Upon first glance, Singaporean designer Soo Kyung Bae's jewelry line, TGap Jewellry, looks completely legit (and quite unsettling). The sleekly designed site features a collection of six styles, "hand crafted" from 18K gold-plated sterling silver and priced from $175 to $195. Resembling long necklaces finished with various minimalist charms (a cluster of fringe; a circular pendant), the styles are actually billed as thigh gap jewelry, displayed dangling from models' hipbones, instead of draped on clavicles. A crazy, pretty sickening new frontier of body bling, right? It's so crazy, in fact, it's not real; instead it's parody, intended to make a statement about unhealthy body image ideals. The very real-looking site will bring you all the way to a shopping cart with your new thigh gap baubles; once you click "check out," the faux brand's real M.O. is revealed. "TGap Jewellery is a fictional company that sells jewelleries designed for thigh gaps. It is launched to catalyze a debate on unrealistic body image social media portrays," reads the site. Bae, an industrial design student at the National University of Singapore, created the fictitious body jewelry collection, which launched last week. She got lots of negative feedback from folks who didn't realize the collection's a farce.
The aim: to comment on the troubling, body image-damaging "ideal," particularly among teens, of the thigh gap. "Thigh gap represents one of the first few trends regarding body ideals the media has popularized," Bae told Dezeen. "It clearly demonstrates media's power on influencing one's perception of body image." The project and its not-really-for-sale jewelry was "created in hopes of sparking questions," Bae told the publication. Perpetuating the pursuit of the thigh gap has even gotten brands like Urban Outfitters in trouble. The retailer's British site featured a photo of a very thin model in lace undies, and the ample space between her thighs resulted in the image being banned in January 2015 by the Advertising Standards Authority. We're certainly relieved that this isn't the next wave of body jewelry. It's a pretty clever, thought-provoking way to bring attention to an otherwise damaging body-image "goal."