Ab Crack Is The New Six Pack: Disturbing Instagram Trend Replaces The Thigh Gap

The newest disturbing fitness trend is the ab crack, and it is causing just as much concern as the thigh gap. Elle affectionately calls it the "new six pack" and reports that this unattainable physical feature has replaced the thigh gap, and if the mass of Instagram postings with the #abcrack hashtag is any indication of its popularity, health experts are going to be busy trying to dissuade trend seekers from emulating it.

Instagram is full of men and women (mostly women) documenting their progress with obtaining the ab crack -- many are showing off the one they already have or expressing the wish to get one. The fad has its admirers and critics, and the debate about self-love and acceptance is front and center once again.

Essentially, the ab crack is a vertical indentation in the middle of the abdomen and can only be achieved by having low muscle mass. Fitness enthusiasts, such as body builders, tend to have this feature because of their tone physiques and low body fat, and it is a feature they strive for, just like a six pack, but this particular physical feature didn't become a big deal until women start expressing it as a fitness or body image goal. As with any fitness craze attached to women, it immediately became a discussion about eating disorders and self-loathing.Emily Ratajkowski has become one of the faces of the movement, according to The Miami Herald, especially after her July 1 Instagram post, which shows her with a serious case of ab crack. The model then posted a photo from a Harper's Bazaar shoot two days ago that shows a nude Emily portraying Lady Godiva and the ab crack is not visible. That picture was obviously photographed a few months ago, which means that she put in some serious gym time to come up with the aforementioned bikini shot.Instagram is overflowing with the #abcrack hashtag and all of the "it girls" have one. In addition to Emily Ratajkowski; Jourdan Dunn, Stella Maxwell, and Jasmin Tookes are seen regularly with the indentation, in addition to thigh gap, and all of those dangerously coveted physical features that seem to be unrealistic and unattainable for the majority of the population. Actually, if you close your eyes and point at a Victoria's Secret model, chances are extremely high that they will have an ab crack because it is easier to obtain with naturally thin bodies.Ab cracks are supposed to indicate that a person is taking care of themselves and it is a feature that fitness enthusiasts aim for. According to information obtained on Shape, the ab crack is officially called the linea alba, and it's a tendinous inscription between your ab muscles and it is determined by your genetics, says Rob Sulaver, C.S.C.S. with Bandana Training.
"You can train your abs and make them more pronounced by working them hard, but for the most part, you're not going to change the structure."
In other words, if you are having difficulty obtaining this particular feature, it isn't your fault; the models that are making this trend seem like the new norm are genetically predisposed to have this well-defined ditch between the abs.
Not everyone is impressed with this look and in a society that is slowly killing the bikini body and leaning towards curves, not everyone finds this look appealing, especially women.
What is curious is that this trend isn't limited to women; men are also posting images of themselves with the #abcrack hashtag and there is not one shred of criticism. It isn't limited to women, yet the criticism is. No one is being criticized for wanting model Nick Bateman's body, and no one is wagging their finger at him unless it is to invite him into their space.
The issue with trends is that they leave as quickly as they come and they tend to be based on wanting to be something or someone other than what you are, making them generally unhealthy. People (mostly women) are buying bigger butts and stuffing their lips with foreign substances so they can look like someone else, but what happens when Beyonce's butt is no longer a trend? Here's to embracing the trend of mental and physical health instead of striving to emulate someone else's body.

[Image via Shutterstock]