Friday 19 July 2019

Mind the thigh gap? Well, here's the Toblerone Tunnel and 'hip cleavage'

Stock image
Stock image
Tunnel vision: the TT refers to the triangular space between the top of the thighs and the bikini bottoms
Pat Kenny
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

It's always exciting isn't it? To find out what previously unnoticed part of the female anatomy has become a micro trend just in time for summer.

It's up there with those other sun-soaked rites of passage - the first 99 cone of the season, the smell of freshly cut grass, seeing Irish men wander around city centres shirtless, and accidentally getting scuttered at a work barbecue.

This year, the thigh gap, the thigh brow, and the ab crack have reportedly all been replaced by the so-called Toblerone Tunnel.

I'll try and describe what the TT is as politely as I can. According to The Sun, it's basically the triangular area between the top of a woman's thighs and her bikini bottoms.

Sorry if that made you blush - but it's important we're all on the same page here. The name has been derived from everyone's favourite airport impulse purchase/famous triangular-shaped chocolate bar.

However, the paper warns readers that "tucking into Toblerones [is] the last thing you should do if you want to flaunt one on the beach this summer". Sage advice.

I had a lot of questions about the Toblerone Tunnel. Mainly who on earth came up with the horrific name, but my attention was diverted elsewhere when Sports Illustrated entered stage right.

The publication proclaimed we had entered a new era of beauty with the dawn of 'hip cleavage'. To achieve this look you basically have to hoick your knickers up to your waist and show off your hips to all and sundry. SI assures readers that "actual cleavage is still in - don't stress". Phew!

It then posed the question: "are hips the new décolletage?"

In recent years, magazines, online publications and fashion and beauty brands have been at pains to avoid telling women to strive for a 'bikini body'. Why? Because it's PR suicide.

In 2015, Protein World were lambasted for their 'Are You Beach Ready?' posters. The ad agency even received bomb threats.

No one wants to make that mistake again, so where once we simply had head, shoulders, knees and toes (knees and toes), we now have an extensive list of body nomenclatures - underboob, armpit vaginas, and thigh brows. All these body classifications go in and out of fashion faster than Hammer pants.

Things beauty supplements said were very, very bad 18 months ago are now very, very good - providing we 'own it'.

With so much to-ing and fro-ing it can be hard to know which body parts are In (so to speak) and which are Out.

And let's be honest, you need to know these things. Without the correct information you could rush out of the house one Sunday afternoon without exfoliating your legs.

Who knows what fate awaits you then (presumably life as a social pariah/ the prospect of a public stoning)?

So here is what you should and shouldn't display shore side this summer. But remember, under no circumstance is anyone being told to strive for a beach body. No siree.

Muffin tops, and bingo wings should be concealed. Thigh brows, Toblerone Tunnels, and underboob should be celebrated.

Stretch marks used to be a source of embarrassment but now, if you fill them in with glitter, they are empowering.

Cellulite has had a similar U-turn. Share pictures of it on social media on the third Saturday of each month and you become a self-aware feminist icon.

Armpit vaginas and 'elephant elbows' are the new droopy knee. Love handles have become cute. No one seems to know where they stand on cracked heels.

From now until September, it's imperative you exfoliate like a maniac, and moisturise like there's no tomorrow.

You must also shave, laser, wax, sugar, thread and depilate every inch of your body, bar your head. It's preferable if you douse your hair in salt and vinegar to ensure you have 'beach tousled waves'/ smell like the inside of a chipper.

Then, and only then, you'll be able to go forth, 'get your summer glow on' and happily flaunt your Toblerone Tunnel.

Pat retains crown as King of TV debate

Pat Kenny

With any luck, the number of screaming televised debates will begin to lull as the results roll in today.

This past fortnight has seen so much referendum-related roaring you'd want to reef your TV from the wall, and chuck it out the nearest window.

It's unfortunate Pat Kenny's live studio special was the last to air as he has, in my mind, retained his place as High King of current affairs TV debates.

We all know Pat's forte is not light entertainment - and there is no need to bring up that ill-advised Lara Croft interview on the Late, Late Toy Show.

But when it comes to heavy and complicated issues, Pat is as good as they come. He always seems in control, well-briefed and on top of the subject at hand. More importantly, he is a stickler for details and gets very antsy if people fudge and bend statistics to suit themselves. As a result, he has no problem chastising people. And that's very satisfying to watch.

There was a lot of shouting in his studio in Ballymount on Wednesday night, but it never became the bear pit that was the Claire Byrne Live Referendum Special.

The referendum edition of Primetime, meanwhile, made the most of a bad situation, after the producers and the No Side became embroiled in a Mexican stand-off over the selection of guests.

Miriam O'Callaghan is a rock solid and astute moderator. But at times her questions were somewhat jarring. She suggested rape victims would eventually "get over" the trauma of their attack, and added there was no coming back from an aborted foetus. That seemed rather insensitive. David McCullagh appeared simply to be working his way laboriously through a prepared sequence of audience guests. It may have ensured that a strict balance was maintained, but it was frustrating to watch.

Pat stood head and shoulders above the others, reminding us just how careless RTÉ were to let him go.


The breadwinner

Kilkenny animation studio Cartoon Saloon's Oscar-nominated movie is now in cinemas.


The cottage flowers are really having a moment.




The latest TV show to be caught up in gender pay gap scandal. Boo.

Ripped-jean tan lines

Slap SPF50 on those knees.


‘I’d just like to put on the record that we should cop on to ourselves’

Former Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett criticises changes to the judicial appointment system

Indo Review

Also in this section