Ignorance is Bliss
“Even the models we see in magazines wish they could look like their own images.” Cheri Erdman
Last week, at the Hair Salon, I had a very unfortunate revelation. I was waiting for my $200 Chunky Style highlights to set and decided to glance through one of those women’s magazines. My eyes spotted the headline, ”CANKLES – DO YOU HAVE THEM?”
The article stipulated that the ideal female leg has a well- defined calf and ankle. Some unfortunate women, however, have a condition where the calf meets the foot in an abrupt fashion – hence the moniker “Cankles.” I perused the photographs that accompanied the article. There were several photos of beautiful women with very glamorous gams. There were also photos of dreary, dumpy women who were the not-so-proud owners of unattractive, shapeless legs.
As I continued to read, my eyes glanced forward at my reflection in the large hairdressing mirror. I was wearing a pair of shin-length Capri pants and upon my feet I wore my trusty Birkenstocks. The plastic hairdressing cape covered my upper body and fell to my thighs. As I scanned my mirror image, from my knees to my toes, I was horrified at what I saw. Cankles!!
How is it that I never realized that I was afflicted with this condition? When I was a young girl I never looked good in knee socks. I always wondered why my skate laces gaped around the grommets in such an unflattering way. I just assumed that these fashion failures were due to my Dollar Store brand socks and my garage-sale skates. I never realized that the issue was actually due to my very own shapeless “tree-trunk” legs. We didn’t have the terminology to describe this malady back then. And so – because we did not have the words to describe it – it didn’t exist. I have lived for all of these years in total ignorance. I had no idea until that fateful day at the hair salon that I was the shameful owner of sausage legs—otherwise known as Cankles!
I nervously continued to read. The article went on to explain that Cankles have a medical and a genetic cause – they are actually “adipose tissue surrounding the soleus tendon, probably congenital, and worsened by weight gain.” I read on to discover some possible solutions:
- low sodium diet
I discovered fashion-advice galore. It was suggested that Cankle victims should refrain from wearing sandals, loafers, ankle socks, anklet jewelry, ankle tattoos – basically anything that will draw the eye to the unsightly ankle region.
My sexy-new-hair confidence had been completely deflated. I sat and pondered my fate. How could I continue to live with legs shaped liked PVC pipes? How could I dare be seen in public with my chunky ham hocks?
I took a deep breath and I had a stern talk with myself. I reminded myself that “beauty is only skin-deep.” True beauty is about the joy in your heart and the smile on your face. How could I have allowed a magazine article to distort my image of myself so quickly? I am not that vain. I shook my head and sighed.
The hairdresser removed the plastic cape and performed the final primping and spraying. I turned the page in the magazine and my eyes fell upon the headline: “MUFFIN TOP – DO YOU HAVE ONE?” I looked toward the mirror and examined the area above my waistband…
Next time I go to the hairdresser, I’m taking a good book to read. No more magazines for me.