When we first heard the phrase “Toblerone tunnel,” we assumed it had something to do with loads of delicious European chocolate. Alas, it does not. The phrase refers to an unhealthy social media body craze that we can’t ignore. The Toblerone tunnel is what some are calling the triangle-shaped gap some women have between their thighs and butts — and many are insinuating that this is what women should aspire to look like. You know how the Toblerone box is shaped like a triangle? That’s where the disappointing trend gets its name from.
Like all thigh gaps that came before it, this is not something anyone needs to work toward for so many reasons. Sure, having a gap between your thighs or under your butt is not necessarily a bad thing. For people with smaller frames, a thigh gap might happen naturally. But those with different body shapes might never have a gap between their thighs, and they certainly don’t need to engage in unhealthy eating or workout habits to get one.
Fortunately, many women are wise to the ways that Instagram selfies can mess with their mental health and self-esteem. On Twitter, they sounded off about how ridiculous the “Toblerone tunnel” is.
Body crazes like this one are inherently dangerous and triggering for people with body dysmorphia or disordered eating habits. They’re also inherently sexist, since they’re based on the idea that a woman’s body has to look a certain way to be aesthetically pleasing to someone else (usually a man). Social media, unfortunately, can exacerbate this.
Studies have shown that selfies and Instagram culture can have negative effects on self-esteem and mental health. Matt Keracher, the lead author of a 2017 study on the issue, told CNN that Instagram forces women to “compare themselves against unrealistic, largely curated, filtered, and Photoshopped versions of reality.” They can also make women feel like they’re not good enough — especially if they can’t meet arbitrary and ridiculous standards like Toblerone thighs.
Please, if you find yourself scrolling through Instagram and hating on your body, remind yourself that the Toberlone tunnel is absolutely ridiculous. Then go treat yourself to some chocolate, because you definitely deserve some.