Saturday, August 2, 2008

The superficial silliness takes over

I walk a ton in NYC. I try to walk home from work at least 3 times a week -- just under 60 blocks. If I am going shopping anywhere in the range from 50th St to 86th St on the East side, I walk. If I am within that range on the West side I usually walk. I'm bike riding in Central Park almost once a week. I'm squatting and planking at home.

So what gives, legs? I'm 5'8" and my long legs should be stunning! But no. Not even close to mini-skirt worthy, and it is so frustrating. And I admit to turning green with envy when I see all the minis and daisy dukes floating around the city around pretty young things. Because I should totally be one of them! I've struggled with this pretty much since puberty. Chunky calves, over-sized quads and big thighs. Despite years of softball (half-spent squatting as catcher thankyouverymuch), equine sports and tennis my legs have just never toned.

The result was that summer was kind of my enemy, because while everyone else was shedding layers to show off I was trying to figure out how to join them and keep my legs hidden. The result was a lot of jean-wearing with summery tops. I hardly ever wore shorts, and certainly almost never wore skirts or dresses. Looking back on it I probably looked pretty ridiculous. And it was hot in jeans. And my legs never tanned. And I felt less feminine then I would have liked. I wanted to wear skirts and dresses like every other girl but felt kinda ugly when I did. Sad.

It's not about trying to meet someone else's expectations. I know NYC is full of people with ridiculous standards about how people should look, dress, etc. People with standards so unrealistic have little effect one me. This is mostly a personal thing about how comfortable I feel myself. And yes, that is influenced by how I think other people see me. But I digress.

This year, I finally caved. I spent the winter doing the best I could and lost about an inch off my legs. My calves still require extended width sizes for tall boots but they acquired a shape resembling that of what a normal girl's legs look like. Come spring with all the walking it was just too hot to wear jeans or even pants. In the city you really need to do the shorts/skirt thing. So I am wearing skirts this year. And it's been kind of liberating -- no one has run in the other direction screaming about the young woman with the thunder thighs yet -- although I've kept the skirts to knee-length.

I know my body type will never support skinny jeans, and that's OK. I prefer my curves. But as odd as it sounds I wish I could wear a mini-skirt. They're young and fun and I think it would be fun to flaunt it a bit with a nice flirty top. But my thighs just will not shrink or tone no matter how many squats I do. It's like God blessed me with a nice hourglass shape and a nice rack but then threw in the fat legs just to remind me that you can't always get what you want.

I have three minis sitting in a drawer patiently waiting for the day when my legs are ready, should that day ever come. But you can't wear minis forever and my 20s are kind of sliding by here. In the winter I can get away with it because I can wear tights and long boots with a mini, which makes the legs issue pretty much moot. In the summer and fall I am pretty much out of luck. And so the mini continues to elude me. Hopefully not forever.

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