip dips shouldn’t be considered an abnormality, no matter how overweight, underweight, or healthy you are. There’s really no need to worry. However, the sad reality is over half of women wish they could change a part of their body.
For more body confidence advice around staying healthy and maintaining a positive mindset, head to The Hospital Group’s blog.