Thick thighs save lives, also known as the acronym TTSL refers to a popular catchphrase praising women with a buxom figure.
The phrase has grown more and more popular as people started to give more appreciation to those with a thicker build, eventually turning it into a popular internet meme, with image macros usually depicting anime girls in Programming Socks.
Online, it sometimes appears in an expanded form; “Thick thighs save lives, but thigh highs are my demise”, as well as ““Thick thighs save lives, but yours will ruin mine”.
The expression originates from an article of the health blog blackdoctor.org, published on December 19th, 2011, under the title “Thick Thighs Save Lives: Why Bigger Thighs Are Healthier (Seriously!)”.
As the title suggests, people with thick thighs participating in a Harvard study were found to be more resistant to health complications such as cancer, heart disease and stroke.
“Thick thighs save lives” first appeared on Urban Dictionary in an entry about the acronym of the expression, TTSL, which was uploaded on September 23rd, 2014.
“Thick thighs save lives” started appearing in a variety of contexts online in 2016, starting notably with an Overwatch themed webcomic on Tumblr.
Following this, various anime memes started appearing on Reddit, and the first case of the expanded “Thick thighs save lives, but thigh highs are my demise” phrase appeared as the caption for an anime meme uploaded to the r/animemes sub on November 7th, however, the original post has been archived since then.
At the same time, YouTube videos, including the phrase in the title also started emerging, with various people talking about accepting one’s body, thick (or slim) as it may be.
By 2017, the phrase reached the peak of its popularity, with image macros and quotes appearing all over the web, including Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, DeviantART and 9GAG.
It also became a popular product, with shirts, hats, patches, and hoodies being sold, stamped with the quote.
Although “Thich thighs save lives” never became a viral sensation, its popularity remained steady across the web.