We’ve witnessed plenty of body image trends going viral on social media, but the latest hashtag gaining traction has experts worried.
#Abcrack is just another body shaming trend to join the long list of disturbing challenges, like the A4 waist and thigh gap. Hundreds globally are tagging their photographs highlighting their quests to achieving the perfect ab-crack.
In case you aren’t across the latest lingo, an ab-crack is the line that runs down the centre of the stomach. Actress Emily Ratajkowki has nailed the ab-crack in this bikini shot.
Before you hit the gym to several uncomfortable planks or launching into a series of crunches, is the ab-crack even real?
American gastroenterologist Nitin Kumar, says gaining an ab-crack may not even be possible. “To have visibly defined abs, you need to be below a body fat percentage of about six percent,” she says. “This is a step beyond that—requiring low body fat level, muscular abdominal muscles, and a dash of particular genes that you may or may not have hiding in your DNA. Working out a ton is a minimum, but no guarantee.”
Fitness experts say the ab-crack isn’t worth striving for
Fitness experts also believe gaining a pronounced ab-crack isn’t just about how fit you are. Ben Hart, co-founder of the fitness live streaming website Qinetic, says “That line is a result of your genetics in combination of just generally a lower body fat percentage. The amount you work out has no correlation with getting an indented line down your stomach. I know plenty of women who work their asses off, look amazing, and will never see that line.”
As for Hart’s advice on whether you should join the hundreds and obsess over a defined line:
“Don’t do this to yourself”, he says. “While for some, that line may look great on, many more will be working towards something their body doesn’t have or want. You don’t need another thing on your plate to worry about, especially that of little to no control.”
Social media trends are all about promoting body shaming
Christine Morgan, Butterfly Foundation CEO, says these trends usually result in people feeling bad about themselves. “Viral social media trends such as this further promote body shaming and send out negative messages about body image,” she says.
“Those who are unable to achieve the trend may feel like they don’t measure up to the cultural ideals of beauty and body shape and can experience intense body dissatisfaction which is damaging to their psychological and physical wellbeing.”
If you spend hours scrolling through Instagram obsessing over fitness photos, it’s worth putting things into perspective. Many gramers have become clever about taking photos and what images they choose to publish. Extra light, make up, spray tans and often re-touching are all the tricks of the trade to craft the perfect shot.
If the model, celebrity, or fitness fanatic looks too perfect to be true, they probably are. So is it a trend really worth obsessing over?
Dropping to a below healthy weight range may not be the answer
Crash dieting and rapidly losing kilos to get below the healthy weight range may not be the answer to achieving abs, let alone an ab-crack.
Unfortunately, you can’t choose where you want to lose fat no matter how restrictive your diet is or how much cardio you do. Nor can you strengthen all of your abdominal muscles by doing hundreds of crunches.
Melbourne personal trainer Chris Appleford of Health Happy Dads agrees. “Having a visible six-pack and ab-crack, does not define your health and fitness levels. To achieve a body fat percentage of 10 percent or less in order to gain a six pack is the combination of an incredibly disciplined diet and exercise program, which for most people is very unrealistic.”
At Cosmos Clinic we see many patients who are healthy and fit, but desire a little more definition in areas of their body such as the abdominal region. They’re not oblivious to the fact that this can only be achieved by taking unhealthy and obsessive steps, like fasting or unrealistic hours spent at the gym daily. They also are well aware, maintaining this chiseled physique requires a great deal of discipline and taking a break or swaying away from the diet for a “cheat meal” is not an option.
Vaser High Liposuction is a treatment that aims at creating a more sculpted and athletic shape, without the need for extreme dieting putting your health at risk. The best candidates are those who already have a good figure and muscle tone, but by removing a small amount of fat could benefit from a little more contouring. And the results are permanent.
It’s become one our most popular procedures for both men and women wanting to enhance their bodies, not to participate in a hashtag trend, but to feel better about themselves. For many, the results from Vaser High Definition Liposuction simply reflect their dedication in leading a healthy lifestyle.