“Cross your legs.” “Don’t sit like that.” “Be more ladylike.” Like most women, I’ve been subjected to these kinds of messages since I was a child. Everyone from my mum to primary school teachers and distant relatives has chastised me to “sit like a lady”. Translation: rest your legs together, Duchess of Cambridge-style, and take up as little space as possible.
But now #womanspreading is officially having its moment. Women all over the world are uncrossing their legs in the name of feminism. Fashion models including Bella Hadid and Chrissy Teigen and the actor Emily Ratajkowski are all starting to ignore the female-only rules about sitting “nicely”. Instead they’re spreading out as wide as they want, and sharing the results on Instagram. Hundreds of women have joined them with similar posts.