I realized today that it isn’t so much that I hate all of those weird-ass leggings out there, but that I actually hate the lower half of my body and the leggings just remind me of that fact.
I grew boobs at the tender age of 11. Good sized boobs that have served me very well. With one of those wire corseted marvels of structural engineering, I can hoist the girls up and suspend them with straps as thick as suspenders. They are good boobs, girly boobs, and my chosen signal of badass womanhood. My legs, however, are a mess.
I buy black dress pants like other girls buy black shoes. I like thick, stiff fabrics in “trouser cut” and anything with a “boot cut.” I am bowl-legged, with cankles so thick I can snap an anklet like the Hulk rips a shirt. As a child, my mother was constantly concerned that my ankles were “swollen." She would rub them and poke them to be sure I wasn’t retaining fluid. Spoiler alert; I have no ankles. I have feet stuck to the bottom of a leg.
My leg skin is as white as the under belly of a sea bass. Add a pair of hairy hobbit toes and a wide flat foot and you have the frightening picture of my lower half. I once used self-tanner to turn my legs the color of a hotdog, and “shocker!,” it looked awful. Legs were never meant to be orange and streaky. I should be getting my grandmother's varicose veins any second now too to round off that picture.
John Mayer once said, “Your Body is a Wonderland,” and if that is true the property north of my belly button is Disney World, and south is that amusement park abandoned in Chernobyl. To me wrapping the worst part of my body in taco printed unicorn vomit is a terrible idea. Compression socks are pretty much the only thing I'll be wrapping my legs in in the near future. My look is party up top, business down below.
Maybe I should buy a pair in the name of self-love, but I’m afraid that after my husband sees me in them, that will be the only love I get. I like to think of those pizza printed leg bandages are the opposite of Viagra in my case. There is nothing sexy about a middle-aged woman who is self-conscious about her pants.
I understand that they are comfortable, but so is a mu-mu or a toga or hell, even walking around in your robe with those knitted sock slippers (you know those are the bomb!) instead of shoes. After years of squeezing into low rise jeans, you would think I would embrace the hug of thin cotton, but I can't. I just need more fabric that can lie about my leg shape. I need structure to hold in the after effects of two kids and a sedentary lifestyle. I need at least 60 percent denim. I need dark colors.
All of you girls with the cute legs, you do you. Wrap those pins in cat faces and flying toasters. Please don't be offended when I opt out of your legging party group, or when I glaze over when you start going on about how leggings changed your life. I am glad you have magical legs that can turn floral print into a work of art, I just look like a sofa on the sun porch of your grandma’s house.
I'll be over here in my "trousers" sitting this whole legging thing out. Trust me, it's for the best.